# Re: approaches to content

Thanks, Nancy, for the very interesting description of your work. This has been helpful to me as an example of structuring the content. In particular, you wrote
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``` For
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example, instead of starting with linear functions, we tend to work with students on activities that involve varying quantities of amount and rate,
```so that when they do encounter the 'degenerate' case of a linear
relationship, it is seen as a simpler case rather than a different
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phenomenon. Students don't encounter linear relationships nearly as often as they do more complex ones in life, so it is much easier to draw on their
```prior knowledge in supporting their thinking about and mathematizing
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which sounds to me like moving from the general to the particular, that is,
```that the kids are acquiring a general concept or method.

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Again, as with Peg's work, I'm wondering if the students "model" the general
```relation (between amount and rate, etc.) with some sort of special
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diagrams, or formulas, or tables, or special algebraic notation, and whether this helps them assimilate the general concept. I'd also be interested if you have methods for *assessing* whether students are actually solving problems by moving from the general to the particular, or just solving each particular problem as a new
```case.

That is, how can you assess that:

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```, it is seen as a simpler case rather than a different
phenomenon.
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```
Peter

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