Algebra Units of Work

Introduction

The goal of all our units is to produce children who are able to think mathematically and are confident and comfortable with the mathematics they are using. Underpinning the units of work on this site is our strong belief that children need to be actively involved in all aspects of their learning.

Our units are really mini-units in that they are designed for a single week. We imagine that as a teacher you could combine 2 or 3 of our mini-units to form a substantial unit of algebra for your class. We believe that the two “threads” of algebra (patterns and functions) are best developed together so where possible our units incorporate both. The chart outlining the units indicates which aspects each unit contains.

Unit Structure

Our units are designed in two ways: Explorations and Stations.

A typical Exploration week is made up of Getting Started (Monday), Exploring (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and Sharing (Friday).

A Station’s week provides five activities that can be presented as Stations for different groups of children to circulate around during the week. However, in most of the Algebra units the Stations are presented as activities that you could spend a session on with whole class.

Unit Detail

Each of our units follows the same outline and we hope you find them easy to follow and use.

An overview of the unit
In the overview we summarise the activities contained in the unit, make links with relevant Achievement Objectives from the mathematics curriculum document and provide Specific Learning Outcomes.

A description of the mathematics explored in the unit
In addition to providing specific details about the mathematics in the unit these ideas will be linked to the learning sequences for Algebra.

Resources
Here we list the resources that you will need for the unit. Links will be provided to any Copymaster material used. Any item in the resource list that is underlined can be found on the site. Simply click on the resource to go to the Copymaster page.

Teaching Sequence
In this section we suggest a possible step-by-step teaching sequence outline.

Questions
Questions are as important as answers in mathematics. By encouraging children to put their thoughts into words you help them clarify their ideas. We have included specific questions within the unit plan to help you get to the thinking that the children are engaged in. These questions are also designed to help you scaffold the child’s understanding of the concept being explored.

Homelinks
For some units we have written a letter that you could send home to tell families what is happening in the mathematics unit. The letters also contain a homework activity.