Published at Wednesday, 18 September 2019. algebra. By Mallory Prevost.
“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.
The first year of algebra is a prerequisite for all higher-level math: geometry, algebra II, trigonometry, and calculus. Researchers have found in multiple studies that students who take more high-quality math in high school are more likely to declare science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors in college. Students who take Algebra II in high school are also more likely to enroll in college or community college. Algebra can lead to many new opportunities for success in the 21st century. What’s more, when students make the transition from concrete arithmetic to the symbolic language of algebra, they develop abstract reasoning skills necessary to excel in math and science.
A strong mathematical mindset refers to how your child thinks about her ability to succeed in math class. It’s similar to having a “can do” attitude. Research has proven that having a positive attitude towards math contributes to higher math test scores and a better understanding of essential math skills. “One of the most important things parents can do is simply be positive about mathematics,” Larson says, “and point out where they themselves use mathematics and see mathematics in the world.”
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