Pre-algebra is not a topic in math. It is more of a collection of skills that students should have accumulated over the course of their studies. Many schools put a great deal of effort into remediating students on these skills to make their transition into algebra much smoother. Some school districts will offer pre-algebra as its own unique course in the middle years. In my experience, I find that doing such a thing is valuable for some students and a waste of progress for other students. Many schools will matriculate students through this path by the means of an achievement test. The topics you will find below are laser targeted for pre-algebra skills. If you do not have much trouble with these topics , you should be ready to take on algebra.
Pre-Algebra Worksheet Categories
- Adding, Multiplying, and Subtracting Monomials - We get acquainted with all the common operations that should become routine very quickly for you. Remember that a mononomial is a polynomial with just a single term. They are a mixture of numbers and letters that have a multiplicative relationship.
- Combine Like Terms and Expand Terms - This is a way of amplifying and reducing terms. We often think of these procedures as just a way to come to a solution, but they do help math our operations much less complex.
- Creating Equations and Inequalities - What steps do you take to form these, and which one do you use for each different situation? Being able to do this well is a key for simulating models. It helps researchers all the time.
- Double Step Algebra - This when the step compliment one another and seem like just one larger step. We may use this method to make our calculations easier or just to allow us to position out our work, so that it is easier for someone to understand what we did.
- Explaining How to Solve Equations - Being able to solve an equation is tough, being able to explain how you did it is much more difficult. Think about what your pre-algebra teacher goes through with you guys every day.
- Parentheses, Brackets, and Braces in Math Expressions - What is the purpose of each and how does it affect the outcome of your calculations? We show students how to use these symbols to organize their own equations and how to solve problems that already have them included.
- Pre-Algebraic Number Sequences and Patterns - How to spot the patterns and amplify them forward. These are sequences that include some form of algebraic terms in the form of an expression or equation.
- Pre-Algebra Word Problems - This will help you get ready for the much more advanced problems. The goal here is to first learn how to properly model an algebraic word problem. Once we get that right, the math is pretty easy.
- Properties of Math Operations as Problem Strategies - What can we plan for before we jump on the next stage? Have a solid strategy to attack these types of problems is a good foundation to go after many of these different types of problems. This is definitely a core pre-algebra skill.
- Rearranging and Understanding Formulas - This is the fundamental purpose behind most work in algebra. If you understand how different operation relate to one another, this can be something that is very routine for you.
- Rewriting Expressions - How to manipulate these to make them more applicable to the problem you are working on. You will need to do this often when you get into the putting of terms together. This is a very helpful skill.
- Simple Algebra Word Problems - Somewhat of an introduction to get you going. We help students learn how to model word problems with the help of math. This will make them much more understandable for you.
- Simple Expressions That Record Calculations - These problems begin to help you explain the nature of data. We will help students learn how to convert back and forth between numbers and words.
- Single Step Algebra Equation Solving - The most fundamental form of algebra is explored here. We learn how math operations interact and can cancel one another out to bring balance to an equation.
- Single Step Algebra Problems (Addition and Subtraction Based) - We look at how these operations can be used to cancel out one another. This section is focused on just using these two opposite operations to help bring balance to a system.
- Single Step Algebra Problems (Division and Multiplication Based) - If you know anything about the story of Superman, you might think of division as Bizarro-multiplication. They are the inverse of one another and can help you bring balance to a system or equation, when needed.
- Solving Simple Equations With Fractions and Decimals - The form in which the values take on does not change the way we process the operations around them. Make sure to brush up on your uses of these number formats to make it a bit easier for you.
- 2-Step Order of Operations - A little bit basic. I remember my cooperating teacher always referring to these skills as: When pre-algebra transforms into algebra. Students often do not know where to start with this.
- 3-Step Order of Operations - Now we are getting somewhere with this and picking up steam. This is where the brackets and parentheses really start to show up and get some heavy use as we advance.
- 4-Step Order of Operations - After we master this, it is time to go full on Algebra mode. This is where we must remind students that the order of operation should not be processed literally. We find that students often have difficulty with this section, at first.
What are Pre-Algebra Skills?
Starting to learn algebra is one of the most significant cognitive milestones for students. Most of the mathematics that students will study before moving on to algebra that involves basic routine calculations. While in algebra, students encounter complex calculations, symbolism, and numerical relationships. Students hone their reasoning and critical analysis skills in algebra that help them in advanced mathematics.
But before students start with algebra, there are certain prerequisites that they must acquire. Here are four fundamental skills students should have a high level of mastery with before focus on algebra.
Arithmetic - Students must have a firm foundation in the four basic mathematical operations. Without an understanding of these basic concepts, students aren’t able to progress in algebra. The four basic mathematical operations are used to solve algebraic expressions and simplify equations.
Signed Numbers - Signed include positive and negative numbers; they are also referred to as integers. A strong grasp on these signed numbers helps students in handling and understanding signs in algebra.
Fractions - Concepts of fractions are necessary for the students starting to learn algebra. They must know what fractions signify and how to perform mathematical operations on them. It includes reducing to lowest terms, performing the four basic operations on fractions, and finding the common denominator.
Exponents - A conceptual understanding of exponents is necessary for students before embarking upon with algebra. Students must be able to identify exponential notation, simplify it and evaluate the exponents.