Year 8 Working with Algebra

Australian curriculum number (ACMNA190, ACMNA191, ACMNA192)

Who is this Sequence for?

These lessons consist of stand-alone activities that provide consolidation of algebra skills and optional extension. At a minimum, students should understand the meaning of simple algebraic expressions such as 5a +1, 5ab and
2(5a +1), be able to combine terms to create new expressions, and be able to substitute values. They need to understand that some ‘equations’ are true for just a few values of the unknown(s), and others (the identities) are true for all values. Students who have more algebraic skills will be able to create more advanced solutions.

Summary of learning goals

Students will explore open tasks with various solutions or strategies, which focus on developing core algebraic skills while enriching their experiences with and use of algebra. Students benefit from tackling tasks they do not already know how to do. Through comparing and contrasting ideas and experiences students develop networks of concepts for themselves.

Rationale for this sequence

This resource consists of a series of open-ended tasks, discussion starters and mathematically interesting challenges. The tasks are not intended to be used sequentially, but interspersed with regular algebra teaching and learning. Most can be easily adapted to use algebraic expressions of varying complexity, and so the lessons provide teachers with some templates to create tasks for practising other skills.

reSolve Mathematics is Purposeful

Fluency is addressed through the variety of tasks that are encountered so that practice is not mechanical. In many tasks students can set their own level of challenge for practice of algebraic skills.

Reasoning is developed as students justify their solution strategies.

reSolve Tasks are Challenging Yet Accessible

All tasks are provided with enabling and extending prompts. Most have a simple way to start and allow students choice in the complexity of the algebra they employ.

reSolve Classrooms Have a Knowledge Building Culture

The tasks are either conducted in small groups or consolidated through active participation in small and large groups. Various strategies for eliciting group discussion are included throughout this resource.