It doesn’t seem possible that students can learn algebra in kindergarten math, but it is- in a very basic sense. Algebra is a part of mathematics where symbols represent numbers. It also involves studying the rules of operations.
So, what does that mean for kindergarteners learning algebra? In kindergarten, students are introduced to new kindergarten math vocabulary. Students also learn to identify, sort, and classify objects and symbols. They learn to recognize patterns by using manipulatives, which are physical objects that help students visualize a concept and work with it. For example, children might use blocks, cubes, or plastic shapes to count and sort. Teachers will encourage using many different kinds of manipulatives to help children gain a better understanding of algebra. Manipulatives can also be used to practice math at home. Anything from cheerios to pennies can be used to help your children explore math. In school, they might also do something like clapping to make a pattern. Patterns will probably involve the repetition of things like colors, shapes, sizes, numbers, or letters. Students might need to simply recognize that there is a pattern or they might be asked to describe it, continue it, or create their own. So, even though you might not expect your kindergartener to be learning algebra, remember that it will be very simple algebraic terms.