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Chapter 1: Algebraic expressions

1.1 Introduction (EMA2)

  • Content covered in this chapter includes understanding how numbers are classified as rational or irrational, estimating surds, rounding off, factorisation and simplification.
  • This chapter provides a lot of core skills that learners will apply to the rest of mathematics. Ensure that learners are sufficiently proficient in the skills covered in this chapter.
  • Rounding real numbers is an important skill that learners will use often. Ensure that learners are completely comfortable with this skill.
  • Factorisation forms the groundwork for solving equations. Learners should be comfortable factorising trinomials and binomials.
  • Factorisation should include types covered in grade 9 as well as trinomials, grouping in pairs and sum and difference of two cubes.

Over human history, all peoples and cultures have contributed to the field of Mathematics. Topics like algebra may seem obvious now, but for many centuries mathematicians had to make do without it. Over the next three grades, you will explore more advanced and abstract mathematics. It may not be obvious how this applies to everyday life, but the truth is, mathematics is required for nearly everything you will do one day. Enjoy your mathematical journey. Remember, there is no such thing as a “maths person” or “not a maths person”. We can all do mathematics, it just takes practice.

Some examples of early tally sticks. These were used to help people count things such as the number of days between events or the number of livestock they had.

In this chapter, we will begin by revising the real number system and then learn about estimating surds and rounding real numbers. We will also be expanding on prior knowledge of factorisation and delve into more complex calculations involving binomial and trinomial expressions.