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.

# Browse

### 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.

### 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.

### 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.

### Amanda Milewski and Daniel Frohardt

Few high school students associate mathematics with playfulness. In this paper, we offer a series of lessons focused on the underlying algebraic structures of the Rubik's Cube. The Rubik's Cube offers students an interesting space to enjoy the playful side of mathematics, while appreciating mathematics otherwise lost in routine experiences.

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.

### Amber G. Candela, Melissa D. Boston, and Juli K. Dixon

We discuss how discourse actions can provide students greater access to high quality mathematics. We define discourse actions as what teachers or students say or do to elicit student contributions about a mathematical idea and generate ongoing discussion around student contributions. We provide rubrics and checklists for readers to use.

### Christopher Harrow and Ms. Nurfatimah Merchant

Transferring fundamental concepts across contexts is difficult, even when deep similarities exist. This article leverages Desmos-enhanced visualizations to unify conceptual understanding of the behavior of sinusoidal function graphs through envelope curve analogies across Cartesian and polar coordinate systems.

### 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.

### 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.