TI-AIE: Creating contexts for abstract mathematics: equations

What this unit is about

Constructing, writing, reading and solving equations play an important role – not only in the school curriculum but also in the process of mathematical thinking. Equations are important in other subjects as well, such as science, business and commerce. In school mathematics, the focus tends to be on solving equations, and students often see this as a mechanistic procedure without really understanding what equations are about. Thinking about equations can include the equation’s properties, how they come about and what they represent.

This unit will address some of these ignored aspects by suggesting ways in which you can help your students in understanding equations by making links with graphical representations of algebraic equations and expressions, and by juxtaposing differences and sameness. The activities are also designed to elicit misconceptions and offer ways to discuss these. Concept and mind maps are used to help further with students’ understanding of these mathematical concepts.

What you can learn in this unit