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Susie Katt and Megan Korponic

This document contains the actual problems for April 2020.

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Karen S. Karp, Sarah B. Bush and Barbara J. Dougherty

Try these meaningful alternative approaches to helping students make sense of word problems.

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Emily Dardis and Megan H. Wickstrom

Modifications to a first- and second-grade STEAM activity, Elephant Toothpaste, highlight ways to emphasize mathematical thinking by running multiple experiments, posing mathematical questions, and having students make both qualitative and quantitative observations. Contributors to the iSTEM department share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K–grade 5 classrooms.

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Stephen Phelps

Edited by Anna F. DeJarnette

A monthly set of problems targets a variety of ability levels.

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P. Reneé Hill-Cunningham

Hundreds of species of animals around the world are losing their habitats and food supplies, are facing extinction, or have been hunted or otherwise negatively influenced by humans. Students learn about some of these animals and explore multiple solution strategies as they solve this month's problems. 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.

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Stephen Phelps

Edited by Anna F. DeJarnette

A monthly set of problems is aimed at a variety of ability levels.

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Erin E. Krupa, Mika Munakata and Karmen Yu

Can you remember your typical elementary school field day? In this article, we provide details on hosting a mathematics field day, focused on embedding rich mathematics into authentic fun-filled field day experiences.

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Andrew Izsák, Erik Jacobson and Laine Bradshaw

We report a novel survey that narrows the gap between information about teachers' knowledge of fraction arithmetic provided, on the one hand, by measures practical to administer at scale and, on the other, by close analysis of moment-to-moment cognition. In particular, the survey measured components that would support reasoning directly with measured quantities, not by executing computational algorithms, to solve problems. These components—each of which was grounded in past research—were attention to referent units, partitioning and iterating, appropriateness, and reversibility. A second part of the survey asked about teachers' professional preparation and history. We administered the survey to a national sample of in-service middle-grades mathematics teachers in the United States and received responses from 990 of those teachers. We analyzed responses to items in the first part of the survey using the log-linear diagnostic classification model to estimate each teacher's profile of strengths and weaknesses with respect to the four components of reasoning. We report on the diversity of profiles that we found and on relationships between those profiles and various aspects of teachers' professional preparation and history. Our results provide insight into teachers' knowledge resources for enacting standards-based instruction in fraction arithmetic and an example of new possibilities for mathematics education research afforded by recent advances in psychometric modeling.

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Michelle L. Meadows and Joanna C. Caniglia

Imagine that you and your language arts colleagues are teaching Edgar Allan Poe's short story, “The Pit and the Pendulum.” This thrilling story takes us to the Inquisition during which a prisoner is surrounded by hungry rats and bound to a table while a large pendulum slowly descends. The prisoner believes that the pendulum is 30-40 feet long and estimates that it should take about 10-12 swings before he is hit, leaving him with about a minute or a minute and a half to escape. Are his estimations correct? If so, will he make it out in time?

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Donna Christy

From coast to coast, America is filled with different types of fascinating landmarks. This set of problems offers a mathematical road trip visiting the famous sites. 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.