Growing Problem Solvers provides four original, related, classroom-ready mathematical tasks, one for each grade band. Together, these tasks illustrate the trajectory of learners’ growth as problem solvers across their years of school mathematics.
GPS: Teaching Shapes Inclusively
Samuel Otten, Tiffany J. LaCroix, Faustina Baah, and Rebekah Hanak
Using Number Talks to Compare Fractions
George J. Roy, Kristin E. Harbour, Christie Martin, and Matthew Cunningham
Using this strategy, a teacher facilitates a short conversation during which students verbally explain and justify reasoning. We have found that a coordinated series of number talks supports students’ reasoning when comparing fractions.
Deanna Pecaski McLennan
Promoting Discourse: Fractions on Number Lines
Susan Ahrendt, Debra Monson, and Kathleen Cramer
Examine fourth graders’ thinking about the unit, partitioning, order, and equivalence on the number line and consider ways to orchestrate mathematical discussions through the Five Practices.
The Opportunities of No-Solution Problems
Nicholas J. Gilbertson
When students encounter unusual situations or exceptions to rules, they can become frustrated and can question their understanding of particular topics. In this article, I share some practical tips.
Seeing Algebraic Structure: The Rubik's Cube
Amanda Milewski and Daniel Frohardt
Few high school students associate mathematics with playfulness. In this paper, we offer a series of lessons focused on the underlying algebraic structures of the Rubik's Cube. The Rubik's Cube offers students an interesting space to enjoy the playful side of mathematics, while appreciating mathematics otherwise lost in routine experiences.
Mathematical Explorations: A New Twist on Collaborative Learning
Stephanie M. Butman
Research on students' learning has made it clear that learning happens through an interaction with others and through communication. In the classroom, the more students talk and discuss their ideas, the more they learn. However, within a one-hour period, it is hard to give everyone an equal opportunity to talk and share their ideas. Organizing students in groups distributes classroom talk more widely and equitably (Cohen and Lotan 1997).
Developing the Area of a Trapezoid
Agida G. Manizade and Marguerite M. Mason
When calculating the area of a trapezoid, students use a range of problem-solving strategies and measurement concepts.
Amy F. Hillen and Tad Watanabe
Conjecturing is central to the work of reasoning and proving. This task gives fourth and fifth graders a chance to make conjectures and prove (or disprove) them.
Changing the Rules to Increase Discourse
Lisa A. Brooks and Juli K. Dixon
A second-grade teacher challenges the raise-your-hand-to-speak tradition and enables a classroom community of student-driven conversations that share both mathematical understandings and misunderstandings.