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Operations and Algebraic Thinking

 Narrative for the (OA) Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Algebraic thinking is about generalizing arithmetic operations and operating on unknown quantities.  It involves recognizing and analyzing patterns and developing generalizations about these patterns.  In algebra, symbols can be used to represent generalizations. Operations and Algebraic Thinking deals with the basic operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division - the relationships they model, the kinds of problems they can be used to solve, as well as, their mathematical properties and relationships.

As preparation for the Expressions and Equations domain in the middle grades, students in Grade 5 begin working more formally with expressions. They write expressions to express a calculation, e.g., writing 2 x (8+7) to express the calculation “add 8 and 7, then multiply by 2.” They also evaluate and interpret expressions, e.g., using their conceptual understanding of multiplication to interpret 3 x (18932+921) as being three times as large as 18932+921, without having to calculate the indicated sum or product. Students in Grade 5 begin to think about numerical expressions in ways that prepare their later work with variable expressions (e.g., three times an unknown length is 3 x L).

Students extend their Grade 4 pattern work by working briefly with two numerical patterns that can be related and examining these relationships within sequences of ordered pairs and in graphs. This work prepares students for studying proportional relationships and functions in middle school.

Calculation Method for Domains

Domains are larger groups of related standards. The Domain Grade is a calculation of all the related standards. Click on the standard name below each Domain to access the learning targets and rubrics/ proficiency scales for individual standards within the domain.

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