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ERIC Number: EJ1107031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Using the Number Line to Investigate the Solving of Linear Equations
Dickinson, Paul; Eade, Frank
For the Learning of Mathematics, v24 n2 p41-47 2004
The curriculum for eleven-year old students in the United Kingdom, currently adopted by most schools, includes solving linear equations with the unknown on one side only before moving onto those with the unknown on both sides in later years. School textbooks struggle with the balance between developing algebraic understanding and training algebraic skills. In this article the authors describe an attempt to encourage students to exploit an already familiar image, the number line, in order to address mathematical difficulties with solving linear equations. What should also be stressed, however, is that the authors do not consider this to be a new method for solving equations, nor a new form of representation. It is simply the exploitation of an image with which the students are already comfortable, to support their developing understandings of linear equations through access to the solution strategies available. This is a crucial distinction and will be referred to a number of times during the course of the article.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A