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Algebra

2015

Catherine Pearn

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The Importance Of Fractional Thinking As A Bridge To Algebraic Reasoning, Catherine Pearn, Max Stephens Jun 2015

The Importance Of Fractional Thinking As A Bridge To Algebraic Reasoning, Catherine Pearn, Max Stephens

Catherine Pearn

This presentation will discuss how Year 6 primary school students create algebraic meaning and syntax through their solutions of standard fraction problems. Sample solutions will show how students use best available symbols to move beyond arithmetic calculation and to create innovative chains of algebraic reasoning. Several efficient and successful multiplicative methods are used to achieve this goal—in contrast to less efficient methods, usually additive, which may work only with simple fractions. Teachers need to recognise the underlying algebraic meaning emerging from students solutions and help all students use more efficient strategies and build their own bridges to algebra.