Fostering Understanding of Variable with Patterns

  • Fostering Understanding of Variable with Patterns

    Jessie C. Store, Kerri D. Richardson, and Tyrette S. Carter
    Try these four growing-pattern strategies to teach algebraic thinking in elementary school.
    Consider ways in which you engage students in algebraic ideas. Do those include helping your learners develop the concept of variable? Based on a study with six elementary school teachers and 115 students in grades 3, 4, and 5, this article discusses ways that teachers might support an understanding of variable as students explore pattern-finding activities. The practices emerged from interviews with teachers and a yearlong observation of teaching algebraic thinking during an afterschool program at six elementary schools.
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