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RESTON — November 13, 2020 — Join us in celebrating the first complete volume year of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12 (MTLT), the new practitioner journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The December issue wraps up this first volume year with useful articles and topics for every grade level that can be put into practice immediately in your classroom.
The December Front-and-Center article, “Enhancing and Transforming Virtual Instruction,” is by MTLT Editor-in-Chief Angela T. Barlow, a professor at the University of Central Arkansas; Clayton Edwards, a classroom teacher at Grundy Center Middle School in Iowa; Rebecca Robichaux-Davis, a professor at Mississippi State University; and RuthMae Sears, an associate professor at the University of South Florida. The article reviews the previous 11 Front-and-Center articles published this year through the lens of the Substitutions, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR) model, a framework that classifies the integration of technology into instruction.
Barlow notes, “As members of the Editorial Board, we recognized that most of the articles included in this first volume of MTLT were written prior to the pandemic and from the perspective of teaching in face-to-face settings. Therefore, we felt it was important to support readers in thinking about how to utilize the ideas in a virtual space.”
Robichaux-Davis adds, “Looking back at MTLT’s Front-and-Center articles through the lens of teaching in virtual spaces was beneficial to my own teaching in both face-to-face and virtual settings. It allowed me to reflect on how virtual instructional strategies and various technological tools can promote a deeper dive into the content. I have since been considering how other previously published articles can be adapted for virtual spaces.”
“In the era of remote instruction, it is critical that educators attend to digital equity,” says Sears. “Educators are encouraged to implement strategies that promote equitable and inclusive learning environments that afford all students opportunities to engage in rigorous mathematics. Educators are also encouraged to engage in professional development initiatives to develop their technological pedagogical content knowledge needed for teaching mathematics in virtual settings.”
“Claim-Rule-Connection: A Strategy for Justifying Reasoning,” written by Alison Vickery, a classroom teacher at John Muir Middle School in San José, California; Lara Ervin-Kassab and Cheryl Roddick, educators at San José State University; and Juliana Tapper, founder of CollaboratEd Consulting, shares a strategy for making argumentation more explicit in the classroom by using a framework that guides students in justifying their mathematical reasoning.
Ervin-Kassab notes, “Teachers do amazing things every day. We wanted to share Vickery’s strategy for developing students’ mathematical thinking and communication skills. The four of us crafted a workshop that brought together classroom practice, district-level leadership, and university teacher preparation expertise. We are all better educators through this and ongoing collaboration and strategy sharing.”
Co-authors of “Children’s Games and Games for Children,” Nat Banning, a mathematics teacher and lecturer, and Chad Williams, an elementary school teacher, both from Saskatchewan, Canada, explore the difference between mathematics games designed for children and the children’s games that emerge through playful activity. “The notions presented in this article, and their application to the mathematics classroom, are inspired by my young children and the many unforeseen, yet delightful, games they’ve invented,” says Banning. “It is a reminder for teachers to invite youngsters into mathematics, and then to sit, listen, and dwell in their moments of mathematical sense making.”
Complex visual representations that are not usually found in commonly used curriculum expand students’ experiences with mathematical ideas suggest Angela Just, a middle school teacher at Lewis-Palmer Middle School in Monument, Colorado, and Jennifer Cribbs, a professor at Oklahoma State University, in their online article, “Focusing on Visual Representations in Mathematics.” Frustrated with secondary textbooks and dated teaching techniques, Just explains, “We set out to help students reach a deeper understanding of the mathematics they were contemplating instead of just memorizing a formula or using rote procedures. Throughout literature and supported by our own experiences teaching students, we discovered that visual representation, often thought to be elementary teaching aides, can play a critical role in a secondary students’ engagement and grasp of mathematical concepts. We wrote this article to share our ideas for incorporating more visual representations in secondary mathematics courses.”
NCTM encourages those interested in contributing to the publication to review the writing guidelines.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the public voice of mathematics education, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for each and every student through vision, leadership, professional development and research. With 40,000 members and more than 200 Affiliates, it is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for students and envisions a world where everyone is enthused about mathematics, sees the value and beauty of mathematics, and is empowered by the opportunities mathematics affords.