We all should, I hope, have an understanding of basic addition. This is one of the four basic operators and, as you know, is represented in maths by a + sign (mathematicians are lazy, and as you will discover, like to avoid long text such as addition, and just quickly write symbols).

But wayyyy… slow down, I think we are missing the most important point… basic maths is all about numbers, but what are numbers?

well let’s express some numbers we are all familiar with – The integers (don’t worry, the name is just a written complication of what these are). These integers are just simple, numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on (well these are the positive integers, but don’t worry about this just yet).

let us draw a line, a straight line across our page (and don’t laugh but this is my best attempt at computer drawing)

ok so this is just a line for now, but let’s turn it into the basic number line. if we start from the number 0, we can write upwards from 0

well, ignoring my abysmal attempt at number drawing on a computer, you can see that this is a very simple number line. The numbers increase (move up) from 0, and stop at 5 in this case. By simply drawing this I have demonstrated addition – incredible iI know. if you notice that each time the number increases, we have moved up the line +1 spaces. This is really what addition encompasses.

To look at it simply, if we wanted to add, say, 1 + 2, we would start at the number 1 on this line, and adding 2 (or + 2) means moving up exactly 2 numbers on the line

where we have arrived at the number 3 on the line, thus showing that 1+2 is 3 (thankfully!).

To add another demonstration, say we wanted to add 4 to the number 3 (which becomes 3+4) we look again at the number line

Again, ignoring the crummy drawing, and notice I have chosen a poor example because I had to, rather poorly I may add, extend the original number line further – we have started with our number 3, and moved 4 spaces up (3+4) which gives us the number 7.

And this folks is all for this lesson, but I will soon add a practice quiz on this simple addition for those of you to try (again I know this is simple to a lot of you – but It is so very important to have a complete understanding of simple addition before going anywhere further in maths)

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Ok – so the best place to start I think are for the absolute basics.. I know – most of you will think this a little patronizing but in all seriousness, most people I meet have a fear that maths is over complicated, but I think this really stems up from people missing the core basic knowledge. My teaching point is really to start from routes and build up from having a better understanding of what we all think that we know.

So first I will push this elementary unit 1 of the complete basics of the fundamental operators, and of course an introduction of the simple numbers – stick with this though because it really does underpin the entire framework of everything that higher maths entails. I don’t think it realistic for anyone to understand even basic algebra if these core points are misunderstood. so here for lesson 1

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