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Lianfang Lu

Back Talk highlights the learning of one or two students and their approach to solving a math problem or prompt. Each article includes the prompt used to initiate the discussion, a portion of dialogue, samples of student work (when applicable), and teacher insights into the mathematical thinking of the students. This article describes how David used repeated addition to solve a multiplication problem. It reveals his processes of solving the problem mentally, of finding the repeated patterns in a problem context, and of representing the problem with a drawing.

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Carolyn M. Jones

Connecting mathematical thinking to the natural world can be as simple as looking up to the sky. Volunteer bird watchers around the world help scientists gather data about bird populations. Counting all the birds in a large flock is impossible, so reasonable estimates are made using techniques such as those described in this problem scenario. Scientists draw on these estimates to describe trends in the populations of certain species and to identify areas for further research.

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Lynn Columba

It is a “read”-letter day when storybooks, thinking strategies, and physical materials can use a splash of whimsy and fun to introduce multiplication facts to third graders.

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Thomas E. Hodges, Terry D. Rose and April D. Hicks

A series of diagnostic questions helps this teacher better assess and comprehend the misconceptions of third graders who struggle with multiplication.

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Ellen Robinson, Xiaowen Cui, Hiroko K. Warshauer and Christina Koehne

Collaborative engagement provides an opportunity for students to construct and solidify their own knowledge and understanding of important mathematical ideas. According to Van de Walle, Karp, and Bay-Williams, “learning is enhanced when the learner is engaged with others working on the same idea” (2015, p. 52). In allowing students to work with their peers to practice problems and construct important mathematical connections, the students build on their combined prior knowledge to formulate newfound ideas and conjectures. We recognize that grouping students so that each group will function in a productive manner can often be difficult. Therefore, we have devised this activity that allows students to work together and communicate with ten different students individually. In a usual group setting, the students would get to work with one or two other students, but the format of this activity allows for more forms of mathematics communication and collaboration.

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Sandra Davis Trowell

Edited by Denise Taunton Reid

The Teaching and Learning principle in Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM 2014) states,

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Courtney Baker, Melinda C. Knapp and Terrie Galanti

Here is support for coaches who work in diverse contexts to integrate high-leverage teaching and coaching practices with specific attention to mathematics content.

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Jennifer R. Brown

Set sail to explore powerful ways to use anchor charts in mathematics teaching and learning.

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Brandt S. Lapko

Teachers share success stories and ideas that stimulate thinking about the effective use of technology in K–grade 6 classrooms. This article describes how students can use available technology to communicate and share their thinking in popular media formats.

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Aubrey Poulsen

Students are given a real-life agricultural problem describing baby pig survival.