Thursday, February 14, 2013

Research in Algebra: Algebra Readiness in the Elementary Classroom

By Dr. David Chard and Cassandra Hatfiled

In our session, we explored three big ideas in algebraic thinking for elementary students (1) arithmetic as a context for algebraic thinking (2) equations and (3)functional thinking. Throughout the presentation classroom practices of mini lessons, using multiple representations, modeling with a double number line, and providing students with activities that allow for generalizations were discussed.
  • Think about your own practice of listening. What do you hear in children's thinking that you might be able to use in ways that could deepen algebraic thinking?
  • Think about your own daily classroom practice. Where do you see opportunities for algebraic thinking?
  • What are some concepts that you think kids should explore, make conjectures, and develop generalizations about? (ex: prime and composite numbers ~ factors should be explored more instead of just teaching the two words and moving on expecting students to remember the definitions.)

Blanton, M., Levi, L., Crites, T., Doughterty, B.J. (2011). Developing essential understanding of algebraic thinking: Grades 3 – 5. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

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