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Childrens' Algebraic Reasoning in Elementary School

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Author(s): Victoria R. Jacobs, Megan Loef Franke, Thomas P. Carpenter, Linda Levi, and Dan Battey


A Large-Scale Study of Professional Development Focused on Childrens' Algebraic Reasoning in Elementary School

Through a year-long experimental study, we found positive effects of a professional development project that involved 19 urban elementary schools, 180 teachers, and 3735 students from one of the lowest performing districts in California. Algebraic reasoning as generalized arithmetic and the study of relations was used as the centerpiece for work with teachers in Grades 1—5. Participating teachers generated a wider variety of student strategies, including more strategies that reflected the use of relational thinking, than did nonparticipating teachers. Students in participating classes showed significantly better understanding of the equal sign and used significantly more strategies reflecting relational thinking during interviews than did students in classes of nonparticipating teachers.

This item is available with a small fee through the NCTM (National Council for Teaching Mathematics) eRepository. Follow the link below to access their site.


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