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

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### Stefanie D. Livers, Kristin E. Harbour, and Lindsey Fowler

In our attempts to make a concept easier, we may hinder student learning.

### Stephen Phelps

### Edited by Anna F. DeJarnette

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

### 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.

### Marianne V. Strayton and Lisa Watts Lawton

Just as an acorn contains everything it needs to grow into a mighty tree, our students possess understandings hidden right beneath the surface that can be nurtured to support their growth into mighty mathematicians.

### Joanna B. Stegall and Jacquelynn A. Malloy

An algebra 1 teacher collaborated with two university researchers to develop vocabulary minilessons and peer discussions to support students in understanding and using algebraic language.

### Walter Stark

**Students must actively** engage in exploring math. That is why I am always looking for tasks that will allow my students to to explore problems using the Common Core's (CCSSI 2010) eight Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP). These standards are vital for developing a deepening understanding of math. They allow students to cultivate skills and thought processes that aid in wiring their brains into being deep thinkers and problem solvers. These skills transcend the classroom and are needed to be successful in the world. I also want my students to revisit ideas that we have already touched on and continue to examine.

### Sarah A. Roller, Elizabeth P. Cunningham, and Katherine Ariemma Marin

Use photographs as a formative assessment tool.