Update: This Lesson Is Part of Book 1 of Doodles Do Algebra: “Starting Out With Mental Algebra” available on Amazon.
The first section of the algebra book (Doodles Do Algebra) starts your kid out with a series of mental math exercises. Before your kids learns about unknowns and how to simplify polynomials, it is really really helpful to give your kids familiarity and confidence “mentally” solving problems that usually are taught as algebra problems with written steps.
I discovered, after fielding years and years of repeated forms of the “why do I have to know how to do this?” questions, that my kids just took to algebra straight away when I took them through a number of mental math problems first. It was also quite surprising how easily they (and I) could do the problems without pencil and paper.
Day One (or Lesson 1) is taught by my darling daughter doodle who tells us how she solves the problem of dividing out tshirts from her uncle between her and her twin brother. Those of you with twins will know how important it is to keep track of who gets more and how to make things equal when you have twins. I have even learned how to count out the raisins in their snack and measure the milk so that both glasses are poured equally. But today it begins with tshirts.
Then each day there are a few problems for your kid to try (called Doodle Dailies). The book is designed for minimal parent teaching. Most everything comes from the Doodle Cartoon explaining the lesson of the day. As a side note, my kids like to color in the Doodle Cartoon character each day and give them hats and crazy facial expressions.
Available in the book, “Starting Out With Mental Algebra, Book 1 of Doodles Do Algebra”
The answers for today’s sheet are:
- Mary and John are 11. (yes, the twin theme is strong)
- You each get $15, which is quite a lot in my family.
- x + x is 2x (I always say “one x plus one x is two x’es” to drive the point home that x could be apples or pears or chocolate bars)
Please give me any feedback you have (good or bad) in the comments below!