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Each month Asked & Answered highlights selected threads from the MyNCTM community. MyNCTM is an online community where NCTM members can ask questions, start and join discussions, and interact with education experts. We encourage you to join the conversation at https://my.nctm.org.

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Steve Ingrassia and Molly Rawding

28 problems spanning the grades PK-12

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Katherine Baker, Naomi A. Jessup, Victoria R. Jacobs, Susan B. Empson and Joan Case

Productive struggle is an essential part of mathematics instruction that promotes learning with deep understanding. A video scenario is used to provide a glimpse of productive struggle in action and to showcase its characteristics for both students and teachers. Suggestions for supporting productive struggle are provided.

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LouAnn H. Lovin

Moving beyond memorization of probability rules, the area model can be useful in making some significant ideas in probability more apparent to students. In particular, area models can help students understand when and why they multiply probabilities and when and why they add probabilities.

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Tracy E. Dobie and Miriam Gamoran Sherin

Language is key to how we understand and describe mathematics teaching and learning. Learning new terms can help us reflect on our practice and grow as teachers, yet may require us to be intentional about where and how we look for opportunities to expand our lexicons.

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The Asked & Answered department shares excerpts from discussion threads on the online MyNCTM community. In this issue, featured threads highlight responses to members' questions related to mathematical depth in preschool, spiral review in the upper elementary grades, ideas for differentiation in middle school, and projects for high school algebra.

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Christopher Harrow and Nurfatimah Merchant

Transferring fundamental concepts across contexts is difficult, even when deep similarities exist. This article leverages Desmos-enhanced visualizations to unify conceptual understanding of the behavior of sinusoidal function graphs through envelope curve analogies across Cartesian and polar coordinate systems.

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Julie M. Amador, David Glassmeyer and Aaron Brakoniecki

This article provides a framework for integrating professional noticing into teachers' practice as a means to support instructional decisions. An illustrative example is included based on actual use with secondary students.

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Susie Katt and Megan Korponic

This document contains the actual problems for April 2020.

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Susan Baker Empson, Victoria R. Jacobs, Naomi A. Jessup, Amy Hewitt, D'Anna Pynes and Gladys Krause

The complexity of understanding unit fractions is often underappreciated in instruction. We introduce a continuum of children's understanding of unit fractions to explore this complexity and to help teachers make sense of children's strategies and recognize milestones in the development of unit-fraction understanding. Suggestions for developing this understanding are provided.