The purpose of my blog is to document my experiences while taking Math for Elementary teachers 1510/1512. It is a reflection on what i learned and my opinions on teaching math.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Using real life situations to write algebraic expressions! Math 1512

Algebraic expressions are very beneficial when it comes to solving real life problems. Of course most students do not see algebraic expressions as helpful and they won't until they are done with school. A classic example of when you will use such expressions is when it comes to your money. When you enter the working world you will want to know if you have received the right amount of money for the amount of work performed. Also, you will want to know how to balance your checkbook so that you do not over spend.
Below is a video on how to write algebraic expressions for real life situations.

The first thing you will want to do when writing any algebraic expression is to define the unknown.The unknown will become the variable you are trying to solve for. In most cases x is used for the variable, but you can use any letter you wish. A lot of the time people will use the first letter of what they are solving for as their variable. An example would be using w as the variable when solving for the number of workers at a ballpark
The second most important thing when writing an algebraic expression is highlighting key words. Key words are helpful in writing the final expression. Some examples of key words are more than.less than, or the sum of. Also, it is important to highlight what you are trying to solve for because this will become your variable. You will need to know what side of the equation your variable needs to be on, so that you get the correct answer you are trying to solve for.
Articles that I found helpful:
http://www.algebra-class.com/algebra-word-problems.html
http://www.mathgoodies.com/lessons/vol7/expressions.html
http://www.phschool.com/atschool/academy123/english/academy123_content/wl-book-demo/ph-140s.html

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