Relational Thinker-Symbolic +/-

Recognizes and uses patterns that involve addition and subtraction and an understanding of equality. Can compare two sides of a number sentence with reasoning, even when the quantities are represented by variables, such as a + b = b + a. In functional thinking, generalizes functional relationships between two data sets, at first just noticing, and later a quantitative relationship. Uses letters for unknown numbers, an intial algebraic notion.


You may see this:

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Other Examples:

  • A child recognizes a + b = b + a (presented that way, symbolically) as a true statement in all cases.
  • Given a situation involving two data sets, relates the columns in a t-chart, describing how they added to get each number.

Help your student become a(n) Relational Thinker-Symbolic +/-

Activities challenge children to generalize the patterns in arithmetic they have generated and use to express them in algebraic language, such as a + 0 = a; a + b = b + a, and so forth. Discussion (math talk) is critical, rich, and exciting.

Special Thanks To

Institute of Education Sciences
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant numbers R305K050157, R305A120813, R305A110188, and R305A150243. to the University of Denver. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.