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Katie Hurckes

This article introduces a task designed around the first of the Common Core's Standards of Mathematical Practice (SMP 1): Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. The task encourages students to explore structure through multiple representations. Each month, elementary school teachers are presented with a problem along with suggested instructional notes; asked to use the problem in their own classrooms; and encouraged to report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience. Send submissions of no more than 1500 words to this department by accessing See detailed submission guidelines for all departments at

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Katie Hurckes and Sarah Bent

This article describes how students in first, third, and firth grade worked on the traveling caterpillar task with Katie Hurckes; it includes an analysis of students' thinking. Each month, this section of the Problem Solvers department showcases students' in-depth thinking and discusses the classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics. Find detailed submission guidelines for all departments at