Students say some amazing things. Back Talk highlights the learning of one or two students and their approach to solving a math problem. Each article includes the prompt used to initiate the discussion, a portion of dialogue, student work samples (when applicable), and teacher insights into the mathematical thinking of students. This article investigates a student's understanding of the base-ten number system and how she uses her conceptions of place value to learn about the base-two number system.
Justin C. Hose and Tres Wells
Justin T. Burris
Compare how third graders think mathematically when using virtual versus concrete base-ten blocks to learn place-value concepts.
Showcase students' in-depth thinking and work on problems previously published in Teaching Children Mathematics.
Each month, a new problem, along with suggested instructional notes, is made available to elementary school teachers, who use the problem in their classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience. The February problem, about the January 2013 presidential inaugural speech, includes a two-page student activity sheet.
Development of this multiplicative process involves unitizing within and across place.
Jennifer Orr and Jennifer Suh
Teachers share success stories and ideas that stimulate thinking about the effective use of technology in K—grade 6 classrooms. One way to keep young students engaged and interested in practicing counting is to involve them in using cameras. This article explains how first graders capture 100 images, use Windows MovieMaker or PhotoStory to turn the still images into a video, and then narrate a story using precise math vocabulary to explain their mathematical thinking.
Cathy M. Chaput and Beth Smith
Introducing a problem to children is always exciting when your goal is to challenge them in more than one way. The Base-Ten Block Challenge, published in TCM's January/February 2018 issue, has two layers to the activity. Conceptually, it has the challenge of using familiar materials more flexibly. In addition, this problem incorporates the strategy of Complex Instruction (CI), which aims to make group participation more equitable for all members through using random grouping and tasks with multiple entry points as well as ensuring that all students are accountable for understanding (Featherstone et al. 2011). A grade 2 class in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, took on this challenge, facilitated by a program coordinator in collaboration with their classroom teacher, Mrs. Beth Smith.
Amy Noelle Parks and Diana Chang Blom
Capitalize on opportunities for mathematical concepts to emerge in common preschool contexts, such as doll corners and block centers.
Each month, elementary school teachers are given a problem along with suggested instructional notes. Teachers are asked to use the problem in their own classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience. This month, students are asked to count and organize a large collection of candies to promote an understanding of place value in our base-ten number system.
Pamela Edwards Johnson, Melissa Campet, Kelsey Gaber, and Emma Zuidema
Three preservice teachers used virtual manipulatives during clinical interviews with students of elementary school age. The technology exposed students' problem-solving strategies and mathematical understanding, promoting just-in-time teaching about the target content. The process of completing and reflecting on the interviews contributed to growth of the preservice teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge.