Pre-algebra in the Elementary School

One issue that preservice teachers can have with addressing the idea of algebra in the elementary school is their perception of what algebra should look like at this level. I suggest beginning this topic by asking the PST a simple question:

What do you think of when you think of algebra?

I can't speak for all PST and their responses, but I'm confident that you will hear a lot of ideas from a high school algebra 1 course. If the discussion needs redirecting, try and focus their attention on some of the big ideas in algebraic reasoning:


This site contains some GSP files that can be used to address some of these larger ideas in algebra. Each file is a dynamic environment that can be used for exploration within a given area. If you click on the links above, you will be taken to a page that contains the file and some of the possible instructional ideas afforded by it.


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