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# Best Approaches To Learn Algbra, Fractions And Decimals If you’ve been teaching math for any amount of time over the past few years, you’re likely already aware of the fact that students don’t need to simply understand how to solve a math problem, but also why it can be solved this way. By obtaining a better grasp on higher-order problem solving skills, students will be able to continue solving more and more complex problems, increasingly without our help. Here are some of the best approaches and tips for teaching algebra, fractions, decimals, and long division.

## Best Approaches To Learning Algebra

Require students to work backwards when solving algebraic problems. Start by having the entire problem and solution already written out, and then ask students to explain the process the solver undertook to determine the solution. Bonus: After doing several of these exercises, have students see if they can spot patterns in processes. Instead of teaching students basic rules and algorithms for solving algebraic equations, teach them strategies can be applied to a multitude of scenarios.

This way, they can apply these strategies to future problems, even when those problems don’t resemble anything they’ve seen before. Use virtual algebra games and practice sites, such as Khan Academy, where students can repeatedly practice their skills .Use worksheets with pre-made algebraic equations to repeatedly practice the concepts stated above, such as backward solving, strategies, and word problems. For best results, always approach math learning with an attitude of excitement and discovery. Students don’t learn as quickly when they view their learning with fear or boredom. Make algebra applicable to them by using word problems that deal with real-life scenarios or capitalize on student interests. ## Best Approaches To Learning Fractions

Introduce vocabulary first, so that students will have a good understanding of the concepts before you begin the lesson. This will save you time and confusion in the long run, as you won’t have to go back over concepts as frequently. Ensure that you teach students that a fraction is a single number, and not two separate numbers divided by a line. Students often get confused while identifying which fraction is larger than the other when this concept is not fully understood. Help students become aware of “bigger picture” concepts.

When students understand that fractions aren’t simply counting the number of pieces out of a whole, and that fractions are actually also a percentage of a whole, this will allow the concept of fractions to really click in their minds. Teach visually and in a way that is engaging. Connect learning to real-word activities. Some ways you could conduct this creatively is by throwing a pizza party or baking a cake, and then demonstrating fractions by dividing these circular-shaped foods into equal parts. ○ Stuck at home during the pandemic? Another option is to get a list of student preferences and then order a small pizza to be sent to each of their houses so that they can still participate in this activity. ## Best Approached to learning Decimals and Long Division

Start by teaching them in incremental steps. Start with the tenths place and work forwards. Connect the concept of decimals to the previously learned concept of fractions. Show them that the tenths place corresponds to 1/10. Visually demonstrate popular corresponding decimals (such as 0.25 and ¼).

Demonstrate with visuals and manipulatives. Show them that when there are 2 decimal places, this means that this is the number out of one hundred. Using a 100-block grid printed on paper, have students shade in the number that is within the decimal (such as 25 blocks for 0.25). They will see that this is 25 parts to 100, and also that it makes up ¼ of the whole. Again, visuals, manipulatives, and connection to student’s personal lives will always make learning easier.

Long division is a bit trickier, but not impossible. Although it’s not wrong to teach students a basic algorithm for solving long division problems, they also need to be able to explain why and how the answer is what it is. Having students practice with word problems can make this process easier, and will force them to learn why long division works the way that it does. Use real-world examples, and incorporate student interests

## Conclusion

The key to teaching complex math concepts is to teach students to see the bigger picture. Rather than simply teaching them basic algorithms to solve equations with little to no thought, put the tools into their hands to utilize strategies that they can take with them into the outside world as well. This additionally makes math more interesting and fun.

Some of the best ways to encourage higher-order thinking is by providing students with word problems and practice problems that are structured in such a way that they must use these critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, providing problems that capitalize on student interests can foster even greater interest and development of some of these basic mathematical skills.