Remember all those rationals and irrationals, the ones we got confused?
I still get them wrong and I am not very amused.
Digits and decimals, too many D's
But wait until we start on those x, y, and z's.
Powers of 10 are expressed by exponents in many ways,
But, remember, there is only one and that is to have them raised.
Counting all those zeros makes me very crazy,
So use that scientific notation and don't be so lazy.
Collections of elements in sets are a breeze.
Elements follow a pattern just like 1, 2, and 3's.
A variable is a symbol like x which has 1 value, not 2.
If you put the right variable in an open sentence, the statement will be true.
Factoring numbers can be such a bore!
But, prime numbers are the best since the factors are only 1 and itself, and nothing more.
Basic axioms of algebra leave you in awe,
But not to understand them is one major flaw.
The most important axiom is the distributive one.
It's the one we used the most, but it wasn't that fun.
Reciprocals are the numbers that always do a flip upside down.
Inverses are very different and in their own special way they turn around.
Numbers and variables are jumbled disorderly,
Are called equations and are only solved algebraically
Solving inequalities can make you want to die,
But, there are only 3 choices: greater than, less than, or equal to, so there is no need to cry.
Polynomials can leave you in such a disarray,
But, just remember there are coefficients and constant terms and then you will be straightened out today.
Products of binomials can take you so long to do a few.
But, just skip the steps and use FOIL without a big to do.
Figuring out ordered pairs can leave you in such a mess.
But, if you remember the x-axis, y-axis, and origin, you'll do them with success.
Systems of linear equations can be solved in 4 different ways.
Substitution, addition method, determinants, and graphing with different rays.
The slope always equals rise over run.
If you remember this you'll always get those problems done.
Quotients of 2 polynomials are called Rational Algebraic Expression.
If you don't reduce them fully they will leave you in a great big depression.
Square roots and cubic roots leave me very puzzled, But the index and radicand leave me troubled.
Square-free integers can't be broken down anymore.
They are like 2, 3, and 5, but never integers like 16 or 4.
There are many other rules, guidelines and steps to Algebra 1
But, we still have Geometry, Algebra 2 and Analysis to continue the fun!!!
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.