Most kids dislike Maths. However, Maths is an important subject. Not only is it important as an academic subject, but has real-life relevance and applications.
Clearly, we can’t do without Maths in our daily lives. Right from the time, you note the time when you wake up to measuring your cereal for your breakfast!
Clearly, when you pay the fare for your daily school ride, you use Maths to count the money!!
Maths is everywhere. Not to mention, it’s the prelude to many exciting higher education streams and careers.
Mostly, when we talk about Maths, Algebra and the addition and subtraction of algebraic expressions come to mind instantly.
Now, many students wonder what the need to learn algebra is.
However, algebra is considered the gateway to higher Maths learning. Solving the symbolic codes and symbols in algebra makes kids apply reasoning and logical skills. Undoubtedly, these are crucial skills for 21st-century careers.
Algebra is a required fundamental skill for many new-age careers. To that end, it’s important for students to develop good skills in algebra.
In fact, all other disciplines of Maths like trigonometry or calculus also use algebra. Consequentially, by mastering Algebra, students perform better in all related disciplines of Maths.
Cultivate a Positive Math Mindset
Teachers and parents can help children by building a positive mindset to learn Maths. Firstly, removing the fear of Maths is important. Undoubtedly, grades matter. However, that should not be the only aim of making children study Maths. Evidently, the pressure of getting good grades falls on the kids. The unnecessary pressure causes kids to dislike the subject even more.
Since all students have to learn Maths starting from preschool to K -12, it will pay in the long run to develop a positive mindset towards it. Hence, experts suggest that cultivating a positive mindset toward Maths encourages the child to study better. It makes them receptive and leads to intrinsic motivation to learn better.
Expressions are either arithmetic expressions or algebraic ones. An expression comprises of numbers, variables and an operation. However, the difference is that arithmetic expressions will have only numbers whereas the algebraic ones will have numbers and variables.
Basic Equations in Algebra
Algebra is all about solving mysteries. Yes, you heard it right.
Particularly, students will wonder what solving a mystery has to do with Algebra.
Basically, it’s all about logical deductions based on sound reasoning skills.
Algebra is all about finding the unknown element.
Consequentially, if you find it, you solve your equation.
In algebra, this unknown number is termed as the variable.
In fact, algebra also uses the same four operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division that arithmetic is built on.
- Hence, algebraic expressions include at least one variable and one operation.
Now how do we distinguish between an arithmetic expression and an algebraic one?
Well, lets see-
For instance, we will take up the numbers 3 and 6 .
If we use arithmetic how will I write the expression for 3 add 6
It will be as: 3 + 6 = —-
However, in algebra, we will write it as
3 + 6 = x
Where x stands for the unknown element.
In general, we can use any letter of the alphabet but x somehow ranks high in the popularity charts!!
Now, this is a very simple algebraic equation.
Indeed, we all know that both sides of an equation have to be equal for it to be true.
So, in the case of the above equation, we have two known values which equal an unknown value
3 and 6 = Known values
X= unknown value
And, when we find the answer, we say that we have solved the equation.
This is a very easy and straightforward equation. Hence, we easily know the answer to this one.
However, let’s understand the process with this simple equation. This will make it easier to understand the more complex ones.
3 + 6= x
Therefore 9= x
Hence x= 9.
This was a very easy example to demonstrate about how algebra is all about finding the unknown entity.
Some complex Algebraic Equations
Suppose, we now write an equation as
x- 3= 6
And what we had earlier was
3 + 6= x
Basically, it’s the same equation. However, we have rearranged the numbers and now it doesn’t look quite as simple, does it?
Now, Algebra will present the question as
- If x minus 3 is equal to 6, then what is the value of x?
In algebra, we get many complicated equations to solve. We have to apply or reasoning skills to rearrange the numbers and solve the equation,
For example, algebraic equations can look like
- 2(5x + 7y) – 1(7x- 3y)
- 6x + 3y – 2z and x – 2y + 2z.
- 3xy3 + 9×2 y3 + 5y3x
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Real-World Applications of Algebra
We spoke about how Algebra is used to solve some real life problems, lets understand better with the help of some examples.
For instance, consider this
There is a class party. The teacher has said you can bring chips for yourself and your friend.
Now, you have Rs 100 to spend.
A packet of chips costs Rs 20.
How many packets can you buy?
In this case, the unknown element or the variable here is the number of packets.
We shall denote it by x
Hence we need to solve
Hence, we will isolate x by taking so we will divide both sides of the equation by 20
20x/ 20 = 100/ 20
Hence x= 100/20
Therefore x= 5
So, with Rs 100, you can buy 5 packets of chips!!
Let’s look at another example,
For instance, for the class party the teacher has said you can bring chips, cookies and a soft drink.
A packet of chips costs Rs 20. Similarly cookies also cost Rs 20, while a soft drink bottle costs Rs 60.
You decide you want 2 packets of chips and cookies and one bottle of a cold drink.
How much money you will need?
a= Price of one packets of chips
Price of one packet of chips = Rs 20
b = Price of one cookie packet = Rs 20
c = Price of one bottle of soft drink = Rs 60
Hence c= Rs 60
Let’s denote the total money required to buy all these items will be as X
The algebraic expression to find X will be
X= 2a + 2b + c
Hence X= (2x 20) + (2 x 20) + 60
X = 40 + 40+ 60= Rs 140
Applying algebra made it easier to calculate the variable amount, in this case, the total amount required to buy all the items.
To conclude is the gateway to understanding maths better. Since algebraic equations are part of the NCERT solutions for class 8 maths, it is crucial that they develop a good understanding of the subject. Students should take the time to practice methodically. Additionally, making a formula chart or using flash cards will help them with quick revisions of algebraic formulae.