Algebra in Fifth Grade??? It's Never Too Early to Start!
The cost of Hands on Equations (40 kits) from Nasco is $431, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
I teach fifth grade in Charlotte, North Carolina. The school I teach at has a wonderfully diverse student body that I am fortunate to be a part of. My students love math! They talk about math, they look forward to it everyday, and they are certainly excited when I tell them they are doing algebra. What fifth grade student doesn't want to go home and say they can do algebra?
There is certainly nothing abnormal about fifth graders learning the fundamental concepts of algebra. Already, my students have been solving simple missing addend problems like 45 + m = 100. They are beginning to understand important vocabulary associated with algebra as well.
It's difficult work, but the curriculum demands that students know algebraic concepts in fifth grade. A recent overhaul in the state mathematic curriculum of North Carolina places a new importance on algebra. Unfortunately, the math texts and curriculum that we use does not fully address the demands of the state standards. Our district has made some modifications to the curriculum, but more is needed.
This proposal is designed to get children hooked, confident, and succeed in algebra. In particular, it is designed to meet the needs of a variety of student learners. Since algebra is a relatively new and foreign concept to fifth graders, it's important they not get anxiety from trying to learn algebra. I want to foster a positive and exciting environment for learning algebra that will encourage students to keep trying despite the complexity. I want my students to attend middle school confident about learning algebra. Dr. Henry Borenson, an MIT professor, has designed a hands on algebra learning kit for elementary school students expressly for this purpose. Rather than drill students with equations and variables, this hands on method allows students to experience algebra in a more concrete and fun way. Students set up equations with physical pieces that represent specific values. They can then trade in pieces to simplify and solve an equation in a game-like setting. It's difficult to explain the kit without photos, so I encourage you to visit www. borenson.com for more details of how the kits work.
With a set of 40 kits, my whole fifth grade team can develop lessons and curriculum for all 100 fifth graders at our school. We will rotate and share the kits to get maximum use and reach all fifth graders. With your help, our students will build a solid, conceptual understanding of algebra in a meaningful and fun way. In turn, students who might otherwise be uneasy about algebra will be ready for the next step: middle school algebra!
Thank you for taking the time to read my proposal.
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