In maths, an equation is a representation of two things which are equal, so it’s generally two expressions related by an equals sign. Equations can be solved using both symbols and numbers. When solving numerically, then only numbers are admitted as solutions. However, if you are solving equation symbolically then expressions can be used to represent the solutions.
What is the importance of math equations and why do kids need to learn it?
Equations are useful in daily life since various disciplines in the real world depend on maths and equations. Electricians, builders and engineers all use equations as part of their daily activities. Even every day tasks like doing the shopping require simple solving skills.
Computer chips and other modern gadgets/machines we use in our daily lives are based on mathematical equations and algorithms. Therefore, it is essential for kids to properly learn the concepts of solving equations.
Usually, math teachers instruct students to solve equations at grade school but even kindergartens can learn a bit of simple equation solving using basic arithmetic. The most important thing is for them to develop the skills they need to solve numerical problems using computational methods.
Kids are often given equational problems with a number missing, for example 50 + ___ = 90 – 2. Students need to be aware of the process involve in solving this problem and they must know how to use inverse. In fact, they must know what they should add to 50 to come up with 88.
Learning basic concepts is essential for students so they will be able to solve more complex quadratic equations as well as understand several topics like curve sketching and finding the maximum and minimum values of an equation.
Why do basic concepts get lost when more complex concepts are learnt?
Some students forget basic concepts when they are tackling more complex equations like quadratics. They often forget to use to use the both sides method as they are bombarded with the null factor law and the quadratic equation, along with various methods of factorisation.
We need to help student integrate what they learn from the past with the new methods they recently acquired. Therefore, teachers must be able to assess the current method they are using and remind them that they must also apply some basic concepts to solve difficult equations. I like to create a flow chart for my students so that they can learn when to use each method of solving depending on the question type. To simplify, I tell students that if only one term has the unknown, then the both sides method is the most simple and practiced method to use. If multiple terms have an unknown (for example; 5x and 2x2) the equation must first be made equal to zero, then factorised or put into the quadratic formula.
Students will master these methods through constant practice, so teachers must provide them with lots of opportunities to practice their skills conceptually.
Overall, students must understand the importance of basic concepts in solving equations. Maths continuously builds to new levels of difficultly but basic concepts are always still important to remember when learning more advanced solving techniques. Given that students have only just started learning in schools again, it is even more important to revisit the basics