UNDERSTANDING ALGEBRAIC WORD PROBLEMS IN EARLY AGES: A CASE STUDY EXPLORING 3RD GRADERS' THINKING IN SAUDI ARABIA
University of Tabuk (SAUDI ARABIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This study explored the extent to which children at a third-grade level could understand algebraic equations through solving word problems. Five word problems were designed and given, in turn, to six male Saudi students individually. Each student's work was observed and videotaped. The researcher focused on each student’s approach via his verbal justification for how he proceeded. After analyzing the results, it was found that most of the students were able to solve algebraic problems using a variety of approaches. They looked for patterns that fit what they had previously learned and developed, showing an ability to see relations and patterns, make generalizations, and understand functions. However, it was observed that students faced difficulties, such as an inability to use algebraic notations in forming equations, Also students were unable to solve those problems in which more than one variable was involved.
Keywords: Early ages, algebra learning.