Tips from Teachers on Using Algebraic Reasoning in the Classroom

Ask students to

Demonstrate their strategies for solving a problem.
Look to their peers for ideas about solving problems.
Explain (verbally and in writing) how they arrived at a particular solution.
Determine if their solutions were different from those of their peers.
Articulate patterns in data.
Demonstrate real world connections to school mathematics.
Test the validity of their solutions.
Make connections to previous mathematical activities.
Model problems through graphs, charts and tables.

The teachers practice should

Emphasize justifying and organizing information.
Promote classroom interactions.
Focus on the process of problem-solving (not just the answers).
Follow students’ thinking.
Include extending problems to include “what if” scenarios (conjecturing).
Allow students to do the work (rather than telling them what to do).
Extend small number problems to larger, less comfortable numbers.