Not able to use algebra in primary level

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Not able to use algebra in primary level

Postby kwokwc » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:00 pm

will like to get some advice here. Is it that in primary school, cannot use algebra at all, even at p5, p6 level? I was solving my son p5 questions last night, I think that using algebra is so much faster and easier. Although I manage to get the answer, I am lost on how to present the answer in model ,which is the way it is taught, right? So I told my son, to let the teacher know that he understood what I teach him but not sure if this steps can be accepted.

I am just wondering if there is any book or website that let parents like us, who can solve the questions in algebra way, to learn to present our answer in the new model way. This way, then I can learn up the skill and teach my kids myself.

How about in secondary school? There should be no problem solving problems with algebra right?

kwokwc
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Re: Not able to use algebra in primary level

Postby tianzhu » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:50 pm

kwokwc wrote:will like to get some advice here. Is it that in primary school, cannot use algebra at all, even at p5, p6 level? I was solving my son p5 questions last night, I think that using algebra is so much faster and easier. Although I manage to get the answer, I am lost on how to present the answer in model ,which is the way it is taught, right? So I told my son, to let the teacher know that he understood what I teach him but not sure if this steps can be accepted.

I am just wondering if there is any book or website that let parents like us, who can solve the questions in algebra way, to learn to present our answer in the new model way. This way, then I can learn up the skill and teach my kids myself.

How about in secondary school? There should be no problem solving problems with algebra right?

Hi

Please refer to this reply from MOE.

Best wishes

http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/forum/2007/20070217.htm

17 Feb 2007
Different Approaches Taught for Mathematics Techniques
1. Mr Lim Boon Tong had sought clarification on whether mathematics techniques like algebra, other than the model drawing method, could be used in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) Mathematics. (“Can algebra be used to solve PSLE maths problems”, The Straits Times, 12/2).

2. The model drawing method is a powerful approach for problem solving and learning mathematical concepts. By drawing models, pupils can represent the mathematical relationships in a problem pictorially. This helps them understand the problem and plan the steps for the solution.

3. The pictorial form also helps pupils visualise what could otherwise be abstract concepts. In this way, model drawing supports the learning of fractions, ratio and percentages. Pupils will find model drawing useful when they solve problems involving these concepts in Primary Five and Six.

4. The model drawing method is thus a developmentally sound approach for young children. It is recognised internationally as an effective way for young children to learn problem solving and to have early exposure to algebraic concepts. At Primary Six and Secondary One, pupils can draw upon their earlier experience of using models to help them understand algebraic relationships in problems.

5. Other than the model drawing approach, pupils are also taught different problem solving methods. They are encouraged to try different approaches and have the flexibility to choose the method that works best for them in solving the problems. They are also encouraged to present their solutions clearly so that these can be understood.

6. While pupils are not required to use algebra to solve word problems in the PSLE Mathematics, they are also not restricted to the use of any one particular method. In the marking of PSLE Mathematics, all mathematically correct solutions are acceptable and there is no loss of marks if a correct algebraic method is used.

7. We thank Mr Lim for his feedback.

Ho Peng (Ms)
Director, Curriculum Planning and Development
Ministry of Education

Tan Yap Kwang
Chief Executive
Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board
Last edited by tianzhu on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby mrswongtuition » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:54 pm

Algebra is taught in P6. However, it is not very complex (no stimultaneous equations explicitly taught).

MOE allows the use of algebra if the child understands it and is able to derive the correct answers from it with proper working.

As a tutor, I normally teach them algebra after P5 exams as I want them to focus on the problem solving techniques in P5 first.
Once they are comfortable with algebra, depending on their abilities, I may teach them to use it to solve any type of question.

However, bear in mind the CAPABILITIES of the child. Not all of them are able to comprehend algebra well enough to use it for problem solving successfully.

If your child is bright enough to understand, go ahead. Remember to teach the basics of algebra first (how to add, subtract, negative numbers, multiply, divide, etc).

Yes, algebra is the focus in Secondary school maths. :)

Regards,
Mrs Wong
Tuition Web: www.mwtuition.com.sg
Personal Blog: thelittleonesinmylife.blogspot.com

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Postby kwokwc » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:16 pm

Thanks. i am now relief. My son is strong in his Maths. In fact, we taught him the basic of algebra since he is in P4 and he can understand and grasp it. I am glad that as long as the steps and answer is right, they are not penalised. So now I am really to go full gear to teach him more on algebra. :D

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Postby mrswongtuition » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:38 pm

kwokwc wrote:Thanks. i am now relief. My son is strong in his Maths. In fact, we taught him the basic of algebra since he is in P4 and he can understand and grasp it. I am glad that as long as the steps and answer is right, they are not penalised. So now I am really to go full gear to teach him more on algebra. :D


:)

Be prepared that you may need to 'fight it out' with his teachers in school.
Some teachers do not accept algebra (must use the methods they teach) or may not understand your child's algebraic workings (don't be surprised).
They may mark your child wrong in school homework and tests/exams until you go down and question them, then they may change the marks (for tests/exams).

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Postby kwokwc » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:07 am

Thank you Mrs Wong. I am just curious, is there any book to read or website that I can visit to learn more about the model method? I was just thinking, might be good to pick up this method, since I still have 2 younger kids that will use this method. I must say, my son is much stronger in his Maths, so no problem teaching him algebra, but not sure about his sisters. In fact, he see his own mistake and so some questions much faster than me. His Maths brain is just like his father. :D

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Postby mrswongtuition » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:16 am

kwokwc wrote:Thank you Mrs Wong. I am just curious, is there any book to read or website that I can visit to learn more about the model method? I was just thinking, might be good to pick up this method, since I still have 2 younger kids that will use this method. I must say, my son is much stronger in his Maths, so no problem teaching him algebra, but not sure about his sisters. In fact, he see his own mistake and so some questions much faster than me. His Maths brain is just like his father. :D


There are quite a lot of books on model method at Popular.
One of it is called Singapore Model Method (if I recall correctly), it's more like a guide book for parents with colourful models inside, examples and explanations.

The children are taught the model method from P2 onwards (if their school is using My Pals Are Here!).

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Postby tisha » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:40 am

kwokwc wrote:Thank you Mrs Wong. I am just curious, is there any book to read or website that I can visit to learn more about the model method? I was just thinking, might be good to pick up this method, since I still have 2 younger kids that will use this method. I must say, my son is much stronger in his Maths, so no problem teaching him algebra, but not sure about his sisters. In fact, he see his own mistake and so some questions much faster than me. His Maths brain is just like his father. :D


I've found this website quite useful for learning model drawing.

http://www.thesingaporemaths.com/

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Postby INNOVATE » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:51 am

Few years back when both my kids sat for their PSLE, i did not encourage them to use algebra method even if they knew. Instead, they were encouraged to use models or heuristics to solve problem sums of varying difficulties.


Those so called difficult questions appeared in 2005, 2007 and 2009 exams were within the abilities of kids who were exposed to doing challenging sums of higher order.

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Postby Augmum » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:35 am

kwokwc wrote:will like to get some advice here. Is it that in primary school, cannot use algebra at all, even at p5, p6 level? I was solving my son p5 questions last night, I think that using algebra is so much faster and easier. Although I manage to get the answer, I am lost on how to present the answer in model ,which is the way it is taught, right? So I told my son, to let the teacher know that he understood what I teach him but not sure if this steps can be accepted.

How about in secondary school? There should be no problem solving problems with algebra right?


YES, u can algebra to solve challenging questions in primary level.
this question has been brought up few years ago and had been clarified by MOE in black and white.
though P5/P6's teachers do not encourage as the pupils are not required to use algebra to solve,
added to it, it is not under the P6 syllabus (except for simple algebraic equations)
so the teachers would not go thru the answers with the pupils using algebra to solve,
neither would they "entertain" the pupils who approach them asking it. :wink:

if the child is capable of using algebra as another alternative method besides model drawing, why Not.........
relating to this, i have a posting here which may interest u.
http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum ... &start=120

fyi, for secondary school, algebra is one of the main focus, an impt topic.
u can't use the model drawing method to solve.
it is undoubtedly stated in some examination papers that "Do not use Model solving method" and marks will not be given. :wink: :lol:

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