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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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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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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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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.

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Julie M. Amador, David Glassmeyer and Aaron Brakoniecki

This article provides a framework for integrating professional noticing into teachers' practice as a means to support instructional decisions. An illustrative example is included based on actual use with secondary students.

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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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Susan Baker Empson, Victoria R. Jacobs, Naomi A. Jessup, Amy Hewitt, D'Anna Pynes and Gladys Krause

The complexity of understanding unit fractions is often underappreciated in instruction. We introduce a continuum of children's understanding of unit fractions to explore this complexity and to help teachers make sense of children's strategies and recognize milestones in the development of unit-fraction understanding. Suggestions for developing this understanding are provided.