Tag Archives: teaching algebraic thinking

How to scaffold algebraic thinking in teaching integers

One way to make algebra make sense to students is to show where those mathematics objects (e.g. algebraic expressions/equations/formula) come from. It will even makes sense more to students if they themselves can generate those objects. As John Mason puts it, The mechanics of algebra (algebraic manipulation) are concerned with studying the effects of combining,… Read More »

Teaching algebraic expressions – Counting smileys

This is an introductory lesson for teaching the concept of variable and algebraic expressions through problem solving. The problem solving task combines numerical, geometric, and algebraic thinking.  The figure below shows the standard version of the task. Of course some easier versions would ask for the 5th figure, then perhaps 10th figure, then the 100th… Read More »

Teach for conceptual and practical understanding

Whit Ford left this comment on my post Curriculum Change and Understanding by Design: What are they solving? He makes a lot of sense. I just have to share it. I believe the method of planning lessons is less important than WHAT you are asking the students to think about. Most Algebra I and II… Read More »

Assessing conceptual understanding of integers

Assessing students’ understanding of operations involving integers should not just include assessing their skill in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing integers. Equally important is their conceptual understanding of the process itself and thus need assessing as well. Even more important is to make the assessment process  a context where students are given opportunity to connect… Read More »

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