How do you give preservice teachers authentic opportunities to design and facilitate mathematics activities to motivate students? How do you involve parents in looking at mathematics from a nontraditional viewpoint? We found a way to address each of these important goals by sponsoring a Saturday-morning Math Fair for Kids using NCTM's promotional theme “Math Is FUNctional” (with the emphasis on FUN).
Barbara J. Reys and Deanna G. Wasman
Linda O. Lembke and Barbara J. Reys
The objective of this study was to determine how students' strategies for solving percent problems change over grades 5, 7, 9, and 11. The questions addressed included the following: What intuitive knowledge do students bring to the study of percent? Do students use this intuitive knowledge in solving percent problems? What processes do students use to solve percent problems? Does choice of solution method differ after formal instruction on percent? The researcher employed a cross-sectional research design whereby 31 students representing two ability levels (middle and high) from grades 5, 7, 9, and 11 were interviewed. The responses were compared and contrasted by ability and grade level. The 5th and 7th graders, who had little or no formal instruction on percent, used a variety of strategies including benchmark, ratios, and fractions, to solve percent problems. The 9th graders made extensive use of the school-taught equation strategy. The 11th graders, who had been away from formal instruction on percent for at least a year, also used the equation strategy extensively, but also employed a variety of other strategies and were more reflective in their choice of strategy.
Barbara J. Reys and Francis (Skip) Fennell
We frequently ask students in our preservice elementary mathematics methods courses if they realize that they are preparing to become mathematics teachers. Many, if not most, of the students are uncomfortable with thinking of themselves as “mathematics teachers,” preferring to call themselves “elementary classroom teachers.” They consider themselves to be teachers of children, rather than teachers of subjects such as mathematics. However, the mathematics instruction that most elementary school students receive is organized and delivered by their elementary classroom teachers. Therefore, elementary teachers also are mathematics teachers, as well as social studies teachers, science teachers, and, most prominently, reading teachers. It is essential that elementary teachers understand the nature and extent of the vital role that they play in teaching mathematics to their students. It is equally important that school systems explore ways to ensure that students receive mathematics instruction from teachers who understand mathematics content, know how students learn mathematics, and are able to use instructional and assessment strategies that help students learn mathematics.
Barbara J. Reys and Jennifer M. Bay-Williams
Welcome to the new “Spotlight on the Principles.” September's “Spotlight on the Standards” brought to a close the set of articles examining the ten Standards envisioned in NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000). With this article, the MTMS Editorial Panel is directing the focus of the department on the six Principles, beginning with an overview of the Curriculum Principle and Learning Principle.
Barbara J. Reys and Nancy L. Smith
The mathematics education community has been recommending the integration of calculators into mathematics curriculum and instruction for nearly twenty years.
Barbara J. Reys and Vena M. Long
The first standard presented in the Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (NCTM 1991) highlights the importance of choosing and using worthwhile mathematical tasks. Teachers are curriculum architects charged with ensuring the quality of the mathematical tasks in which their students engage.
Alistair Mcintosh, Robert E. Reys and Barbara J. Reys
At the primary-grades level, the benefits of developing and using mental strategies for computing have been well articulated (see, e.g., Beberman (1959); Brownell [1972); Cobb and Merkel : Kamii ; Reys and Barger [1994): Shuard [1987); Trafton [1978)), and many primary-grades teachers are now encouraging students to invent and use thinking strategies as a way to facilitate their development of number sense. They are also dealing with the practical implications of implementing this approach to computation, which is very different from the traditional. rule-oriented, procedural approach to computation. At the middle-grades level, however, comparatively Little discussion related to the same issue has occurred. At this level, should students be encouraged to invent mental strategies for computing? Should standard written algorithms for computing continue to be taught? How does an emphasis on thinking strategies relate to the current emphasis on using the calculator as an efficient tool for computation?