Developing Essential Understanding of Algebraic Thinking for Teaching Mathematics in Grades 3-5

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National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2011 - Algebra - 102 pages
Like algebra at any level, early algebra is a way to explore, analyse, represent and generalise mathematical ideas and relationships. This book shows that children can and do engage in generalising about numbers and operations as their mathematical experiences expand. The authors identify and examine five big ideas and associated essential understandings for developing algebraic thinking in grades 3-5. The big ideas relate to the fundamental properties of number and operations, the use of the equals sign to represent equivalence, variables as efficient tools for representing mathematical ideas, quantitative reasoning as a way to understand mathematical relationships and functional thinking to generalise relationships between covarying quantities. The book examines challenges in teaching, learning and assessment and is interspersed with questions for teachers' reflection.

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