Rather than wait till students reach middle school, teachers are introducing children to algebra concepts in the early grades by tapping into their intuitive math skills.
Melissa Romano grew up attending school in classrooms that were quiet and orderly. And she liked it that way.
Today, as a 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Romano has learned to tolerate and even encourage more spirited discussion among her pupils, in the hope of cultivating their mathematical skills and, specifically, their algebraic thinking.
As educators and policymakers search for ways to prepare students for the rigors of algebra, Ms. Romano, at Broadwater Elementary School, and other teachers in the Helena, Mont., school system are starting early. They are among the teachers in a number of schools who are attempting to nurture students’ algebraic-reasoning ability, as well as their basic number skills, in early elementary school, rather than waiting until middle...
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