In this article, we share results from a field experience model in which junior-year methods classes were held in an elementary school and preservice teachers (PSTs) worked with a single student (a “Math Buddy") on mathematics for 30 minutes per day. We focus on the development of PSTs’ skills for exploring children’s thinking and the structures and tools that we used to support this development. Data sources include screencast recordings of interactions with Math Buddies and written reflections completed by PSTs. Although the responsiveness of interactions varied across individuals and interactions, in general, PSTs showed improvements in exploring children’s thinking. We share implications of these findings for similar field experience models and for practice-based approaches to teacher education generally.
Corey Webel and Sheunghyun Yeo
Linda L. Cooper
Growing Problem Solvers provides four original, related, classroom-ready mathematical tasks, one for each grade band. Together, these tasks illustrate the trajectory of learners’ growth as problem solvers across their years of school mathematics.
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.
Esther M. H. Billings and Barbara A. Swartz
Amber G. Candela, Melissa D. Boston, and Juli K. Dixon
We discuss how discourse actions can provide students greater access to high quality mathematics. We define discourse actions as what teachers or students say or do to elicit student contributions about a mathematical idea and generate ongoing discussion around student contributions. We provide rubrics and checklists for readers to use.
Over the past 100 years, technology has evolved in unprecedented fashion. Calculators, computers, and smart phones have become ubiquitous, yet school mathematics experiences for many children still remain without many powerful technological tools for the exploration of mathematics. We consider the evolution of some tools as we imagine a future.
Krista Francis and Michael Poscente
Lego Mindstorms™ robotics quickly draws children in and provides ample opportunities for engaging them in robust mathematical learning. Two introductory programming tasks empower children to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to build number sense in a fun, engaging learning environment. 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. Send submissions of no more than 1500 words to this department by accessing http://tcm.msubmit.net. See detailed submission guidelines for all departments at http://www.nctm.org/WriteForTCM.
Sarah B. Bush, Karen S. Karp, Jennifer Nadler, and Katie Gibbons
By examining ratios in paintings and using a free educational app, students can size up artists' use of proportional reasoning in their creations.
A cartoon exploring a problem about order of operations is coupled with a full-page activity sheet.
Kami M. Dupree
Abandon mnemonics and make stronger connections between the operations and properties of arithmetic.