We've just finished Percentages and have started Algebra. 

We are refining our algebraic techniques which we've started learning in year 7. These include the four operations (add, subtract, multiply, divide) as well as basic Index Laws and expansion of expressions, possibly even factorising...maybe.

Some very basic things to remember are:
  • pronumerals (the letters) represent numerical values - numbers in disguise; also known as variables (opposite of constant), because the values they represent can change 
  • numbers before letters (coefficient then pronumeral) when writing terms, e.g. 2y
  • numbers before letters when multiplying and dividing pronumerals, e.g. 3b x 4c = 3 x 4 and b x c = 12bc
  • no need to write 1, e.g. write b, instead of 1b
  • invisible operation means to multiply, e.g. 8m or 9(n+ 1) both mean multiply
  • like terms (matching pronumerals) apply to addition and subtraction, e.g. 4a + 5a, and 6mn - 2mn
  • x and x-squared are not like terms
  • b + b is not the same as b x b, b + b = 2b but b x b = b^2; ^ means raised to the power of 
  • rule means formula or equation or number sentence, i.e. expect to see the = sign, e.g. A = bh, t = 2m + 1. Rules can have variables and/or constants.
  • algebraic expressions do not have the = sign, e.g. 3a + 5
  • in Algebra, use what you learned about operating with whole numbers, directed numbers, fractions, decimals and percentages as well as order of operations

It's hard to believe that we've actually covered all of the above already.

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