Success in algebra relates to success in college

By MORGAN GRIFFITH, Center director, Federal Way Sylvan Learning

In today’s society, everyone must understand algebraic concepts and be able to work with technology.

Success in algebra often correlates to success in college, so it is very important for today’s students to do their best with this critical subject. Parents sometimes feel intimidated because they lack experience with updated math teaching and technology. What practical steps can be taken to ease parental concerns and help families build confidence in this new approach to middle school and high school math?

Students who take advanced mathematics courses during high school, and begin to study algebra during middle school, are at an advantage. Traditionally, students cannot take a higher-level mathematics class in high school until they have successfully completed Algebra 1.

Encourage children to take algebra early in their educational careers, if they are academically ready. Some high schools require children to complete specific math requirements in order to graduate. Students who have not planned ahead have fewer options in what classes they can take and may not be able to complete prerequisite courses. This can restrict a student’s college options and limit their career aspirations.

Persuade children to take additional math classes. Many students do not plan to take math classes beyond their school requirements. However, math classes offer critical learning skills that are needed throughout life. Success in algebra correlates with success in higher education and learning reasoning skills. Taking additional math classes helps children to become logical, independent thinkers.

Incorporate technology. Educators believe that incorporating learning aids and technology into math instruction and homework completion provides an advantage at test time because it allows students to easily absorb and retain crucial math concepts.

Morgan Griffith is the Center Director at the Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center, 32717 1st Ave. S.: (253) 838-0507.

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