The subject of algebra has always been important in American secondary mathematics education. However, algebra at the elementary level has been garnering increasing attention and importance over the past 15 years. There is consequently a dire need for ideas, suggestions, and models for how best to achieve pre-algebraic instruction in the elementary grades. Planting the Seeds of Algebra will empower teachers with theoretical and practical knowledge about both the content and pedagogy of such instruction, and show them the different faces of algebra as it appears in the early grades. The book will walk teachers of young children through many examples of 3-5 math lessons and unpack, step by step, the hidden connections to higher algebra. After reading this book, teachers will be better equipped to reflect on their teaching, renew their thinking, and change parts of their practice in order to transform their classroom culture into one where both students and teachers are attuned to algebraic thinking, reasoning, talking, writing, and doing.
- Exploration I. Geometry, Measurement, and Data: An Algebraic Perspective
- Chapter 1: Circling Circles: The Lesson (Grade 3)
- Chapter 2: Behind Circling Circles: Algebra Connections
- Chapter 3: Beyond Circling Circles: More Problems to Explore
- Exploration II.Patterns and Functions: What's Their Connection to Algebra?
- Chapter 4: Fancy Fences: The Lesson (Grades 4–5)
- Chapter 5: Behind Fancy Fences: Algebra Connections
- Chapter 6: Beyond Fancy Fences: More Problems to Explore
- Exploration III. Making Sense of Multiplication: The Importance of the Distributive Property
- Chapter 7: Multiplication Musings: The Lesson (Grades 3–4)
- Chapter 8: Behind Multiplication Musings: Algebra Connections
- Chapter 9: Beyond Multiplication Musings: More Problems to Explore
- Exploration IV.Fundamentals of Rational Numbers: Beyond Part–Whole Relationships
- Chapter 10: Fractions in Action: From Work with Teachers, Students, and Parents (Grades 3–5)
- Chapter 11: Final Thoughts