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• Author or Editor: James Russo
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Harry Potter–inspired mathematics

This month, students use a Harry Potter book as the context for a wide range of problems about key mathematical concepts. Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6.

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Math and Mr. Men

Read a Mr. Men story with your students, and tackle the associated mathematical tasks. Success with these tasks requires children to draw on a variety of problem-solving strategies, including drawing diagrams and pictures, creating tables, trial-and-error strategies (guess and check), modeling problems with concrete materials, and possibly even acting out the problems. Have fun!

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Problem solving with the Sneetches

Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6. In this issue, teachers read the classic Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches and other stories with their class and get students to engage with these associated mathematical problems. The problems, many of which are open-ended or contain multiple solutions or solution pathways, cover a range of mathematical concepts.

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Read the classic Dr. Seuss book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish with your class and get students to engage with these associated mathematical problems. The problems cover a diverse range of key mathematical concepts. Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6.

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Rolling to the target

Build students' estimation skills is critical for developing their number sense. These games encourage students to use estimation, rather than calculation, when making decisions. Versions of the Rolling to the Target game and the grade bands for which they are appropriate include the following:

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Can you find another way?

Help students strengthen subitizing, part-part-whole understanding, and addition fluency through this number-cube game. You will need twenty dot plates, a twenty-side die/spinner, and at least two students.

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Skip-counting battle

Student teams battle one another by skip counting by different numbers and switching their counts when the teacher shouts, “Switch!” This game promotes numerical fluency, numerical pattern recognition, and addition/multiplication operations. Postscript items are designed as rich grab-and-go resources that teachers can quickly incorporate into their classroom repertoire with little effort and maximum impact.

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Doubles Bingo

Postscript items are designed as rich grab-and-go resources that any teacher can quickly incorporate into his or her classroom repertoire with little effort and maximum impact. Start the school year right: Build on students' love for doubling by introducing exponential growth with this strategic bingo game.

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Exploring Multiplication: Three-in-a-Row Lucky Numbers

This game-based activity prompts students to explore the structure of multiplication, experiment with the distributive property, and begin investigating prime numbers.