About Project Z

Making sense of integers is particularly challenging for children and yet is foundational for success with first-year algebra coursework. In this research and development project, we mapped developmental trajectories of students’ conceptions of integers. We analyzed more than 160 interviews from students in grades 2, 4, 7, and 11. Collectively, the conceptions identified across these interviews will help us to map the terrain from informal to expert conceptions of integers.

We have used findings from the interviews to create a framework to identify problem types as well as Ways of Reasoning (WoRs) as related to student thinking about integers and integer operations. Teachers and researchers can use the developmental trajectories to understand students’ thinking about integers. This project has the potential to influence the teaching and research community. See the right column for videos and a list of publications. 

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number DRL-0918780. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.