Any advice for a first-time Algebra I teacher?

Question:I'm not a new teacher; I've taught Physics, Chemistry, and Geometry each for 10+ years. But I'm new to Algebra I, just found out I'm getting this class, and it starts Monday. Any advice would be appreciated.

Answers:
There are lots of websites with hundreds of ideas for algebra lesson plans.I assume that you will have a text and a Standard Course of Study to follow.If so, your state education website can connect you to math sites. Your text book will probably have a site, as well. So many things in algebra have to be taught in sequence because the concepts build on previous ones...Follow the text for the topics and look for real-world ideas to present them. Good luck...Algebra 1 is my favorite thing to teach!!

also...your science background will be a great way to show algebra connections to the real world.
Give concrete, real-life examples.

"Johnny has five coins in his pocket, nickels and pennies, that add up to thirteen cents. Sally has eight coins, nickels and pennies, that add up to twenty-four cents. How many of each coin do they have?"

Let x be the number of nickels, and y be the number of pennies:

Johnny
5x + y = 13
x + y = 5

Sally
5x + y = 24
x + y = 8
I have always found it helpful when teachers use games or real world examples in class.
well i learn algebra easier if its given in a form that i can understand it better..like real life examples...just showing a bunch of numbers doesnt really help me much...so try making the class as fun as possible and give examples that kids would understand.
I had the best math teacher in highschool. He taught several grade levels of math.
1. Try to make math relate to everyday life and living. Stress that everyone will use math for something sometime. Name some of the jobs algebra can be used in.
2. Remember the most important angle is the TRY-angle. Give points just for trying a problem.
3. Encourage group study and working on problems.
hope your teaching goes well!
I think it is a sign that you are a good teacher if you are asking these questions.

I like a lot of suggestions above, so I won't repeat, but kudos to you for asking. It is nice to know that teachers care about their abilities and want to improve.
Don't talk while you're writing on the board, but face your class so your voice will carry as you explain the steps. I still remember my Algebra teacher in high school who did this, and I never heard her. ;)

Just relax. You've got all the skills needed. Anyone who can teach Geometry... has no problem with teaching any math class.

You may want to focus on teaching the students how to solve word problems. I didn't learn to solve them really well until my first year in college. My instructor used what she called "Let" statements.

For whatever problem, we'd start out with statements such as
Let X represent the number of widgets produced in an hour.
Let H represent the number of hours worked per week.
Let W represent the amount of wages per widget.
Let P represent the pay received per week, based on the number of widgets produced.

Once we had those statements on paper, we had the main idea of what variables we'd assigned to each value, and it was much easier to set up the problem and solve for whatever the problem called for.

Go get 'em, tiger! ;)

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