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Megan H. Wickstrom

Preservice elementary teachers (PSTs) often enter their teacher preparation programs with procedural and underdeveloped understandings of area measurement and its applications. This is problematic given that area and the area model are used throughout K–Grade 12 to develop flexibility in students’ mathematical understanding and to provide them with a visual interpretation of numerical ideas. This study describes an intervention aimed at bolstering PSTs’ understanding of area and area units with respect to measurement and number and operations. Following the intervention, results indicate that PSTs had both an improved ability to solve area tiling tasks as well as increased flexibility in the strategies they implemented. The results indicate that PSTs, similar to elementary students, develop a conceptual understanding of area from the use of tangible tools and are able to leverage visualizations to make sense of multiplicative structure across different strategies.

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Deanna Pecaski McLennan

For the Love of Mathematics

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Amanda K. Riske, Catherine E. Cullicott, Amanda Mohammad Mirzaei, Amanda Jansen, and James Middleton

We introduce the Into Math Graph tool, which students use to graph how “into" mathematics they are over time. Using this tool can help teachers foster conversations with students and design experiences that focus on engagement from the student’s perspective.

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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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Sean P. Yee, George J. Roy, and LuAnn Graul

As mathematical patterns become more complex, students' conditional reasoning skills need to be nurtured so that students continue to critique, construct, and persevere in making sense of these complexities. This article describes a mathematical task designed around the online version of the game Mastermind to safely foster conditional reasoning.

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Matt Enlow and S. Asli Özgün-Koca

Equality is one of the main concepts in K–12 mathematics. Students should develop the understanding that equality is a relationship between two mathematical expressions. In this month's GPS, we share tasks asking students one main question: how do they know whether or not two mathematical expressions are equivalent?

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Scott Corwin, Michelle Cascio, Katherine Emerson, Laura Henn, and Catherine Lewis

Our middle school mathematics department used lesson study to investigate how to introduce fractions division to our sixth-grade students. We highlight our learnings during the Study and Plan phases, describe our observations during the lesson, and provide tips for educators interested in using lesson study to study their own content.

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Aline Abassian and Farshid Safi

This article dives into the importance of engaging students in investigating the mathematics of businesses that pressure their members to recruit new members as a basis for success, also referred to as multi-level marketing (MLM). The mathematics behind these businesses are discussed, and a sample student task is given.

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Angela T. Barlow

Editor Comments for May 2020 issue

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Jon Orr and Kyle Pearce

Wondering how to create a classroom culture where students don't want to stop exploring mathematics when the bell rings? We were too and that's why we teammed up to uncover how we can Make Math Moments That Matter for every student in the math classroom with a weekly podcast.