6 Summary

This unit has used ideas about teaching variables and constants to focus on two important issues.

The first was the need to help students to be able to talk about their mathematical ideas and algebraic notation. The students need to be able to express their ideas if they are to fully understand them and use them beyond the immediate context of the classroom. Thinking requires language, and students that are helped to use specific mathematical vocabulary and phraseology themselves are at an advantage when asked to think.

The second big idea in this unit was the importance of students understanding the role of constants and variables to allow them to give meaning to mathematical statements and algebraic expressions.

Pause for thought

Identify three ideas that you have used in this unit that would work when teaching other topics. Make a note of two topics you have to teach soon where those ideas can be used with some small adjustments.

5 Putting algebra into cricket