
06211028
j
2013f.00440
Bradford, Nigel
Algebra isn't always helpful.
Math. Sch. (Leicester) 41, No. 4, 4041 (2012).
2012
Mathematical Association (MA), Leicester
EN
F63
H23
G23
squares
dot diagrams
square numbers
cube numbers
factors
factorization
sum of cubes
triangle numbers
elementary algebra
visualization
diagrammatic justification
mathematical language
lower secondary
geometrical patterns
number patterns
Summary: The author seeks help from readers as he investigates a geometrical explanation of the link between the sum of the cube numbers to the $n$th cube and the square of the $n$th triangular number. He discusses the part of a problem involving cube numbers where algebra was not helpful. He describes how the problem was intended for year 8 students and his consideration of using a dot diagram to explore the problem. The need to take care when using closely related terminology such as factors and factorizing is addressed. The careful use of the language associated with algebra is also cited.