Hello Parents! As we all prepare to get the kids back to school, Mathnasium wants to shine the spotlight on Algebra Readiness. There’s been much media speculation as to whether or not it should be required in school, and we’d like to take a few minutes to stress the importance of this critical math topic.
Why do we need Algebra?
Algebra is more than just another subject on your child’s math trajectory. It marks a turning point in a student’s mathematical education—it’s the culmination of all the math that has come before it… and the foundation for all the high school and college math that is to follow.
Knowledge of Algebra is a firm prerequisite for even the most basic college-level math and science classes!
Too often, frustrated math students wonder, “When will I ever use this?” Consider this: according to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, in the first decade of the 21st century, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs grew at a rate of almost double that of non-STEM jobs. STEM jobs are projected to continue to grow at a rate of almost double that of non-STEM jobs throughout the current decade.
The study also states that “STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.”
Math is the foundation for all STEM fields—as the nationwide demand for high performing STEM professionals steadily increases, so will the demand for workers with strong math skills… starting with a solid knowledge of Algebra.
Unfortunately, we see too many students come to Mathnasium in need of Algebra help (and math help in general) simply because they lack the prerequisite knowledge necessary to make sense of the material covered in class.
Preparing for Algebra 1
With that said, getting ready for Algebra actually starts way before your child takes Pre-Algebra in middle school. Using equations and variables to express relationships between numbers, Algebra presents your child with the more abstract side of math.
In order to make sense of these abstractions, they need to master their number facts, build their computational skills, and gain number sense (an intuitive understanding of how numbers work). This goes way beyond memorizing algorithmic processes!
Here are some of the math concepts and skills students need to master in preparation for Algebra 1:
- Fluency with basic math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division)
- A solid understanding of fractions, percents, and decimals–and how they’re all related
- Ratio and proportion
- Geometry formulas and vocabulary: perimeter, area, circumference, etc.
- Integers, the number line, and integer operations
… as you can see, many of these hearken back to topics covered in the early elementary grades!
If your child is getting ready to dive into the heart of Algebra next school year, sit with them and give our Algebra readiness questions below a shot. The results may surprise you!
Once your child has these prerequisite skills on lock down, they’ll be factoring polynomials and finding slope intercepts like a champ… and become stronger problem solvers and mathematical thinkers along the way!
Looking to set your child up for success?
Need more information? We’re here to help. Contact Mathnasium of Green Bay—we can help you crack the Algebra Readiness conundrum and have a program specially designed to get kids on track for Algebra success!
Read more from Mathnasium here: 9 Ways You Can Help Your Child Avoid The Summer Slide
More than forty years ago, math educator Larry Martinek was inspired to find a better way to teach children math.
As a classroom teacher, teacher-trainer, and consultant in public and top private schools—and father to a mathematically gifted son—Larry possessed a uniquely comprehensive view of education. He saw a troubling theme in mathematics instruction: a serious disconnect between the students’ basic skills training and the curriculum they were expected to master in the years to come. They weren’t being prepared properly for their future.
Larry set out on a mission: to find an approach that would provide children with the strong foundation they needed to succeed. Over the next three decades, he painstakingly developed and assembled a blend of methods and materials. Instead of relying on traditional rote memorization and repetitive exercises, Larry’s work focused on helping children understand math by honing their math instincts and getting them to think like mathematicians.
And it worked.
Today, more than 40 years after Larry first developed it, the Mathnasium Method™ is providing children all over the world increased confidence, critical thinking skills, and mathematical ability to last a lifetime.
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