Improving Children's Understanding of Equivalence

Screenshot from ICUE video

Many researchers and educators believe that understanding mathematical equivalence — whether two expressions or quantities are equal — is essential for developing children’s algebraic thinking. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics call out equivalence as a key topic for mastery in early elementary grades. In particular, second-grade students who understand the meaning behind the equal sign are better prepared to learn new math concepts in later grades.

WestEd is partnering with Nicole McNeil, a professor and cognitive development researcher at Notre Dame University, to conduct the Improving Children’s Understanding of Equivalence (ICUE) Efficacy Study, which is aimed at second-grade students.

Read the background, methodology, and intended outcomes of the ICUE Efficacy Study, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. You can also watch a short video.

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