The Fostering Algebraic Thinking Toolkit is a set of professional development materials whose goal is to help mathematics teachers in grades 6-10 learn to identify, describe, and foster algebraic thinking in their students. Underlying the Toolkit is a core belief that good mathematics teaching begins with understanding how mathematics is learned. The focus here is on how students think about mathematics.
The Toolkit features four separate modules containing notes for the facilitator and reproducible blackline masters for the workshop participants. Each module concentrates on a different kind of classroom evidence and, in facilitated sessions, asks teachers to collect student and/or teacher data to share and analyze with colleagues. A module can be covered in four three-hour sessions.
Documenting Patterns of Student Thinking
Participants will find in this module more written student work to analyze, but the focus, instead, is on patterns of thinking across a class of students. The module takes a step beyond analyzing data to systematically recording the information gained through analysis. The issues of alignment between goals for student learning and the mathematical questions that are posed to students are addressed.