An interactive letter-writing exchange between students provides a rich context for increasing and improving their mathematical communication.
Sandra M. Crespo
Edited by Sandra Crespo
Imagine: An email pops up in your inbox inviting you to apply to be MTE's next editor. How would you react? Would you jump at the opportunity? Need to think more about it? Respond with a definite “no”? What information would you need in order to help you decide? In my first editorial, I share a bit of why I chose to jump at the opportunity to become MTE editor and what I have learned in the last year as Editor Designate, processing manuscripts alongside the founding and former MTE editor Peg Smith. In addition to providing insight into the MTE review process, I hope this editorial convinces many of you to seriously consider jumping on the opportunity to become MTE's next editor when it comes around again in 3 years.
Edited by Sandra Crespo
Given a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is the lowest point and 10 is the highest, how do you rate yourself as a writer? I recently asked this question of a group of doctoral students. What do you suppose their answers were? How would you answer that question? Predictably, their ratings ranged from 3 to 6, with several explaining that writing has always been a struggle and a few sharing that they thought they were decent writers until they began grad school. It is noteworthy that no one, including the faculty members in the room, rated themselves a 10. All of us considered academic writing as something we are still trying to master. I shared that as a graduate student I too would have likely rated myself on the low end of the scale and that it has been a long journey to developing a productive relationship with the process of writing academic papers.
Joy A. Oslund and Sandra Crespo
Use these three activities as professional learning community tools to support powerful conversations.
Frances K. Harper and Sandra Crespo
This task structure both engages students in serious, grade-level appropriate mathematical work and allows the teacher to do the intentional and purposeful work of building a collaborative classroom culture. We highlight possibilities for adapting this task structure to teach different mathematics content across grade levels 3–5.
Nathalie Sinclair and Sandra Crespo
Ways in which technology-supported mathematical investigations can engage students with substantive mathematics. Article focuses particularly on the ways in which the NCTM Process and Content Standards for the elementary grades can be supported by the use of interactive software such as The Geometer's Sketchpad. Teachers will learn about technology material to use to assist in student learning.
Sandra Crespo and Kristen Bieda
This editorial closes our 4-year tenure as editors of the MTE journal. Although time has surely flown, we have much to celebrate and to reflect on as we bid farewell to our editorial office. We have had the privilege and responsibility to continue the legacy of the founding editors (Peg Smith and Melissa Boston) and develop our vision for increasing the visibility and impact of this journal as well as to grow the diversity of perspectives, authors, and reviewers of the journal. With this editorial, we celebrate our journey, highlighting our top three accomplishments, and then outline top priorities for the journal as it moves forward under the editorship of the new incoming editors.
Kristen Bieda and Sandra Crespo
These are a sampling of the kinds of headlines that reach our email in-boxes on a weekly basis. The widespread use of Twitter (#iteachmath) and blogs (#mtbos) brings prospective and in-service teachers unprecedented access to knowledge and guidance that can inform teaching, but the sheer volume of information available comes at a cost. The cost is that authors feel that they have to entice readers with catchier titles and bolder claims, a phenomenon that is referred to in the popular media as clickbait. As we are learning from our current political climate, our U.S. culture may be becoming increasingly entranced with compelling headlines and less engaged with the evidence provided to support those headlines.
Edited by Sandra Crespo and Kristen Bieda
When describing MTE, we often hear things like, “It is a practitioner journal,” “It is not like JRME,” and “It is more rigorous than MT, MTMS, or TCM journals.” All these things are true but do not quite capture what it is that makes MTE a journal dedicated to growing the knowledge base of mathematics teacher educators. What this says is that it is easier to state what MTE is not, and much more difficult to provide a clear-cut description of what the journal publishes. MTE is a journal attempting to do something that no other journal, not even those in other disciplines, has done. Although it may be convenient to try to understand the journal and the kinds of articles it publishes by comparing it with other journals we are familiar with, these comparisons ultimately fall short of providing the support needed to generate a manuscript that is a good “fit” for MTE. In this editorial, we offer a tool that could help prospective authors conceptualize and write manuscripts for this journal.
Sandra M. Crespo and Andreas O. Kyriakides
Drawing a picture is a problem-solving strategy widely encouraged by elementary mathematics textbooks and teachers. Indeed, drawing can be a powerful way of engaging many students, especially young ones, in representing and communicating their mathematical ideas. Children develop the ability to draw long before they learn to write, and the act and product of drawing are accessible to children of diverse cognitive, academic, cultural, and language backgrounds (children with visual impairments are an obvious exception). The power of drawing as a problem-solving strategy can be observed as young children draw solutions to problems that involve mathematical concepts beyond the level of the mathematics they have studied. The shortcoming of drawing as a problemsolving strategy is that some students favor drawing even when that strategy is the least efficient or viable for finding a solution. Although there are good reasons for asking students to draw when solving a mathematical problem, teachers must also consider what they themselves know and do not know about children's drawings and what sense they make of such representations.