Math Forum - Problems Library - Primary, Algebraic Reasoning

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checkmarkalgebraic thinking
  visual patterns
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operations with numbers
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algebraic thinking
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About the
PoW Library

Algebraic Thinking
Young students should experience problems which help them develop the reasoning and representational skills that form the foundation of the symbolic algebra they will encounter in the middle grades. These include classifying, patterns and relationships, and functions. Children begin to learn to use charts and tables to organize and record information.

Some of these problems address these specific subtopics:

Related Resources
Interactive resources from our Math Tools project:
   Math 1: Algebra
NCTM Standards:
   Algebra Standard for Grades Pre-K-3

Access to these problems requires a Membership.

Ants on a Bun -
Grade K. Find out how many ants were at a picnic. ... more>>

Apple Celebration -
Grade 1. Figure out the growth pattern of a tree to predict its future height. ... more>>

Building a Tower
Grade K. How many blocks has Ming put on Ali's tower? ... more>>

Catching Minnows -
Grade 2. Figure out how many minnows Anna will catch if she continues a pattern. ... more>>

Clowning Around -
Grade 1. Use repeated addition to find out how many balls the clowns are juggling. ... more>>

Count Them Up -
Grade 1. Write a number sentence to explain how many pennies Darryl has. ... more>>

Cupcake Combinations -
Grade K. Extend a pattern of cupcakes. ... more>>

Decorating Cookies -
Grade 1. Find out what type of sprinkles Roger will put on the cookies he is baking. ... more>>

Donut Sale -
Grade 1. Figure out how much Geneva has to spend for 8 donuts. ... more>>

Goody Bags -
Grade 2. How many red and green gumdrops will Antonia put in each goody bag if she wants each goody bag to be different? ... more>>

Gym Line
Grade K. Identify a pattern and use it to figure out who's next in line. ... more>>

How Far Will Taylor Run? -
Grade 2. Follow a pattern to figure out how far Taylor can run without stopping. ... more>>

How Many Berries Did I Eat? -
Grade 1. Reason about whether I ate more blueberries or raspberries. ... more>>

How Tall Is Your Tower? -
Grade 1. Identify the pattern and use it to answer some questions about a row of block towers. ... more>>

I Can Skip Count -
Grade 1. Find the next numbers in the pattern. ... more>>

Ice Cream Sandwiches -
Grade K. Find out how many cookies Ariana needs to make enough treats for her friends. ... more>>

I See a Pattern -
Grade K. What is the next number in the sequence? ... more>>

Lunch Line -
Grade K. Follow a basic alternating pattern to find a given student in line. ... more>>

Magic More Machine -
Grade K. Figure out what the Magic More Machine does when you put fruits and veggies into it. ... more>>

Number Fun -
Grade 1. Use clues to help Dominic solve a number riddle. ... more>>

Picture This -
Grade 2. Find out how many pictures Isabel will finish if she keeps drawing more each day. ... more>>

Playing with Patterns -
Grade 1. Find the next numbers in the pattern. ... more>>

Puppies for Sale -
Grade 1. Determine how many puppies are in the crates. ... more>>

Rock Patterns -
Grade 2. Arrange 4 different kinds of rocks to make a pattern. ... more>>

Saul's Cupcakes -
Grade K. Figure out how many cupcakes Saul will put on the fifth plate. ... more>>

Snow Globes -
Grade 2. Follow a pattern to figure out how many snow globes Angie will place on her shelves. ... more>>

Grade 1. Help the superhero figure out how many laps he's done. ... more>>

The Arm-Wrestling Match -
Grade 2. How many arm-wrestling matches will take place in a contest between six friends? ... more>>

Time for Ice Cream! -
Grade K. Figure out which of three ice cream treats Chen prefers. ... more>>

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