Algebraic Reasoning: Professor Arbegla
Introduces Variables and Functions
GEMS Teacher's Guide for Grades 35
Written by Jaine Kopp with Kimi Hosoume
The delightful activities in this guide help build a solid foundation
in algebraic reasoning for students in Grades 3-5. Within a compelling
and challenging context, students are introduced to Professor
Arbegla's "Fabulous Function Machine." A letter from
the Professor herself then describes a malfunction in the machine
that students are asked to solve. Other letters with problem-solving
challenges are received over the course of the unit as students
gain essential algebraic understandings, learn about equations,
and apply what they've learned to problems related to area, including
the design of a bedroom floor plan. Throughout the unit, students
write in journals and the class keeps adding to an "Algebra
This new GEMS guide makes a very strong connection to the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) principles and standards
as it builds crucial scaffolding for more complex algebraic reasoning
in later grades.
See also GEMS Early Adventures in Algebra: Featuring Zero the Hero for Grades 1–2.
Interested in learning more about GEMS and math instruction? Download our PowerPoint presentation on The Rainbow of Math.