Foundations to Algebraic Mastery

Vicki-Lynn Holmes, Karla Spence, Jane Finn, Shelia McGee Ingram, Libbey Horton


Realizing that Algebra 1 is a gatekeeper to not only higher mathematics, but STEM careers in general (Blanchard & Muller, 2015; Stoelinga & Lynn, 2013), it is imperative that our students master the content matter. To this end, four essential components to ensuring success for Algebra 1 students have been identified: (a) basic skill development, (b) computational ease, (c) step-by-step scaffolding, and (d) the extensive use of the Explain-Practice-Assess (EPA) Strategy (Holmes, Spence, Finn, & Ingram, 2017). In this article, each of these four components is described in detail with accompanying examples. These examples model evidenced-based practices and provide a very useful guide for algebra teachers in their own classrooms.

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