8th Grade Polynomials: Concepts and Problems

Polynomials are a common math topic that children typically must learn in the 8th grade. They are usually taught as part of math units covering algebraic operations. To find out more about helping your child with polynomials concepts and problems, keep reading.

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Helping Your 8th Grader Learn about Polynomials

What 8th Graders Learn

Typically, 8th grade math focuses almost entirely on algebra. It's likely that your child will be required to take a standardized multiple-choice math test at some point during the school year based on the Common Core State Standards for 8th grade math. Any math curriculum based on these standards will most likely require your child to learn about polynomials. To find out how you can help your child at home with polynomials based on his or her specific learning needs, have a chat with your child's math teacher or any other math professionals currently working with him or her.

Explaining What Polynomials Are to Your Child

You can tell your child that the word 'polynomial' means 'many terms'. Polynomials are exponents, constants and variables that are usually combined using multiplication, addition or subtraction. However, polynomials are never combined with division.

An example of a polynomial problem that you can give your child to is 2xy^2 + 2x - 7. In this equation, 2xy^2, 2x and 7 are each different terms, making three terms total. Numbers in the equation like 2 and -7 are constants; x and y are variables and in this case, the 2 that squares 2xy^2 is the exponent. You can go through a number of equations with your child and have him or her point out which terms are exponents, constants and variables.

Exercises for Solving Problems

There are a variety of exercises that you can use at home to help your child with polynomial concepts and problems. For example you can play a game in which you ask your child if an equation is a polynomial or not. Polynomials in this game might include 'x + 4', '-18y + 2x^4' or even a simple constant like '1' or '73'. An example of a non-polynomial would be 'x/5' since it contains division.

Additional Resources

If your child is struggling to grasp polynomials, talk to his or her math teacher to find out what the best course of action may be. The teacher may be able to help your child with polynomial concepts and problems before or after school. In addition to this, you might want to consider hiring a middle school algebra tutor.

There are also a lot of online resources that your 8th grader can use when learning polynomials. You and your child will find a number of pages explaining polynomial concepts as well as free problems, worksheets, quizzes, games and activities.

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