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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.

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This cartoon problem explores serving sizes and sugar found in cereal, coupled with an activity sheet.

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Marie Wright

This department showcases students' in-depth thinking and work on previously published problems. The September 2012 problem scenario helps students build number sense and measurement sense. This problem would make a nice addition to observances Fire Prevention Week (October 6–12).

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Jo Boaler

This department publishes brief news articles, announcements and guest editorials on current mathematics education issues that stimulate the interest of TCM readers and cause them to think about an issue or consider a specific viewpoint about some aspect of mathematics education.

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These problems are situated in the context of firefighting to promote problem solving and critical thinking.

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Lynn Columba

Math by the Month is a regular department of the journal featuring collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes at least four activities each for grade bands K—2, 3—4, and 5—6. This month, students will flip as they use their math skills to solve delectable problems about one of the most versatile foods on the planet. For more flapjack math, check out the “7,000 Pancakes” investigation in the May 2008 issue of TCM. Further whet students' appetites with pancake trivia from http://marthasallnatural.com/recipes_pancake_trivia.pdf.

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Eric Imbrescia, Chelsea Heishman and Amanda Sawyer

As educators, we know that to have effective mathematics instruction, we must promote mathematical problem solving while encouraging discourse (NCTM 2014), yet finding tasks that both challenge and engage students can be difficult. We discovered that the Yohaku, a Japanese number puzzle, provides a format that was both challenging and thought-provoking when implemented in a secondgrade class in a Virginia elementary school. The number puzzle involves having students fill in squares with numerical values such that each column and row creates the same value. We discovered that students enjoyed the puzzle and that it supported their own construction of number sense.

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Lisa Nguyen Batista and Suzanne H. Chapin

Teachers learn instructional activities; the use of sentence frames; and how to support students in respectfully speaking, listening, and responding to one another.

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James Hiebert, Dawn Berk, Emily Miller, Heather Gallivan and Erin Meikle

We investigated whether the mathematics studied in 2 content courses of an elementary teacher preparation program was retained and used by graduates when completing tasks measuring knowledge for teaching mathematics. Using a longitudinal design, we followed 2 cohorts of prospective teachers for 3 to 4 years after graduation. We assessed participants' knowledge by asking them to identify mathematics concepts underlying standard procedures, generate multiple solution strategies, and evaluate students' mathematical work. We administered parallel tasks for 3 mathematics topics studied in the program and one mathematics topic not studied in the program. When significant differences were found, participants always performed better on mathematics topics developed in the program than on the topic not addressed in the program. We discuss implications of these findings for mathematics teacher preparation.