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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.

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Susan Baker Empson, Victoria R. Jacobs, Naomi A. Jessup, Amy Hewitt, D'Anna Pynes and Gladys Krause

The complexity of understanding unit fractions is often underappreciated in instruction. We introduce a continuum of children's understanding of unit fractions to explore this complexity and to help teachers make sense of children's strategies and recognize milestones in the development of unit-fraction understanding. Suggestions for developing this understanding are provided.

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Alyson E. Lischka and D. Christopher Stephens

The area model for multiplication can be used as a tool to help learners make connections between mathematical concepts that are included in mathematics curriculum across grade levels. We present ways the area model might be used in teaching about various concepts and explain how those ideas are connected.

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Alyson E. Lischka, Kyle M. Prince and Samuel D. Reed

Encouraging students to persevere in problem solving can be accomplished using extended tasks where students solve a problem over an extended time. This article presents a structure for use of extended tasks and examples of student thinking that can emerge through such tasks. Considerations for implementation are provided.