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Each month Asked & Answered highlights selected threads from the MyNCTM community. MyNCTM is an online community where NCTM members can ask questions, start and join discussions, and interact with education experts. We encourage you to join the conversation at https://my.nctm.org.

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Sean P. Yee, George J. Roy and LuAnn Graul

As mathematical patterns become more complex, students' conditional reasoning skills need to be nurtured so that students continue to critique, construct, and persevere in making sense of these complexities. This article describes a mathematical task designed around the online version of the game Mastermind to safely foster conditional reasoning.

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Scott Corwin, Michelle Cascio, Katherine Emerson, Laura Henn and Catherine Lewis

Our middle school mathematics department used lesson study to investigate how to introduce fractions division to our sixth-grade students. We highlight our learnings during the Study and Plan phases, describe our observations during the lesson, and provide tips for educators interested in using lesson study to study their own content.

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Aline Abassian and Farshid Safi

This article dives into the importance of engaging students in investigating the mathematics of businesses that pressure their members to recruit new members as a basis for success, also referred to as multi-level marketing (MLM). The mathematics behind these businesses are discussed, and a sample student task is given.

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Angela T. Barlow

Editor Comments for May 2020 issue

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Jennifer A. Czocher, Diana L. Moss and Luz A. Maldonado

Conventional word problems can't help students build mathematical modeling skills. on their own. But they can be leveraged! We examined how middle and high school students made sense of word problems and offer strategies to question and extend word problems to promote mathematical reasoning.

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LouAnn H. Lovin

Moving beyond memorization of probability rules, the area model can be useful in making some significant ideas in probability more apparent to students. In particular, area models can help students understand when and why they multiply probabilities and when and why they add probabilities.

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Tracy E. Dobie and Miriam Gamoran Sherin

Language is key to how we understand and describe mathematics teaching and learning. Learning new terms can help us reflect on our practice and grow as teachers, yet may require us to be intentional about where and how we look for opportunities to expand our lexicons.

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Ryan Seth Jones, Zhigang Jia and Joel Bezaire

Too often, statistical inference and probability are treated in schools like they are unrelated. In this paper, we describe how we supported students to learn about the role of probability in making inferences with variable data by building models of real world events and using them to simulate repeated samples.

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Sandra M. Linder and Amanda Bennett

This article presents examples of how early childhood educators (prek-2nd grade) might use their daily read alouds as a vehicle for increasing mathematical talk and mathematical connections for their students.