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• Author or Editor: Thomasenia Lott Adams
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## Mathematical Literacy

April 2020 Editorial

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## Mathematical Roots: Get Primed to the Basic Building Blocks of Numbers

In his book Elements, Euclid established that certain numbers are the building blocks of our natural number system. He revealed that these natural numbers could be “decomposed” into their smallest units as products of specific numbers. Numbers that can only be factored by themselves and 1 are called “prime numbers” and comprise part of the basic building blocks of numbers.

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## Math Roots: Serving Up Sierpinski!

The sierpinski triangle, created in 1916, has some very interesting characteristics. It is an impressive and valuable topic for mathematical exploration, since it combines Euclidean geometry (triangles and measurement) with fractal geometry. The Sierpinski triangle, also known as the Sierpinski gasket, is a fractal formed from an equilateral triangle. It is one of the most popular fractals to construct and analyze in middle school mathematics lessons. Since the 1960s, it has been possible to design fractals using a computer program, especially the complex examples that are often difficult to construct by hand. However, students can easily duplicate the Sierpinski triangle.

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## A Primer for Preproblem Ponderings: Anticipating the Answer

The value of anticipating the answer as a problem solving technique. Article discusses questions to ask about the form of an answer and its relationship to the conditions of the problem. Includes several examples useful for all students to develop a problem solving strategy.

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## Investigations: Cont-rolling Variables

The purpose of the “Investigations” department is to provide mathematically rich and inviting contexts in which children and their teachers solve problems, communicate, and reason. Investigations encourage students to make connections among mathematical ideas, as well as connections with contexts outside of mathematics. As students collaborate, experiment, explore, collect data, research various sources, and engage in activities during the investigation, they will have opportunities to represent their mathematical ideas in multiple ways.

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## Investigations: Rubber-Band Rockets

The purpose of the “Investigations” department is to provide mathematically rich and inviting contexts in which children and their teachers solve problems, communicate, and reason. Investigations encourage students to make connections among mathematical ideas, as well as connections with contexts outside of mathematics. As students collaborate, experiment, explore, collect data, research various sources, and engage in activities during the investigation, they will have opportunities to represent their mathematical ideas in multiple ways.