WALTHAM, MA | April 7, 2014
An EDC mathematics curriculum takes a new approach to algebra learning, connecting the concrete procedures of arithmetic to the abstract reasoning that success in algebra requires. Transition to Algebra, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and published by Heinemann, builds on a history of curriculum development at EDC centered on fostering mathematical habits of mind. It is designed to be used flexibly to support algebra in Grades 6—10.
The new curriculum was developed over four years by an EDC team of mathematics specialists. Designed initially for high school students underprepared for algebra, the materials are also appropriate for use as a middle-school introduction to algebra. It is based on research that has shown that, in order to be successful with algebra, students must be able to shift their focus from the numbers themselves to reasoning about the operations on those numbers. To facilitate this shift, Transition to Algebra lets students use their own logic to make sense of and succeed in mathematics, presenting algebra as a commonsense, understandable subject.
“We find that many students disconnect mathematics from common sense,” said EDC’s June Mark, project director and developer. “Transition to Algebra uses explorations, problems, and puzzles to build the logic of algebra to help students make sense of what they are learning.”
Transition to Algebra consists of 12 curriculum units, 80 lessons, and 22 algebraic explorations that develop algebraic concepts and skills systematically through varied approaches and appropriate practice. Concept development and skills practice are interwoven, so that students continue to use and develop what they have learned. The curriculum uses mathematical puzzles, mental mathematics exercises, student dialogues and discussions, and also includes Teaching Guides, Answer Keys, and a variety of digital resources that all support each unit of study and offer additional explorations and related activities.
Transition to Algebra is aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice. It will be available May 2014.
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) is a global nonprofit organization that creates learning opportunities for people around the world, empowering them to pursue healthier, more productive lives. EDC manages 250 projects in 30 countries. Visit www.edc.org.