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Learning to Launch Complex Tasks: How Instructional Visions Influence the Exploration of the Practice

This study investigates how the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle provides 11 novice mathematics teachers with the opportunity to learn about the high-leverage practice of launching a complex task. Findings suggest that the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle provides novice teachers with opportunities to reflect on how to launch a complex task within the context of their own instructional practice. Because of this opportunity to deeply consider the pedagogical resource and reflect on it, novice teachers’ instructional visions were a filter through which they interpreted key instructional strategies offered up during the exploration phase of the teacher learning cycle. Further, the authors discuss three key takeaways for teacher educators who are attempting to implement the teacher learning cycle into their teacher education coursework.

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Now: Reclaiming Mathematics for Solving Today's Issues

As educators, we can attest to how students are the best litmus test for the relevance of our subject matter. To close the gap between an abstract idea or the means to a good grade, we must contextualize our teaching within the issues most prevalent in our students' minds.

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Opportunities for Redefining Unconventional Units

This article highlights the importance of re-defining units unconventionally with fractions. We provide three examples of tasks Grade 5 students engaged in; we highlight the creative ways that they flexibly re-defined units and engaged deeply with fractions. We offer suggestions for supporting unconventional units for promoting conceptual understanding of fractions.

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Problems to Ponder

Problems to Ponder provides 28 varied, classroom-ready mathematics problems that collectively span PK-12, arranged in order of grade level. Answers to the problems are available online.

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Purposeful Questioning with High Cognitive–Demand Tasks

We share ideas for preparing for and enacting high-cognitive demand tasks in ways that support students in articulating and justifying their ideas. We offer strategies for developing and posing several types of purposeful questions: (1) eliciting thinking, (2) generating ideas, (3) clarifying explanations, and (4) justifying claims.

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Pythagoras's Quilt

A quilt design repeating the use of Pythagoras's Theorem provides a variety of questions we can begin to ponder.

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Teaching Proportionality through Robotics

This article shares the learning experienced by my seventh-grade students during a lesson incorporating LEGO robotics into my mathematics class. I provide evidence of my students' learning, which represents how LEGO robotics can benefit students in the mathematics classroom to support engagement and development of understanding.

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Then: The Timing of Algebra 1

This article briefly describes the timing of the first concentrated study of algebra over the 100 years of NCTM, from a 9th-grade course taken by only about 1/5 of students to a course taken by virtually all students, with almost half taking it in 8th grade.

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