# Introduction to algebra

Discussion in 'Primary' started by judeybabs, Nov 7, 2019.

1. ### judeybabsNew commenter

I have to teach a lesson for an interview 'introduction to algebra' to year 5.. any help! I'm a specialist English teacher so this has thrown me slightly.

Thank you

2. ### sunshineneededLead commenter

Third Space Learning has some pretty good 'introducing algebra' ideas. Good luck with the interview.

3. ### TheOracleAtDelphiOccasional commenter

Tricky one, especially as the specific algebra objectives don't kick in until year 6. Having said that, under the notes and guidance section for measurement it does talk about expressing things algebraically, so you could go down the perimeter route and creating formulae etc. (although I suspect children tend to solve such problems intuitively until agenda has been introduced formally). You could look at formulae more generally (area of a rectangle, converting Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa, those wheels in the train ones (six for engine + 4 * number of carriages or whatever) etc.)

If you want to look at the use of letters specifically you could start with missing number problems (18=_+8; 19-_=7 etc.), abstract to using a shape or symbol instead of a write-up box or line, then further to letters.

Another option would be to use multi-step word problems where you work backwards to solve (using inverses) - you could use one of the maths 'tricks' to introduce (choose a number, times by two, add ten, halve it

4. ### TheOracleAtDelphiOccasional commenter

Aargh! Why does this keep eating half my message!

...

Subtract five - oh look it's your number
(Function machine type thing)

At the risk of trying to teach my grandma to suck eggs (not implying anything about age!), please try and avoid anything using an a=1, b=2 approach as it can embed a misconception that is hard to undo)

5. ### gainlyLead commenter

Search "Algebra for year 5". There are loads of resources online.

6. ### crockedNew commenter

Ive done this activity (https://nrich.maths.org/5714) before as a problem solving task which leads towards algebra. There are other ideas on nrich which are pretty decent.