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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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Manouchehri Azita, Ozturk Ayse and Sanjari Azin

In this article we illustrate how one teacher used PhET cannonball simulation as an instructional tool to improve students' algebraic reasoning in a fifth grade classroom. Three instructional phases effective to implementation of simulation included: Free play, Structured inquiry and, Synthesizing ideas.

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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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The Asked & Answered department shares excerpts from discussion threads on the online MyNCTM community. In this issue, featured threads highlight responses to members' questions related to mathematical depth in preschool, spiral review in the upper elementary grades, ideas for differentiation in middle school, and projects for high school algebra.

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Zachary A. Stepp

“It's a YouTube World” (Schaffhauser, 2017), and educators are using digital tools to enhance student learning now more than ever before. The research question scholars need to explore is “what makes an effective instructional video?”.

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Erell Germia and Nicole Panorkou

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.

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The Asked & Answered department shares excerpts from discussion threads on the online MyNCTM community. In this issue, featured threads highlight responses to members' questions regarding 1st grade number sense, multiplication and division of fractions, issues of definition and precision related to circles, and the value of rationalizing denominators.

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Jessica T. Ivy, Sarah B. Bush and Barbara J. Dougherty

To promote reversibility and strengthen number sense, we created an engaging and novel rational number exploration, which promoted flexible and reflective thinking. A class of fifth-grade students took an active role in a collaborative learning task, discussed their strategies, revisited the task, and reflected on their self-constructed generalizations.

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Sarah B. Bush, Richard Cox and Kristin Leigh Cook

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. The authentic STEAM project described here was born of a critical need of one child in the community. Using the Design Thinking framework, a class of fourth graders embarked on what was arguably the most meaningful school project of their lives. We place an explicit focus on the M in STEAM.

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Beth Bos, Lucy Wilder, Marcelina Cook and Ryan O'Donnell

The Common Core State Standards can be taught with Minecraft, an interactive creative Lego®-like game. Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (iSTEM) authors share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K—grade 6 classrooms.