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Maria Blanton

—(2008) Invited book. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishers.


Algebra in the Elementary Classroom provides the support we need as teachers to embed the development of students’ algebraic thinking in the teaching of elementary school. 

—Megan Loef Franke
Coauthor of Children’s Mathematics and Thinking Mathematically


How do you start students down the road to mathematical understanding? By laying the foundation for algebra in the elementary grades.

Algebra and the Elementary Classroom shares ideas, tasks, and practices for integrating algebraic thinking into your teaching. Through research-based and classroom-tested strategies, it demonstrates how to use materials you have on hand to prepare students for formal algebra instruction—without adding to your overstuffed curriculum. You’ll find ways to:

  • introduce algebraic thinking through familiar arithmetical contexts
  • nurture it by helping students think about, represent, and build arguments for their mathematical ideas
  • develop it by exploring mathematical structures and functional relationships
  • strengthen it by asking students to make algebraic connections across the curriculum
  • reinforce it across the grades through a schoolwide initiative.

No matter what your math background is, Algebra and the Elementary Classroom offers strong support for integrating algebraic thinking into your daily teaching. Its clear descriptions show you what algebraic thinking is and how to teach it. Its sample problems deepen your own algebraic thinking. Best of all, it gives you ideas for grade-specific instructional planning.

Read Algebra and the Elementary Classroom and prepare your students for a lifetime of mathematical understanding.

Purchase book.