Algebra in the New Curriculum

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Algebra in the New Curriculum

Algebra is only formally mentioned in the new National Curriculum at Year 6. However, we can encourage algebraic thinking from a much younger age. In her article, Anne Watson suggests ways of developing an algebraic, structural understanding of number and arithmetic. Lynne's article builds on this by explaining how the chosen tasks below support Anne's advice.

What's X Got to Do with It? link

What's X Got to Do with It? 

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

By following through the threads of algebraic thinking discussed in this article, we can ensure that children's mathematical experiences follow a continuous progression.

Making Algebra Rich link

Making Algebra Rich 

Stage: 1 and 2

Lynne suggests activities which support the development of primary children's algebraic thinking.

Heads and Feet link

Heads and Feet 

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

On a farm there were some hens and sheep. Altogether there were 8 heads and 22 feet. How many hens were there?

Getting the Balance link

Getting the Balance 

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

If you hang two weights on one side of this balance, in how many different ways can you hang three weights on the other side for it to be balanced?

Ip Dip link

Ip Dip 

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

"Ip dip sky blue! Who's 'it'? It's you!" Where would you position yourself so that you are 'it' if there are two players? Three players ...?

Super Shapes link

Super Shapes 

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

The value of the circle changes in each of the following problems. Can you discover its value in each problem?

Plenty of Pens link

Plenty of Pens 

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Amy's mum had given her £2.50 to spend. She bought four times as many pens as pencils and was given 40p change. How many of each did she buy?

Balance of Halves link

Balance of Halves 

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate this balance which is marked in halves. If you had a weight on the left-hand 7, where could you hang two weights on the right to make it balance?

Shape Times Shape link

Shape Times Shape 

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These eleven shapes each stand for a different number. Can you use the multiplication sums to work out what they are?

Sticky Triangles link

Sticky Triangles 

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you continue this pattern of triangles and begin to predict how many sticks are used for each new "layer"?