Didn’t we say in our algebra class that in the grades they study about numbers and so now they will be studying letters instead? Didn’t we say that in algebra we now use x instead of box (in 3 + ___ = 15, we now write 3 + x = 15)? And isn’t it that since this announcement our algebra class activity has been about finding that 24th letter?
Well, we reap what we sow.
Just a friendly reminder to take the teaching of variables and unknown quantities with meaning.
For a serious discussion about what algebra is, I suggest the following articles.
1. What is Algebra? by Prof. Keith Devlin