THE ALGEBRA PROJECT
The Robert Moses Algebra Project is a national movement at the
cutting edge of mathematics reform. The goal of the program is
to have as many students as possible prepared for algebra by the
end of 8th grade. In keeping with this goal, as an Algebra Project
site, ACCESS actively trains teachers in the use of a five-step
curricular process. This method leads the students from a common
shared experience to mathematical representation of concepts critical
to success in Algebra. As a 6th and 7th grade curriculum the
Algebra Project can be a cornerstone for middle school mathematics
programs integrating this program with other reform minded curriculum
at their schools.
Teachers are trained for 10 days during the summer. Implementation
Specialists who are trained Algebra Project teachers provide support
during the year with follow-up workshops. A team of teachers
from one school participate in the training together. They are
encouraged to meet on a weekly basis at their site during the
school year to support implementation.
The Algebra Project, uses field trips to develop the mathematical
concepts. Operations with integers and use of variables are important
components of the curriculum and are often the most difficult
concepts for algebra students to master. Moses leads students
away from the "take-away" arithmetic model to a "comparison"
algebraic model that includes direction as part of the model.
This new construct provides an intuitive understanding that
diffuses the difficulties many students experience when grappling
with algebraic logic.
At the heart of The Algebra Project is the five-step curricular
I. A common shared experience.
II. A graphic or pictorial representation of the experience.
III. A written expression of the experience.
IV. Development of the "structured" mathematical language
embedded in the experience.
V. Creating mathematical symbolic representations of the
This process allows the students to be actively engaged in their
own learning as they do hands on activities, write, discuss, and
group presentations of their work. Nationally recognized to meet
the national standards upon which the California Framework is
written, The Algebra Project specifically addresses the needs
of minority children. Robert Moses developed The Algebra Project
in response to concerns about the quality of math for his own
children. Since the project uses the experiences of the students
in developing the math, The Algebra Project is truly a multi-cultural
curriculum able to reach all students from very diverse backgrounds.