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Prealgebra

This is where we build the launching pad for the next steps of math in Algebra. We've covered a lot of topics already, but you still need to be introduced to a few more ideas before you're ready. Prealgebra is like getting all of your ducks in a row or your books ready before you go to school. Let's make sure you have all of the tools you need to make algebra a fun and easy experience.

Graphs and Grids

You see charts and graphs everyday. We're going to introduce you to a few different types of graphs, but most important will be learning how to make your own. We'll go into 2D grids with axes and ordered pairs. When you're comfortable with graphing, you'll be ready to graph functions when you get to algebra.

Exponents and Roots

We called the section "Squares and Roots" because most of you have heard about squaring a number or finding the square root. There are so many more ways to use exponents and you will discover how they are easier to work with than writing out long numbers. There's a little rounding off involved, but when you get into super big and super small numbers it's okay for math and science problems in class.

Units of Measure

You use all of these units everyday. You know about seconds, minutes, miles, kilometers, and a dozen others. We're going to talk about most of the ones you will find in math and science problems. You'll also get a better understanding about converting those numbers between the customary and metric systems. Some of you may have heard about the English or American system of measurements (ounces and miles). In math we call that the customary system. Metric is the one used in science and many countries around the world.

Advanced Numbers

We looked at numbers in the Basic-2 section. In math there are so many types of numbers that we needed another page. As you move forward in math, we'll even introduce more. You'll learn about irrational, real, and the figurate numbers. We like the figurate number series because they are based on expanding geometric groups.

Scientific Notation

Scientific notation is just an extension of exponents. This notation only uses a base of 10. 22 uses an exponent, but in scientific notation you might see 4.0*100. It's all about the tens. Scientific notation (as the name says) is used in every science class you will have. It's a great way to display large and small numbers.

Variables and Unknowns in Math

We'll finish up with variables. This will be the last piece of the puzzle before you move on to algebra. While you're going to have to think a little differently, you already know how to use and solve questions with variables. You know when you need to figure out 8+3... we see the unknown quantity (the variable) as the solution... 11. When we use variables in prealgebra, we're just putting the unknown value somewhere in the front of the equation. The same problem can be written 8+x=11. It's like asking what number, when added to eight, will be equal to eleven. Three! It's really that easy in prealgebra.

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RELATED LINKS
- Numbernut: More Basic Math
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Prealgebra Math Topics
> Overview
- Graphs & Grid
- Squares & Roots
- Units of Measure
- Adv. Numbers
- Rules of Math
- Sci Notation
- Variables


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