By guest author Tom Clark
Parents and educators have begun abandoning the middle school configuration, generally opting for a K–8 format, and new research suggests that the way we organize grades does matter. When this age group is gathered by the hundreds and educated separately, both behavior and learning suffer. Of course, the controversy continues.
But what does all of this have to do with teaching Mathematics? Changing arithmetic thinking to algebraic thinking is a critical dynamic in the study of Mathematics. And, once we are comfortable that students are competent in Arithmetic (generally around the 6th grade), we should immediately begin revisiting arithmetic procedures with the understanding that many of those algorithms will change in Algebra. Let me explain.
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