Quilt investigations, such as the Barn quilt problem in the December 2008/January 2009 issue of Teaching Children Mathematics and its solutions in last month's issue, can spark interdisciplinary pursuits for teachers and exciting connections for the full range of elementary school students. This month, North Dakota's centennial quilt problem blends the mathematical strands of measurement, data and probability, geometry, and number.
Marian Small, www.onetwoinfinity.ca, has been a long-time professor of math education at both the elementary and secondary school levels at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. She is the author of seven text series and several professional books on big ideas in math, questioning, and differentiated instruction.
Edited by Julie S. Long, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Each month this section of the “problem solvers” department features a new problem for students. Readers are encouraged to submit problems to the editors to be considered for future columns. Receipt of problems will not be acknowledged; however, problems selected for publication will be credited to the author. See detailed submission guidelines for all departments at www.nctm.org/tcmdepartments.