NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1143369
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1954
Sense Making in the Context of Algebraic Activities
Palatnik, Alik; Koichu, Boris
Educational Studies in Mathematics, v95 n3 p245-262 Jul 2017
This article concerns student sense making in the context of algebraic activities. We present a case in which a pair of middle-school students attempts to make sense of a previously obtained by them position formula for a particular numerical sequence. The exploration of the sequence occurred in the context of two-month-long student research project. The data were collected from the students' drafts, audiotaped meetings of the students with the teacher and a follow-up interview. The data analysis was aimed at identification and characterization of the algebraic activities in which the students were engaged and the processes involved in the students' sense-making quest. We found that sense-making process consisted of a sequence of generational and transformational algebraic activities in the overarching context of a global, meta-level activity, long-term problem solving. In this sense-making process, the students: (1) formulated and justified claims; (2) made generalizations, (3) found the mechanisms behind the algebraic objects (i.e., answered why-questions); and (4) established coherence among the explored objects. The findings are summarized as a suggestion for a four component decomposition of algebraic sense making.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A