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Using concrete materials to learn algebra: workshop

Curtis, F. (2016) Using concrete materials to learn algebra: workshop. In: BSRLM conference, February 2016, Manchester Metropolitan University, pp. 109-114.

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The abstract nature of algebra causes challenge to many students, and attempts to access the subject using concrete approaches are often doomed to ultimate failure by the limited nature of the representations used, for example cups and counters cannot be used to represent negative variables or constants, and algebra tiles confuse length and area. This paper describes a hands-on approach that mimics formal algebraic procedures and accommodates both negative constants and variables, using playing cards in the context of a game. The topics of collecting terms, substitution, expanding and factorising, solving (including variables on both sides), linear graphs and simultaneous equations can all utilise this strategy, and it can be moderated to allow access for less confident students, for example by not using directed number. The template for the cards can be obtained free of charge upon request to the author.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:65907

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