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ERIC Number: EJ862805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Early Algebra to Reach the Range of Learners
Schifter, Deborah; Russell, Susan Jo; Bastable, Virginia
Teaching Children Mathematics, v16 n4 p230-237 Nov 2009
Since 2001, the authors have been working with groups of teachers to investigate students' early algebraic thinking--learning representations, connections, and generalizations in the elementary school grades. They began paying attention to students' explicit remarks about regularities in the number system or what students imply by their calculations. As the investigation progressed, instead of waiting for students to remark, the authors considered how lessons could be organized to bring attention to such regularities. Teachers have reported how the understanding evoked by such discussions about operational behavior supports their students' computational fluency. In the current project, teachers have been following students who tend to struggle with math in relation to their peers as well as those who excel. They are finding that early algebra benefits the entire range of learners. This article offers two classroom vignettes to illustrate the kind of early algebraic reasoning that elementary school students engage in. One vignette features an individual student who excels in computation; the other features one who tends to struggle. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; 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