Not all students grasp the key concepts of algebra with ease. The learning process becomes even more challenging when students have gaps in their school history. So, what can teachers do to motivate students to actually enjoy learning algebra? Tie it to the real world. Give students real examples of algebra beyond the textbook. When such context is fully incorporated into the lesson, algebra becomes more accessible for all.
In the New York Times learning blog (free to join), teachers will find great strategies to turn the complex into the accessible. The blog also supports the new Common Core Standards in all content areas (middle school and high school are the audiences here). For this post, the teaching of algebra is addressed through 10 real world applications. What examples are chosen?
A favorite is comparing the speeds of 21st century athletes with those of past events. This could also be applied to any sport for that matter. If students are not interested in sports, then what about recipes? Or, mortgage interest rates? Or calculating car rates? Tie algebra to areas of interest for them and the lesson will have meaning.
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