Mesa kindergarteners start studying algebra

March 6, 2013 by  

At most schools, students start studying algebra in middle school or even as late as high school. At Robson Elementary School in Mesa, kindergarten students are now getting a jump start on algebra.

As part of the state of Arizona’s Common Core Standard, kids in kindergarten are now not only learning the basics of letters, numbers and simple arithmetic, they are also learning the basics of algebra.

An algebra lesson in a kindergarten classroom looks considerably different to an algebra lesson in an eighth or ninth grade classroom. At Robson Elementary, kindergarten teacher Jan Jones is taking a different approach to showing her students algebra. While the students are learning the basics of solving equations, the variables ‘X’ and ‘Y’ do not make any appearances in the her lessons.

Instead, the students learn with physical objects, such as bracelets and beads, and through story telling. To demonstrate how to solve an equation during a recent lesson, Ms. Jones passed out bracelets that each had five beads. She asked her students to hide three of the beads, then asked them how many remained. A few of the students were able to state the correct answer, two.

Worksheets are also part of the algebra lessons and public schools might benefit from the services of Mesa print companies in producing the different worksheets. During the lessons, students are asked to use the worksheets to help them solve equations.

An algebra lesson in kindergarten ends in a way that most upper level algebra classes do not – with students being allowed to take a quick nap on their desks.