Early algebra is not the same as algebra early. (English)

Kaput, James J. (ed.) et al., Algebra in the early grades. London: Routledge (ISBN 978-0-8058-5472-5/hbk; 978-0-8058-5473-2/pbk). Studies in Mathematical Thinking and Learning Series, 235-272 (2008).

From the text: In Chapter 10, the authors describe how “early algebra is not the same as algebra early" with respect to: the role of background contexts and quantities, how notation is introduced, and its connectedness to existing topics in the early mathematics curriculum. They argue that algebra requires a shift in focus from the individual case to sets of cases ‒ a kind of generalization for which the concept of function will play a key role. They find that young students can make remarkable progress in this shift when topics of early grades mathematics are reframed in this way.