About cookies

The NCETM site uses cookies. Read more about our privacy policy

Please agree to accept our cookies. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're happy to accept them.


Personal Learning Login

Sign Up | Forgotten password?
Register with the NCETM

National Curriculum: Algebra - Year 6 - Articles

Created on 24 October 2013 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 18 December 2013 by ncetm_administrator


In this short and very readable article, Jenny Murray explains what algebra actually is, why it is important, and how one can make really secure links from informal algebra at the primary stage to the more formal algebra of the secondary curriculum.

In this research article Dave Hewitt argues that children’s difficulties in learning formal algebraic notation is more to do with interpreting and using someone else’s notation than the act of symbolising itself. It includes an account of a study undertaken in an inner-city multicultural primary school where the use of ‘Grid Algebra’ software and associated pedagogy supported the year 5 children in using such notation fluently.

There is a strong case for arguing that the application of relational thinking in arithmetic is linked to the development of algebraic thinking. In this paper Max Stephens looks at the design and implementation of a questionnaire used in three countries to examine students’ capacity to use relational thinking to solve different types of number sentences. He finds that while some students appear to rely solely on computational methods, others were able to demonstrate clear use of relational strategies.

In this detailed and systematic review of how students learn algebra, Anne Watson describes and analyses key understandings and misconceptions in algebra and offers a series of recommendations; about mathematical learning, for teaching and for research.


Comment on this item  
Add to your NCETM favourites
Remove from your NCETM favourites
Add a note on this item
Recommend to a friend
Comment on this item
Send to printer
Request a reminder of this item
Cancel a reminder of this item



01 February 2018 14:35
Hewitt, D. (2009) The role of attention in the learning of formal algebraic notation: the case of a mixed ability Year 5 using the software Grid Algebra, Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics 29(3) Joubert, M. (Ed.)

By TeachR
         Alert us about this comment  
Only registered users may comment. Log in to comment