Transum Maths Software

Algebra

There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Algebra. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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Algebra Starters:

Add 'em: Add up a sequence of consecutive numbers. Can you find a quick way to do it?

Arithmagons: This lesson starter requires pupils to find the missing numbers in this partly completed arithmagon puzzle.

BTS: You have four minutes to write down as many equations as you can involving B, T and S.

Cars: Calculate the total cost of four cars from the information given.

Chin-Ups: Work out the number of chin ups the characters do on the last day of the week give information about averages.

Christmas Presents: Work out the total cost of five Christmas presents from the information given.

Connecting Rules: Give 20 rules connecting x and y given their values.

Giraffe: The height of this giraffe is three and a half metres plus half of its height. How tall is the giraffe?

Half Hearted: Find the number which when added to the top (numerator) and bottom (denominator) of each fraction make it equivalent to one half.

Khmer's Homework: Check a student's homework. If you find any of the answers are wrong write down a sentence or two explaining what he did wrong.

Know Weigh: Find the weight of one cuboid (by division) of each colour then add your answers together.

Lemon Law: Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total.

Less Than: This mathematics lesson starter invites pupils to interpret a three part algebraic inequality.

Light Shopping: A lamp and a bulb together cost 32 pounds. The lamp costs 30 pounds more than the bulb. How much does the bulb cost?

Missing Lengths: Introduce linear equations by solving these problems about lengths.

Mystic Maths: Work out why subtracting a two digit number from its reverse gives a multiple of nine.

Negative Vibes: Practise techniques for answering questions involving negative numbers.

Nincompoop: Which algebraic expression is the odd one out?

Planet Numpair: The sum and product are given, can you find the two numbers?

PYA: You have four minutes to write down as many equations as you can involving the given letters.

Pyramid Puzzle: Arrange numbers at the bottom of the pyramid which will give the largest total at the top.

Rabbits and Chickens: There are some rabbits and chickens in a field. Calculate how many of each given the number of heads and feet.

Rail Weigh: Record the weights of the trains to work out the weight of a locomotive and a coach. A real situation which produces simultaneous equations.

Refreshing Revision: It is called Refreshing Revision because every time you refresh the page you get different revision questions.

Same Same: A problem involving two people's ages which can be solved using algebra.

Santa's Sleigh: Work out the number of clowns and horses given the number of heads and feet.

Sea Shells: A question which can be best answered by using algebra.

Simultaneous Occasions: A problem which can best be solved as a pair of simultaneous equations.

Stable Scales: Solve these balance puzzles by taking the same away from both sides. An introduction to linear equations.

Sum of the Signs: Each traffic sign stands for a number. Some of the sums of rows and columns are shown. What numbers might the signs stand for?

Summer Holidays: There are some children and donkeys on a beach. Together they have 25 heads and 64 legs. How many children? How many donkeys?

Think Back: A problem which can be answered by forming an algebraic equation then solving it.

THOAN: THOAN stands for 'Think of a number' and there are four randomly generated THOAN puzzles to solve.

Ticker News: A Think Of A Number problem presented as a news ticker.

Advanced Algebra Starters

 

Small images of these Starters | | |  Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Lemon Law

Lemon Law

A fascinating digit changing challenge. Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total. Can you figure out, by understanding place value, how this works?

 

Curriculum for Algebra:

Year 6

Pupils should be taught to use simple formulae more...

Pupils should be taught to express missing number problems algebraically more...

Pupils should be taught to find pairs of numbers that satisfy an equation with two unknowns more...

Years 7 to 9

Pupils should be taught to use and interpret algebraic notation, including:
- ab in place of a × b
- 3y in place of y + y + y and 3 × y
- a2 in place of a × a, a3 in place of a × a × a; a2b in place of a × a × b
- ab in place of a ÷ b
- coefficients written as fractions rather than as decimals
- brackets more...

Pupils should be taught to substitute numerical values into formulae and expressions, including scientific formulae more...

Pupils should be taught to understand and use the concepts and vocabulary of expressions, equations, inequalities, terms and factors more...

Pupils should be taught to simplify and manipulate algebraic expressions to maintain equivalence by:
- collecting like terms
- multiplying a single term over a bracket
- taking out common factors
- expanding products of two or more binomials more...

Pupils should be taught to understand and use standard mathematical formulae; rearrange formulae to change the subject more...

Pupils should be taught to model situations or procedures by translating them into algebraic expressions or formulae and by using graphs more...

Pupils should be taught to recognise and use relationships between operations including inverse operations more...

Pupils should be taught to use algebraic methods to solve linear equations in one variable (including all forms that require rearrangement) more...

Pupils should be taught to interpret mathematical relationships both algebraically and graphically more...

Pupils should be taught to interpret mathematical relationships both algebraically and geometrically. more...

Years 10 and 11

Pupils should be taught to simplify and manipulate algebraic expressions (including those involving surds {and algebraic fractions}) by: factorising quadratic expressions of the form x2 + bx + c, including the difference of 2 squares; {factorising quadratic expressions of the form ax2 + bx + c} and by simplifying expressions involving sums, products and powers, including the laws of indices more...

Pupils should be taught to know the difference between an equation and an identity; argue mathematically to show algebraic expressions are equivalent, and use algebra to support and construct arguments {and proofs} more...

Pupils should be taught to where appropriate, interpret simple expressions as functions with inputs and outputs; {interpret the reverse process as the ‘inverse function’; interpret the succession of 2 functions as a ‘composite function’} more...

Pupils should be taught to identify and interpret roots, intercepts and turning points of quadratic functions graphically; deduce roots algebraically {and turning points by completing the square} more...

Pupils should be taught to solve quadratic equations {including those that require rearrangement} algebraically by factorising, {by completing the square and by using the quadratic formula}; find approximate solutions using a graph more...

Pupils should be taught to {find approximate solutions to equations numerically using iteration} more...

Pupils should be taught to translate simple situations or procedures into algebraic expressions or formulae; derive an equation (or 2 simultaneous equations), solve the equation(s) and interpret the solution more...

Pupils should be taught to solve linear inequalities in 1 {or 2} variable {s}, {and quadratic inequalities in 1 variable}; represent the solution set on a number line, {using set notation and on a graph} more...

Feedback:

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Johnstone, 7Je:

"I think this is a brilliant website as all the students enjoy doing the puzzles and it is a brilliant way to start a lesson."

Comment recorded on the 9 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Jones, Wales:

"I think that having a starter of the day helps improve maths in general. My pupils say they love them!!!"

Comment recorded on the 7 December 'Starter of the Day' page by Cathryn Aldridge, Pells Primary:

"I use Starter of the Day as a registration and warm-up activity for my Year 6 class. The range of questioning provided is excellent as are some of the images.
I rate this site as a 5!"

Comment recorded on the 19 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Lesley Sewell, Ysgol Aberconwy, Wales:

"A Maths colleague introduced me to your web site and I love to use it. The questions are so varied I can use them with all of my classes, I even let year 13 have a go at some of them. I like being able to access the whole month so I can use favourites with classes I see at different times of the week. Thanks."

Comment recorded on the 24 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Ruth Seward, Hagley Park Sports College:

"Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work"

Comment recorded on the 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

Comment recorded on the 8 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Smith, West Sussex, UK:

"I am an NQT and have only just discovered this website. I nearly wet my pants with joy.
To the creator of this website and all of those teachers who have contributed to it, I would like to say a big THANK YOU!!! :)."

Comment recorded on the 14 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger Kisby, Herts and Essex High School:

"Just a quick note to say that we use a lot of your starters. It is lovely to have so many different ideas to start a lesson with. Thank you very much and keep up the good work."

Comment recorded on the 19 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Nikki Jordan, Braunton School, Devon:

"Excellent. Thank you very much for a fabulous set of starters. I use the 'weekenders' if the daily ones are not quite what I want. Brilliant and much appreciated."

Comment recorded on the 1 August 'Starter of the Day' page by Peter Wright, St Joseph's College:

"Love using the Starter of the Day activities to get the students into Maths mode at the beginning of a lesson. Lots of interesting discussions and questions have arisen out of the activities.
Thanks for such a great resource!"

Notes:

Pupils begin their study of algebra by investigating number patterns. Later they construct and express in symbolic form and use simple formulae involving one or many operations. They use brackets, indices and other constructs to apply algebra to real word problems. This leads to using algebra as an invaluable tool for solving problems, modelling situations and investigating ideas.

If this topic were split into four sub topics they might be:

Creating and simplifying expressions;
Expanding and factorising expressions;
Substituting and using formulae;
Solving equations and real life problems;

This is a powerful topic and has strong links to other branches of mathematics such as number, geometry and statistics. See also "Number Patterns", "Negative Numbers" and "Simultaneous Equations".

Algebra Teacher Resources:

eQuation Generator: An unlimited supply of linear equations just waiting to be solved. Project for the whole class to see then insert the working in your own style.

How old was Diophantus?: An ancient riddle which can be answered by solving an equation containing fractions.

Online Psychic: Let the psychic read the cards and reveal which number you have chosen.

Algebra Activities:

Algebra In Action: Real life problems adapted from an old Mathematics textbook which can be solved using algebra.

Algebra Pairs: The classic Pelmanism or pairs game requiring you to match equivalent expressions.

Algebraic Fractions: A mixture of algebraic fraction calculations and simplifications.

Algebraic Notation: Simplification using the normal conventions of algebra.

BIDMAS: A self marking exercise testing the application of BIDMAS, an acronym describing the order of operations used when evaluating expressions.

BIDMAS Game: An online interactive game celebrating the order of mathematical operations.

Brackets: Expand algebraic expressions containing brackets and simplify the resulting expression in this self marking exercise.

Changing The Subject: Rearrange a formula in order to find a new subject in this self marking exercise.

Clouds: Can you work out which numbers are hidden behind the clouds in these calculations?

Collecting Like Terms: Practise your algebraic simplification skills with this self marking exercise.

Completing the Square: Practise this technique for use in solving quadratic equations and analysing graphs.

Connecting Rules: If you are given the values of x and y which of these equations is correct?

Equations: A series of exercises, in increasing order of difficulty, requiring you to solve linear equations. The exercises are self marking.

Factorising: Practise the skills of algebraic factorisation in this structured online self marking exercise.

Formulae to Remember: The traditional pairs or pelmanism game adapted to test recognition for formulae required to be memorised for GCSE exams.

Function Builder: An interactive function machine for patterns, numbers and equations.

Functions: An online exercise on function notation, inverse functions and composite functions.

Graph Equation Pairs: Match the equation with its graph. Includes quadratics, cubics, reciprocals, exponential and the sine function.

Identity, Equation or Formula?: Arrange the given statements in groups to show whether they are identities, equations or formulae.

Inequalities: Check that you know what inequality signs mean and how they are used to compare two quantities. Includes negative numbers, decimals, fractions and metric measures.

Iteration: Find approximate solutions to equations numerically using iteration.

Lemon Law: Change the numbers on the apples so that the number on the lemon is the given total.

Matchstick Patterns: Create a formula to describe the nth term of a sequence by examining the structure of the diagrams.

Missing Lengths: Find the unknown lengths in the given diagrams and learn some algebra at the same time.

Nevertheless: Players decide where to place the cards to make an equation with the largest possible solution.

Old Equations: Solve these linear equations that appeared in a book called A Graduated Series of Exercises in Elementary Algebra by Rev George Farncomb Wright published in 1857.

Online Psychic: Let the psychic read the cards and reveal which number you have chosen.

Quadratic Equations: Solve these quadratic equations in this seven-level, self-marking online exercise.

Quadratic Sequences: Deduce expressions to calculate the nth term of quadratic sequences.

Recurring Decimals: Change recurring decimals into their corresponding fractions and vica versa.

Simultaneous Solutions: Arrange the given pairs of simultaneous equations in groups to show whether they have no solution, one solution or infinite solutions.

Stable Scales: Ten balance puzzles to prepare you for solving equations.

Substitution: Substitute the given values into the algebraic expressions.

Think of a Number: Ten students think of a number then perform various operations on that number. You have to find what the original numbers were.

Words and Concepts: Fill in the missing words to show an understanding of the vocabulary of equations, inequalities, terms and factors.

Writing Expressions: Listen to the voice saying the algebraic expression then write it in its simplest form.

Finally there is Topic Test, a set of 10 randomly chosen, multiple choice questions suggested by people from around the world.

Algebra Investigations:

Calendar Maths Investigation: Investigate the connection between the numbers in a T shape drawn on this month's calendar.

Crossing the River: Two men and two boys want to cross a river and they only have one canoe which will only hold one man or two boys.

Function Builder: An interactive function machine for patterns, numbers and equations.

Lamp-posts: What is the greatest number of lamp-posts that could be needed for a given village?

Steps: Investigate this growing sequence of steps.

Algebra Videos:

Quadratic Formula Song: A song from Math Upgrade dot com.

Simultaneous Equations (Elimination): This video demonstrates how to solve simultaneous equations by elimination.

Simultaneous Equations (Substitution): This video demonstrates how to solve simultaneous equations by substitution.

Algebra Worksheets/Printables:

Simultaneous Equations Extension Exercise: An exercise that appeared in an algebra book published in 1895. It starts with basic questions but soon gets tricky!

Algebra External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Algebra are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:

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In how many different ways can the numbers be arranged to give the same totals? So far this activity has been accessed 7914 times and 283 people have earned a Transum Trophy for completing it.

 

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Ibby Gaze, Twitter

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fleur, New Zealand

Thursday, February 8, 2018

"Hi I love this thanks. Other things (or things I can't find!) are algebra with power to the power e.g. (2a^3)^2 and expanding brackets e.g. 4x(x+3), Thanks.

[Transum: Thanks for your comments Fleur. The first thing you mentioned can be found in the Indices exercise and the second thing can be found in the Brackets exercise. I hope that helps.]"

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