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When did they start teaching algebra concepts in kindergarten?

From the very first introduction of addition in kindergarten my son has had to anwer problems like 1+?=3. I'm assuming this is typical since I homeschool and have used more than one curriculum. I don't remember answering questions like that until algebra was introduced in 7th grade. Is this how other countries teach math too? Or is it an American thing. I'm really just curious. I do find that it's making my son think about math differently than I do. He had a story problem the other day that I thought was a subtraction problem but he solved it using addition. I hope it doesn't cause problems with him being able to use subraction as easily if he starts thinking of everything as addition. I guess it's ok as long as he gets the right answer, but I do wonder a little bit.


Asked by mybella81 at 3:17 PM on Mar. 24, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 17 (4,022 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • They started introducing algebra concepts in kinder a few years ago. I think too many kids were freaking out when variable are introduced in algebra, and this way, they can connect to to prior knowledge and not have such a rough adjustment to real algebra.

    Answer by Pnukey at 1:09 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • Addition and subtraction are part of the same concept which is understanding that numbers represent quantity.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 3:33 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I've taught first and that is a very normal skill to be taught. We teach them the opposite of addition is subtraction, and want the student to realize that they can find the answer by doing the opposite, solving 3-1. I am not surprised some K programs introduce the skill.


    Answer by KairisMama at 3:32 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • DD is in 9th grade and had a little bit of problems like that when she was in 1st grade. My twins are now in 1st grade and they're getting a lot more of those problems.

    Answer by JSD24 at 3:35 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I helps kids learn to think about math as a fill in the blank sort of subject. If the concepts are taught early on, it's easier for them when they get to the more complicated math later on.

    Answer by scout_mom at 4:52 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I had questions like that in 1st grade back in the 80s. They've always been taught that way...we just never called it Algebra (not until I was in junior high).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 6:59 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I know it's not called algebra, it's simple addition. But I'm pretty sure I didn't do problems like that back in the 80s. I have no problem with it, I'm just saying, I don't remember doing it that way and I wonder when it changed. I'm pretty certain it wasn't always like that.

    Comment by mybella81 (original poster) at 7:58 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I don't remember what we did in school but I do remember my parents teaching me to think about numbers that way when I was really young. It just seems natural to me. Heck, I was decorating cookies with my 4 year old neice and asking her to solve those kinds of problems "Do you want 6 M&Ms? Okay, so we have 2 M&Ms. How many more do we need?" (and I don't have any experience with what goes on in classrooms these days).

    And don't worry if your son solves problems in a different way than they ask. One of the fun things about math (and life) is that there are so many ways to get to the same right answer.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 10:16 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • No clue,they aren't doing that here.

    Answer by mommythree0508 at 1:49 AM on Mar. 29, 2011