# Algebra For Beginners - Tips For Learning Algebra Easily

The biggest struggle in mathematics comes with algebra and basic arithmetic functions. The four basic elementary algebra operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are not emphasized enough. We often have students that are no capable of performing the basic operations. Our high schools are filled with students that have the foundation needed to perform on standardized tests, course materials and college preparatory tests such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Unfortunately, students become way to dependent on the calculator and do not fully understand the basics of the functions performed.

Math's Basic Operations

The four basic operations to solve any math problems are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. To know these operations are key to success at any grade or post-secondary educational level. I will present each one in detail. However, there is an even more primary aspect to look upon.

The Number Line

The number line is a line that never ceases to end in respect to the left and right sides. The never ending aspect is called infinity. However, to all things, there is a beginning. That beginning for us is zero. On the number zero's left side are the negative values. The further left you go, the smaller your number value becomes. The right side of zero has positive value. These numbers grow infinitely large. So, we now have the basis for addition and subtraction.

Addition

Thinking in terms of the number line helps to simplify addition. Let's suppose we have the number 1. If two place values are added, we move two places down the number line from one's place. On the number line, we end up at three. In the same manner, one pencil plus two pencils equals three pencils. Students at the elementary stage should be sure to use the number line until they are comfortable with it. Remember, a number ALWAYS gets larger with addition.

Subtraction

If addition means to make a number larger, subtraction means to make a number smaller. We move to the left of the number line to make a number smaller. Remember those three pencils in the previous addition paragraph. What if we took the two away to give to other people? The following is subtraction; 3 pencils - 2 pencils = 1 pencil. We just took two pencils away. Again, students should use the number line as a resource until subtraction skills are strong enough without it. A number ALWAYS gets smaller after subtraction.

Multiplication and Division

We can think of multiplication as a way to make a number bigger with a faster method. Numbers sometimes get very big to count on the number line. Let me explain by multiplying 6 and 8. By the way, the common operation name for multiplication is "times." When you hear 6 times 8, what do you think? Well, the easiest way in my opinion is to think of this as a six pack of pencils given to 8 students each. Each of the eight students have 6 pencils. Addition, in this case, is a little lengthy bit of math to be doing. Of course, you can add if you are more comfortable. However, multiplication is a skill that will help you to be more efficient and mentally prepared for bigger numbers. A calculator may be handy until you learn your times tables. We eventually conclude that the answer is 48 total pencils in the distributed to the students.

Division does the opposite. For example, I am teacher Bill who wants to make sure that each of my 8 students have the same amount of pencils. Division is a means by which we divide a number (typically a bigger number) by a smaller one. I would have to give each student 6 pencils so that each has the same amount.

I hope that you have found the simplicity in the four basic operations. I am very surprised at the amount of kids and people who have not mastered these skills. The numbers are alarming. Thanks.

http://www.jasco4education.com

Source: EzineArticles## Article Tags:

### Number Line

,### Basic Operations

,### Number Smaller

,### Beginners Tips

,### Number Line Helps

,### Two Pencils

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