Algebraic Thinking

Excellent article about Algebraic Thinking in Primary School. SEA 2019 Students, are you prepared?

Strategies for Teaching Elementary Mathematics

ALGEBRAIC THINKING

What is algebraic thinking?

“The development of algebraic thinking is a process, not an event” (Seeley, 2004). 

Kriegler believes that the term algebraic thinking “has become a catch-all phrase for the mathematics teaching and learning that will prepare students for successful experiences in algebra and beyond” (n.d ).

A Few Key Things:

Equality & the concept of equivalence: Many students have the misconception that the equal sign means “solve” or “the answer is.” In reality, the equal sign just means “the same as.” Teachers need to expose students to true/false equations about equality (i.e. 9+0=9 or 8=5+3). This is especially important when variables are introduced.

Inequality: Students need to reach a conceptual understanding of the greater than and less than symbols without memory tricks.

Positive & Negative Numbers: Early on, students need to be exposed to some negative numbers. If we always say “You can’t take 4…

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