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Learning algebraic notation and order of operations using Grid Algebra software. (English)
Math. Teach. (Derby) 232, 21-24 (2013).
Summary: The author describes how learners react to an innovative approach to early algebra. Both students and adults often cite algebra, as the mathematical nemesis that results in lifelong disaffection with the subject. This is no ‘new phenomenon’, neither is the seemingly collectively held view that ‘algebra is hard to teach’. So, as ‘hand wringing’ is not an acceptable ‘steady state, perhaps a suitable alternative approach to teaching algebra should be sought? Grid Algebra offers learners a means to become confident with formal notation. Here, the documented results of working for less than five hours, in a ‘normal’ classroom, are impressive. The descriptions of how the software works, and the classroom strategies that might be adopted are straightforward. To say that ‘it just happens’ is an over simplification, better to say that ‘with Grid Algebra it is probably more likely to happen for students’. Your response might be, ‘why haven’t I heard of Grid Algebra?’ ‒ answer, ‘you have now’.
Classification: U72 F32 H22
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