A good problem can capture students' curiosity and can serve many functions in the elementary school classroom: to introduce specific concepts the teacher can build on once students recognize the need for additional mathematics or to help students see where to apply already-learned concepts. We encourage teachers to use the monthly problem in their own classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience.
Erin R. Moss, email@example.com, is an assistant professor in the mathematics department at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
Edited by Signe E. Kastberg, a teacher of prospective elementary school teachers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Each month, this section of the Problem Solvers department features a new challenge for students. Readers are encouraged to submit problems to be considered for future columns. Receipt of problems will not be acknowledged; however, those selected for publication will be credited to the author. Find detailed submission guidelines for all departments at www.nctm.org/tcmdepartments.