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Wendy S. Bray

Incorporating a focus on students' mistakes into your instruction can advance their understanding.

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Signe E. Kastberg and R. Scott Frye

How do classroom behavioral expectations support the development of students' mathematical reasoning? A sixth-grade teacher and his students developed this example while discussing a ratio comparison problem.

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Emily Dardis and Megan H. Wickstrom

Modifications to a first- and second-grade STEAM activity, Elephant Toothpaste, highlight ways to emphasize mathematical thinking by running multiple experiments, posing mathematical questions, and having students make both qualitative and quantitative observations. Contributors to the iSTEM department share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K–grade 5 classrooms.

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Derek A. Stiffler

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Julie James and Alice Steimle

Each month, elementary school teachers are given a problem along with suggested instructional notes. They are asked to use the problem in their own classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience. This task allows students the opportunity to explore the magnitude of fractions in comparison to different sizes of wholes.

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Sarah Quebec Fuentes

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. The October 2014 problem scenario offers students an opportunity to divide whole chocolate bars into fractional amounts to gain understanding of the partitioning of a whole into different fractional amounts, on comparing these amounts, and on the ability to develop and defend their thinking.

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Chepina Rumsey, Jody Guarino, Jennie Beltramini, Shelbi Cole, Alicia Farmer, Kristin Gray, and Morgan Saxby

Read about how the authors used many technological tools and platforms to engage a team of educators across the country in this collaborative project.

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Karen S. Karp, Sarah B. Bush, and Barbara J. Dougherty

Try these meaningful alternative approaches to helping students make sense of word problems.

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Padmanabhan Seshaiyer and Patricia W. Freeman

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 the students. This month, students are taught the importance of ensuring that their solutions are reasonable. This article describes the creative thinking of a group of students trying to rationalize their unreasonable answer when they meet the Mango problem.

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Lara Kikosicki and Debbie Prekeges

Family time in the kitchen can lead to opportunities to explore fractions in real-life circumstances and tap into children's engagement in the harvest season. You might supplement the October problems by setting up a time for your students to talk with a professional chef or event planner about how they use fractions in their jobs.