We present a Scratch task we designed and implemented for teaching and learning coordinates in a dynamic and engaging way. We use the 5Es framework to describe the students' interactions with the task and offer suggestions of how other teachers may adopt it to successfully implement Scratch tasks.
Erell Germia and Nicole Panorkou
Angela T. Barlow, Alyson E. Lischka, James C. Willingham, and Kristin S. Hartland
A well-crafted opening problem can provide preassessment of students' fraction knowledge and assist teachers in determining next steps for instruction.
This month's problem offers students an opportunity to determine where we find math in the world, interpret it, and engage in mathematical modeling. Each month, elementary school teachers are presented with a problem along with suggested instructional notes and asked to use the problem in their own classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience.
Mathew D. Felton-Koestler
Share news about happenings in the field of elementary school mathematics education, views on matters pertaining to teaching and learning mathematics in the early childhood or elementary school years, and reactions to previously published opinion pieces or articles. Find detailed department submission guidelines at http://www.nctm.org/WriteForTCM.
L. Marrie Lasater, Andy Roach, and Sarah Quebec Fuentes
Each month, this section of the problem solvers department showcases students' in-depth thinking and discusses the classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics. In the problem from the December 2015/January 2016 issue, the task that integrates students' understanding of shapes and their properties and reflections. Students must determine which shapes can be reflected over a line so that the original shape and its reflection form specified figures.
James Russo and Toby Russo
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. In this issue, teachers read the classic Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches and other stories with their class and get students to engage with these associated mathematical problems. The problems, many of which are open-ended or contain multiple solutions or solution pathways, cover a range of mathematical concepts.
Postscript items are designed as rich grab-and-go resources that any teacher can quickly incorporate into his or her classroom repertoire with little effort and maximum impact. Quick images are a fun, engaging way for students to compose and decompose visual numbers. Students apply their understanding of subitizing–the ability to recognize a number of items without counting–as they determine the quantity of the group
Ian Whitacre, Robert C. Schoen, Zachary Champagne, and Andrea Goddard
Instructional activities designed to encourage relational thinking in primary-grades classrooms can give students advantages when they reason about subtraction.
Mi Yeon Lee and Dionne Cross Francis
These activities can support elementary school teachers in building students' conceptions of measurement.
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. This month's article considers one way to teach children to be lifelong learners: by applying problem-solving skills and a variety of math concepts at home, including time, measurement, basic operations, and fractions.