Two different solution contexts for the Math Is Beautiful investigation are described here: Ali Duncan's third-grade class at Prueter Public School in Kitchener, Ontario, solved the problem during a mathematics class; and Cynthia Hockman-Chupp's son in the second grade explored the investigation while on a plane trip during a family vacation. In both cases, students were asked to design a stained-glass window using specific criteria related to quadrilaterals. To meet the criteria, students had to consider how many shapes would fill a designated space, how different shapes can fit together to tile a surface, and the properties and attributes of different types of quadrilaterals.
Edited by Ed Enns, email@example.com, who works as an elementary learning services consultant with the Waterloo Region District School Board in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. In his work with elementary school mathematics teachers, he emphasizes conceptual understanding and is exploring effective strategies for teaching mathematics through problem solving. Each month, this section of the Problem Solvers department discusses the classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of TCM. Go to http://www.nctm.org/tcmdepartments to find detailed submission guidelines for all departments.