Pre-Service Teachers' Knowledge for Teaching Algebra for Equity in the Middle Grades: A Preliminary Report

Irving Brown
Trina Davis
Gerald Kulm
Lead Organization(s): 
Short Description: 

This article presents our plans and initial work to explore how mathematics teacher education programs can prepare teachers for diverse middle grades classrooms. It describes the start-up of a five-year National Science Foundation project to design, develop, and test technology-enriched teacher preparation strategies to address equity in algebra learning. The participants in this pilot group demonstrated a need to develop their mathematical problem-solving skills, but they also exhibited strong beliefs about their own potential to be successful in the mathematics classroom. Preliminary results appear to indicate that Second Life (software) simulations can provide rich settings for teacher development on specific mathematics teaching skills and challenge them to apply their ideas about diversity. (Contains 5 tables and 4 figures.)

Teaching Mathematics, Teaching Students, Teaching Mathematics to Students (Thompson, Miller)

Patrick Thompson
Christina Miller
Short Description: 

This session considers teachers’ transitions from teacher-centered mathematics to student-centered mathematics, including issues of meaning, coherence, and learnability, as well as the importance of working with colleagues.

Developing Algebra-ready students for Middle School: Exploring the Impact of Early Algebra (Blanton, Knuth)

Maria Blanton
Eric Knuth
Short Description: 

This is a 3-year project designed to build the preliminary components for investigating the impacts of early algebra education on students’ algebra readiness in middle grades.

Transition to Algebra PD and Curriculum Orientation

Event Date: 
Thu, 08/23/2012 - 8:30am to 12:00pm
Event Contact: 

We invite teachers, coaches, and other instructional leaders who will be using Transition to Algebra materials in the upcoming school year to a special orientation at Education Development Center (EDC). Transition to Algebra is a full-year algebra support curriculum that focuses on building algebraic habits of mind in order to raise the competence and confidence of students who may need extra support to succeed in a first-year algebra class. Find out more at

Event Type: 

What Do We Do with the Kids Who “Aren’t Ready” for Algebra?


Presenters from two projects developing and researching ninth-grade “double-period” algebra approaches and materials present their distinct but compatible perspectives. Group discussion is encouraged.

1:45 pm to 3:45 pm
Session Type: 
PI-organized Discussion
Session Materials: 

Having students enter high school “unready” for algebra is not a new or rare problem. The challenges, frankly, are vast. Students identified as “unready” are extremely varied, as are the reasons they are included in specialized classes. Some, for example, are mathematically competent, but included “for English language support.” More, of course, have some difficulty specific to mathematics. Of those, many are weak in arithmetic.


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