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Operations & Algebraic Thinking

Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication

The Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standards emphasize relationships among quantities, including functions, patterns, ways of representing mathematical relationships, and the analysis of change. Algebra is best learned as a set of concepts and techniques tied to the representation of quantitative relations. It is a style of mathematical thinking for formalizing patterns, functions, and generalizations. Although many adults think that algebra is an area of mathematics more suited to middle school or high school students, even young children can be encouraged to use algebraic reasoning as they study numbers and operations and as they investigate patterns and relations among sets of numbers. In these standards, the connections of algebra to numbers and everyday situations are extended in the later grade bands to include geometric ideas.
In second grade, students need to explore and model relationships using language and notation that are meaningful for them. Students need to see different relationships and make generalizations from their experiences with numbers. Students can model the same quantity in different ways. This helps to deepen their understanding of the concept of number.