# Introduction to equation solving for a new generation of algebra learners

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Abstract

*Understandingof equality and solving equations are some of the big ideas in algebra. They havebeen in focus in early algebra research for some decades and in many countriesit is now usual to work with equalities and solving equations using informalmethods from early school years. However, it is not clear how the transition toformal methods of equation solving could be conducted in order to maintainstudents’ interest and enhance their algebraic understanding. We shed light onthe issue by reporting on what happens when three teachers introduce equationsolving with formal methods in Grade 6 (age of 12) in Finland. We especiallyconsider how the introduction could support students’ development of analgebraic understanding of equality and their engagement in more formalmathematics.*