**Description **

Algebra, which includes patterns, sequences and statements such as 2 + ? = 5, has always been part of the curriculum but is now formally recognised at all levels.

At infant levels it includes copying and extending patterns in colour, shape, size and number.

First and second class progress to exploring and using addition facts, and third and fourth class work includes exploration, extension and description of sequences of numbers.

At the senior level positive and negative numbers are introduced. Rules and properties of brackets, priority of operations, equations and variables are also covered. It is expected that the numbers used will be kept small so that the children can understand the concepts presented.

Isn’t algebra just for secondary school students?

No! By the time you get to the end I hope you will have a better understanding of the true nature of algebraic thinking. It’s not just about simplifying expressions like 2x + 3x to get 5x, re-arranging formulas and solving quadratic equations.