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Teaching mathematics
Teaching mathematics

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Week 5: Introducing functions and graphs

Introduction

A toaster
Figure 1 A toaster

Last week, you took the perspective of algebra as generalised arithmetic: reasoned about calculating with numbers and indeterminate quantities and used symbols to express those calculations and make comparisons between them.

This week looks at teaching algebra in the middle years from the perspective of functional thinking. This means focusing on various kinds of relationships: the idea of inputs and outputs (such as bread and toast), the idea of variables changing together, and the ideas of representing relationships with tables, algebraic symbols and graphs.