Center for Algebraic Thinking


Middle and High School



Free (after you create a username and password)


Type of Video

Nearly all the videos (66 of 68) are of individual task-based interviews, 1 of a teacher leading a short discussion (34 seconds), and 1 of a whole class (38 minutes.)


Length of Videos

Most videos are between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Some of the individual videls go longer, up to five minutes.  


Number of Videos

68 videos


Content Domains

Algebraic Relations, Analysis of Change, Modeling and Word Problems, Patterns and Functions, Pre-algebra, variables and expressions, linear equations, proportional reasoning


Description of the Videos 

  • For the most part, the videos are short, task based interviews of students working to solve problems connected to algebraic thinking. 

  • Many of the videos are of students solving problems with decontextualized algebraic equations 

  • and expressions, asking them what variables might equal, for instance, or what two expressions are the same. Other tasks involve making sense of graphs and the relationships between quantities.  


Usefulness of the Videos

  • The videos are extremely useful in highlighting student thinking and both the way they understand algebraic ideas and common misconceptions around those ideas.  

  • Furthermore, the videos are referenced by content domain, and common core standard, so you 

  • can search the videos for ones on specific content.


Ancillary Materials

The website has a rich set of ancillary materials.  They include:  

  • An “Encyclopedia of Algebraic Thinking” which is a searchable database of 164 entries about algebraic thinking.  

    • Each entry includes a connection to the CCSS-M, an introduction to the idea, a comment on symbolic representation connected to this topic, interviews with students, mathematical issues, teaching strategies and a list of references.  It also invites readers to share their own experiences with this topic.  

  • A database of 101 assessment questions, aligned with content domains and common core state standards.  These assessments have also been used in their video interviews, as well as in many of the references that they cite in their encyclopedia.

  • 15 modules for use by mathematics teacher educators on various elements of algebraic thinking.  

    • Each module includes an introductory set of problems for participants to engage in, video of students engaging in the problems, research findings, assessment questions, suggestions for teaching and a list of references. 

  • An instructional technologies database, in which they describe various technologies.

  • Apps that they have developed for use in the classroom.

  • An extensive list of references related to algebraic thinking.



Center for Algebraic Thinking, a consortium of Willamette University, George Fox University, Pacific University, and Western Oregon University


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