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This first project was designed to build the preliminary components for investigating the impacts of early algebra education on students’ algebra readiness in middle grades. The project goals were
- To coordinate research, curricular, and mathematical perspectives to design an Early Algebra Learning Progression [EALP] that identifies core algebraic concepts and their progression in children’s thinking across upper elementary and middle grades (grades 3-7). The EALP was based on the core algebraic concepts of (1) Variable, (2) Functional Thinking, (3) Equations, Expressions, Equality and Inequality, (3) Generalized Arithmetic and (5) Proportional Reasoning.
- Using the EALP, to design grade-based assessments of students’ algebra understanding for upper elementary and middle grades (grades 3-7) and to validate these assessments through psychometric testing.
- To conduct a preliminary study concerning the impact of an early algebra intervention based on the EALP and measured by the assessments developed in Project Goal 2.
- To use the EALP and associated tasks to identify appropriate tasks for content-based teacher professional development [TPD] and to refine this through implementation of the TPD.
Supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL #1207945