Sweet Algebra. A model.

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Sweet Algebra. A model.

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I’ve spent the last two years teaching maths – to Year & and Year 10.  Finding a good model to help students grabble with algebra has often been a sticking point, especially once we started performing operations on letters; for some students this level of abstraction is incredibly difficult.   The idea that a letter can represent a number that we then perform operations on is not intuitive to lots of students.

A colleague at HGS, the brilliant Head of Maths, David Shemoon, suggested that a jar of sweets works really well.  He had previously brought in a real one for his students – but I tried it with images and found it this also worked.

The idea is that a jar of sweets -as often used in a ‘guess the number’ school fete stall – contains a fixed but unknown number of sweets. We can add more sweets or…

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