The goal of this session, as well as many that follow, is to immerse ourselves in mathematics that illustrates two components of algebraic thinking: mathematical thinking tools (problem solving, representation, and reasoning skills) and algebraic ideas (functions, patterns, variables, generalized arithmetic, and symbolic manipulation).
Groups: Discuss how these two components relate to the current debate in mathematics reform. Then, divide into small groups to answer Problems A1 and A2. When finished, everyone should share their answers with the whole group.
At this point, the idea of what algebraic thinking is may not be clear. The purpose here is not to construct a precise definition, but to consider initial ideas without judgment as a way of beginning a longer conversation. In fact, in Session 9 we will consider the same questions again, in order to evaluate whether our conception of algebraic thinking has broadened and strengthened.
<< back to Part A: A Framework for Algebraic Thinking