Try these meaningful alternative approaches to helping students make sense of word problems.

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### Stefanie D. Livers, Kristin E. Harbour, and Lindsey Fowler

In our attempts to make a concept easier, we may hinder student learning.

### Ron Lancaster

Since its inception, the Mathematical Lens column has provided teachers with resources to use with their students to make connections between mathematics and the world around us through the use of photographs. The editors and the dozens of teachers who submitted material for columns have taken all of us on a journey around the world to discover where mathematics lives. These columns have offered teachers a license to do mathematics everywhere and to travel far with their students with a full tank of resources.

### Stephen Phelps

### Edited by Anna F. DeJarnette

A monthly set of problems targets a variety of ability levels.

### P. Reneé Hill-Cunningham

Hundreds of species of animals around the world are losing their habitats and food supplies, are facing extinction, or have been hunted or otherwise negatively influenced by humans. Students learn about some of these animals and explore multiple solution strategies as they solve this month's problems. Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6.

### Marianne V. Strayton and Lisa Watts Lawton

Just as an acorn contains everything it needs to grow into a mighty tree, our students possess understandings hidden right beneath the surface that can be nurtured to support their growth into mighty mathematicians.

### Walter Stark

**Students must actively** engage in exploring math. That is why I am always looking for tasks that will allow my students to to explore problems using the Common Core's (CCSSI 2010) eight Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP). These standards are vital for developing a deepening understanding of math. They allow students to cultivate skills and thought processes that aid in wiring their brains into being deep thinkers and problem solvers. These skills transcend the classroom and are needed to be successful in the world. I also want my students to revisit ideas that we have already touched on and continue to examine.

### Megan H. Wickstrom, Elizabeth Fulton, and Dacia Lackey

Use those multicolored linking bricks to help students connect measurement with an understanding of number and operations as well as fractions.