Teaching Algebra with Coding

Now this sounds like something my maths class would enjoy - many of us are pretty passionate about algebra and we already really enjoy coding. However, I also have students who fear this dreaded subject and some have already asked when we will be learning it this year (perhaps hoping that it might align with a terrible pre-planned illness of family holiday).

We started by having a look at algebra on spreadsheets - using functions to write the equations. These were like a more interactive version of a worksheet, but I actually enjoyed completing them alone. It is easy to see how this would translate to coding, taking the engagement and interaction up another level.

When it came to generating our pattern we did things a little differently; we jammed on chrome music lab and created a simple song using its song maker function. This was such a fun way to see maths in the world - there are patterns everywhere!

We then went onto scratch to code some music - each note is here represented by a number. We looked at different patterns of numbers and how they sound - these could simply be odd/even or prime, square etc. Again, a really fun, creative way to build a pattern and think about it's real world application. We could also do this with the pen tool.

This was a really simple pattern - my pattern was just even numbers! But it was cool to see an engaging method of teaching maths. You could do a range of things in this manner, from creating a classroom noise monitor to creating polygons with different sides and angles.


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