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Children's Understanding of Relationships and Project LEAP


Welcome! Dr. Maria Blanton's work, in collaborations with her colleagues at TERC, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Texas-Austin, the City University of New York, and Tufts University, focuses on two lines of early algebra research: Project LEAP focuses on how an introduction to algebraic concepts and algebraic ways of thinking in the elementary grades might better prepare them for a more formal study of algebra in middle school and beyond; Children's Understanding of Relationships (CUF/CUG) projects focus on developing the cognitive foundations of children’s understanding of algebraic concepts as they begin formal schooling in Kindergarten. Blanton and colleagues have found that young children — as early as Kindergarten — can develop relatively sophisticated understandings of core algebraic concepts and even seem to exhibit less of the difficulties that adolescents have with these concepts.


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