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Early algebra is viewed as a critical means for preparing students for success in a more formal study of algebra in middle and secondary grades. However, this premise has been virtually unexplored. Therefore, the primary purpose of this project is to (1) measure the effectiveness of a teacher-led early algebra intervention, in demographically diverse settings, on children’s algebra readiness for middle school and (2) assess the fidelity with which elementary teachers implement the intervention in authentic, intact classrooms.

We will use a cluster randomized trial research design where treatment is implemented at the school level to test the effectiveness of our early algebra intervention as the participants advance from grades 3–6.

Key outcomes include growth in students’ understanding of core algebraic concepts and algebra readiness, as well as general mathematical knowledge, because of the early algebra intervention.

Supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A140092.