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.

# Browse

### 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.

### 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?

### 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.

### 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.

### 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.

### Jennifer A. Czocher, Diana L. Moss, and Luz A. Maldonado

Conventional word problems can't help students build mathematical modeling skills. on their own. But they can be leveraged! We examined how middle and high school students made sense of word problems and offer strategies to question and extend word problems to promote mathematical reasoning.

### 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.