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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:48 am
Posts: 60
Location: Finchley
My ds is working through the Bond level 3 maths books but is having problems with the algebra questions. Maths is his weakest subject and he loses confidence very quickly when he feels he doesn't "get it".

We have the Bond "how to do 11+ maths" book but it ramps up the difficulty level far too quickly. Can anyone recommend good resources for a more gentle introduction into agebra, with lots of simple questions for him to work through and gain confidence?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 7138
Location: East Kent
try googling pre-algebra games. You should find plenty. BBC has some good algebra games, one where youhave to postthe letter with teh right expression into a letter box.

I usually explain to start off that algebra is just like teh missing number sums they did in infants

3 + _ =5

_ +2=3

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 91
wh smith Ks3 book on algebra is fab. It has cards to play games to start off with

http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSear ... 65727.html

v good book, My dd is enjoying it


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Surrey
You could introduce the topic by simply saying:
"OK, let's start off with Finding the Mystery Number."
So for example, 3n + 5 = 11
Think of "n" as a number you do not know and have to figure it out.
Do not mention anything about algebra.
I'm sure your son has done the "inverse" operation at school before, so explain: "Lets ignore the 3n at first, so something plus 5 is 11, hmm, that something must be 6 as 11 - 5 = 6."
So you are left with 3n = 6.
Now say: "Right, so 3 times something is 6. That something MUST be 2 because 3 multiplied by 2 is 6!"
So you have n = 2.
A useful website:


Hope it helps!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:19 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:05 pm
Posts: 515
I have tended to approach the problem backwards, by converting other questions into algebra and showing how it works. For example the "Jill is 3 times oldr than who brother who is 5 years...etc", or the "One side of the rectangle is 3 times the other side etc". type questions, I have let the DC work it out, and then afterwards shown them how the same question can be done by using algebra.

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