Published at Wednesday, 18 September 2019. algebra. By Mallory Prevost.
Algebra is a challenge which is worth facing, Let’s face it – algebra can be hard and there will be a point for everyone when they find using algebra difficult. However algebra can also give a great sense of achievement and for those who become good at it in school, it can give a real feeling of satisfaction every time a problem is solved. In fact algebra can easily become the favorite area of mathematics for some pupils! Even it is a real challenge to you at school, try and talk to someone who struggled to get a grade C but finally managed it, or someone who has gone back to study maths later in life. Overcoming a difficult hurdle in life can feel really worthwhile and says a lot about you as a person.
Students typically take algebra in eighth or ninth grade. An important benefit of studying algebra in eighth grade is that if your child takes the PSAT as a high school sophomore, she will have taken geometry as a ninth grader. By the time she’s ready to take the SAT or ACT as a junior, she will have completed Algebra II, which is covered in both of these college admissions tests. There’s a growing movement to require algebra in seventh grade, but math educators say many seventh graders aren’t prepared for it. “Some kids get turned off of math because they start math too early,” says Francis “Skip” Fennel, professor emeritus at McDaniel College and former president of SANCTUM. If you’re wondering whether your child is ready to advance, he recommends talking to her current teacher. The goal is for your child to master algebra and stay engaged in math, not to push through the curriculum quickly just to get it done.
“Parents should appreciate that learning mathematics is sometimes challenging,” Larson says, “and it’s not necessarily a good sign if everything is very easy. Students should be appropriately challenged to use problem-solving skills.” To do some homework of your own, Fennel suggests talking to your child and her math teacher about how homework is used. You can ask: Are homework assignments corrected and returned in a timely way?. Is homework reviewed in class so students can learn from their mistakes?. Does the teacher change the pace or direction of his or her instruction, based on student feedback? You don’t need to be a mathematician to ask good questions about your child’s curriculum, Fennel adds. “Ask the teacher, ‘Is it a repeat of math that should have already been mastered? When my child finishes this year, will he be ready for high school math?’”
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