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Algebraic Thinking in the Elementary School

Begins 01/01/2011

This workshop provides teachers of grades 3 through 5 with an opportunity to explore how activities that foster algebraic thinking can be integrated into the elementary classroom. Algebraic thinking consists of more than just learning how to solve for the variables x and y; it helps students think about mathematics at an abstract level, and provides them with a way to reason about real-life problems. In this course, participants will explore three components of algebraic thinking: making generalizations, thinking about the equals sign, and being able to reason about unknown quantities. As participants stretch their own algebraic reasoning skills, they will also spend considerable time thinking about how to integrate algebraic tasks into their own classroom instruction. This course uses readings, video, online discussion boards, a final project, and engaging mathematics problems to promote the idea that the incorporation of algebraic thinking tasks in elementary school mathematics is critical to students' future success.