The Asked & Answered department shares excerpts from discussion threads on the online MyNCTM community. In this issue, featured threads highlight responses to members' questions regarding 1st grade number sense, multiplication and division of fractions, issues of definition and precision related to circles, and the value of rationalizing denominators.
Mi Yeon Lee and Dionne Cross Francis
These activities can support elementary school teachers in building students' conceptions of measurement.
Sarah B. Bush, Richard Cox, and Kristin Leigh Cook
Contributors to the iSTEM (Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) department share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K–grade 6 classrooms. The authentic STEAM project described here was born of a critical need of one child in the community. Using the Design Thinking framework, a class of fourth graders embarked on what was arguably the most meaningful school project of their lives. We place an explicit focus on the M in STEAM.
Postscript items are designed as rich “grab-and-go” resources that any teacher can quickly incorporate into their classroom repertoire with little effort and maximum impact. In this article, classroom clocks are used as an effective tool to support student understanding of basic number, fraction, and geometry concepts.
Beth Bos, Lucy Wilder, Marcelina Cook, and Ryan O'Donnell
The Common Core State Standards can be taught with Minecraft, an interactive creative Lego®-like game. Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (iSTEM) authors share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K—grade 6 classrooms.
Joy A. Oslund and Sandra Crespo
Use these three activities as professional learning community tools to support powerful conversations.
Claudia R. Burgess
This geometry lesson uses the work of abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky as a springboard and is intended to promote the conceptual understanding of mathematics through problem solving, group cooperation, mathematical negotiations, and dialogue.
Liat Zippin and Lisa Englard
Math by the Month is a regular department of the journal. It features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes at least four activities each for grade bands K—2, 3—4, and 5—6. In this issue, the problems capitalize on the natural curiosity of children to explore measurement.
This department publishes brief news articles, announcements, and guest editorials on current mathematics education issues that stimulate the interest of TCM readers and cause them to think about an issue or consider a specific viewpoint about some aspect of mathematics education.
Laura Bofferding and Melike Yigit
This month's problem examines the standing long jump, an Olympic event until 1912. Students will jump as far as they can from a standing position and measure the distance by using different units, such as cubes, feet, and inches. A good problem can capture students' curiosity and can serve many functions in the elementary school classroom: to introduce specific concepts the teacher can build on after students recognize the need for additional mathematics or to help students see where to apply already-learned concepts. We encourage teachers to use the monthly problem and suggested instructional notes in their classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience.