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If you remember Algebra as that daunting class in junior high that the “advanced” students took, you may be surprised to learn that children now begin studying algebra as early as kindergarten. Algebra is essentially the study of patterns, relationships, and variables. As soon as a child asks, “How many crackers can we each have for snack today, Mom?” or “How many more minutes of TV time left?” she is doing algebra.
In late elementary school, algebra goes from being an underlying element in math work to a main element in class. But algebra is still all around us, from the data in the news to real life situations such as shopping and sports. Here are three activities you can do at home and around town to bring algebra into your daily lives: