Welcome to the wonderful world of algebra! At least that’s what I said to the fifth graders a few weeks ago. When I began planning for the introduction of algebra, I decided to incorporate a pretest to see where their current skills were. Boy was I surprised! Most of them couldn’t tell the difference between the greater than or less than signs! Now I know I have my work cut out for me. I was so glad to know where to begin with them, that I thought there might be other teachers who could use the pretests, also. Click on the image below to download the pretests. (My little trick for keeping the symbols straight is that Less Than looks like a Lazy L!)

There are three different pretests that I made. The first one is a third of a page and asks the kids to write the symbol that corresponds with the statement. The second half-page pretest asks the students to write what each symbol stands for. The last pretest is a full page that has them match equations and inequalities with the statements that go with them. It was eye-opening for me to see what little knowledge they had of algebra. I hope you find these pretests on equations and inequalities as helpful as I have!