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ERIC Number: EJ1002548
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0286
Developing "Algebraic Thinking": Two Key Ways to Establish Some Early Algebraic Ideas in Primary Classrooms
Ormond, Christine
Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v17 n4 p13-21 2012
Primary teachers play a key role in their students' future mathematical success in the early secondary years. While the word "algebra" may make some primary teachers feel uncomfortable or worried, the basic arithmetic ideas underlying algebra are vitally important for older primary students as they are increasingly required to use "algebraic thinking" in the transition years. Radford (2001) said that teachers of mathematics "need to deepen [their] own understanding of the nature of algebraic thinking and the way it relates to generalisation". Some commentators have also recently argued that "algebraic thinking" should begin as early as Year 2 or 3 (Kaput, 2008; Mason, 2006; Van Dooren, Vershcaffel & Onghena, 2002). Warren and Cooper (2009) go so far as to claim "that the power of mathematics lies in the intertwining of algebraic and arithmetic thinking, each enhancing the other as students become numerate." This may seem a daunting task, however, and therefore this paper offers some fundamental strategies to help in this important work of developing early algebraic concepts. (Contains 4 figures and 6 footnotes.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A