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Strengthen Your Foundation ~ Pre-Algebra, Step by Step

Algebra is just one BIG PUZZLE!
“I was good until they put letters in math!!” 

How many times have any of you said that? I’ve heard that from many people, even a teacher! Yes, a teacher!  Negative attitudes experienced as a youngster are why most people think that math is just too hard. I’m going to show you that you're better at math than you thought.


The Foundation of Algebra

 If your foundation is weak, or even cracked, your building will come crashing down.
I want to put rebar in your foundation and we can do that by learning 

step by step.

Pierce, Rod. "Math is Fun" Math Is Fun. Ed. Rod Pierce. 8 Oct 2022. 22 Jan 2023

Understand the Vocabulary

I want you to think back to when you were learning addition and subtraction. We were often given problems where an addend was missing. This brings me to the first step. When learning any new concept, get familiar with the vocabulary.  

      1. Addend: a number being added to another number or numbers.
      2. Sum: the answer to an addition problem, also known as the total.

Take a look at this visual

Math Vocabulary
Pierce, Rod. "Math is Fun" Math Is Fun. Ed. Rod Pierce. 8 Oct 2022. 22 Jan 2023

When we are young, some math problems look like this:

5 + ____ = 12

Once we were good at adding, finding these missing addends was something we could do quite quickly and we would just write down the answer on the line. 


 To prove this to you, let’s learn one more definition. 

3. Algebra: The branch of math where letters and symbols stand in to represent something we don’t know yet.

The line is a symbol that stands in for the addend that we don’t know yet.  That means Pre-Algebra is something that you’ve already started learning and if you take it step by step, you’ll start saying;

“I’m good at math, even with those darn letters!”

Wendy W
Passionate Math Teacher and Tutor
University of Maine--Presque Isle
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