Advanced Algebra Problem Strings
From the Introduction
“We believe that the regular use of the powerful routine called problem strings helps both students and teachers before and after investigations. Increasingly, problem strings are being used by teachers to:
- preview big ideas that will arise in an investigation,
- solidify the ideas and skills that came up in the investigation,
- create puzzlement, disequilibrium, and curiosity,
- invite students to prove or justify their ideas,
- describe and solidify strategies, and move towards efficient strategies,
- build students’ efficacy at choosing strategies, and
- generalize an idea beyond the task at hand.
Problem strings allow students to struggle in a contained, guided, purposeful set of tasks. They compliment and support the work of investigations and math discussions, working together to foster conversations and form conclusions about relationships, structures, and repeated reasoning. This is the work worthy of teachers, to help students develop and grow into mathematicians.”
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Each Problem String has the following sections:
- At a Glance
- Guiding the Problem String
- About the Mathematics
- Sample Final Display
- Facilitation Notes
Additionally, each Problem String has either full or partial Sample Interactions, or Important Question sections.
Use Algebra Problem Strings with the Discovering Advanced Algebra textbook to support the investigations, or with a different text to provide students with opportunities to construct mathematical concepts.