Grade 6 students' abilities to represent functional relationships

Isler I., Strachota S., Stephens A., Fonger N., Blanton M., Gardiner A., ...More

10th Congress of the European-Society-for-Research-in-Mathematics-Education (CERME), Dublin, Ireland, 1 - 05 February 2017, pp.432-439 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • City: Dublin
  • Country: Ireland
  • Page Numbers: pp.432-439
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper reports results from Grade 6 students' written work on a functional thinking assessment item. The results show that students who experienced an early algebra intervention during Grades 3-5 were more likely to successfully represent a function rule in words and variables than students who did not. Also, both comparison and intervention groups of students were found to be more successful representing a function rule in variables than in words. The results underscore the impact of early algebra on students' later success in algebra, specifically with functional thinking, and challenge the notion that variable as a varying quantity should not be introduced until secondary school.