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 K-6 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.
Chapter 5: Behind Sticker Stickler—Algebra Connections
Behind Sticker Stickler—Algebra Connections
For centuries, many students have learned mathematical knowledge—whether the rudiments of arithmetic computation or the complexities of geometric theorems—without much understanding. … Mathematics learning has often been more a matter of memorizing than of understanding.
Today it is vital that young people understand the mathematics they are learning. Whether using computer graphics on the job or spreadsheets at home, people need to move fluently back and forth between graphs, tables of data, and formulas. … In a society saturated with advanced technology, people will be called on more and more to evaluate the relevance and validity of calculations done by calculators and more sophisticated machines.
Citizens who cannot reason mathematically are cut off from whole realms of human endeavor. ...