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## Back-to-school shopping

As students prepare to return to class, back-to-school advertisements feature sales on clothing, backpacks, and supplies. The following problem involves a real-life scenario about making purchases with discount coupons—a wonderful context for teaching problem solving and critical thinking.

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## Learning Together

Parental involvement in a math program that includes professional development for teachers can improve relationships and increase student motivation and achievement.

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## Back-to-school shopping

This department showcases students' in-depth thinking and work on previously published problems. The August 2012 problem scenario leverages back-to-school shopping advertisements for this real-life scenario about making purchases using discount coupons. To access the full-size activity sheet, go to http://www.nctm.org/tcm, Back Issues.

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## Examining Mistakes to Shift Student Thinking

During a lesson on ratios involving percentages of paint, four research-based criteria are used to evaluate students' mistakes. The takeaway is that painting all mistakes with the same brush can also be a blunder.

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## Cartoon Corner: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

A cartoon involving lemonade stands and interpreting percents is coupled with a full-page activity sheet.

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## Posing Cognitively Demanding Tasks to All Students

One middle school teacher developed classroom routines to make challenging questions accessible to all learners in her class.

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## Cartoon Corner: What about the Other 98%?

A cartoon involving percentages and 2% milk is coupled with a full-page activity sheet.

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## Math for Real: How Much Time Will Lena Save?

### “when will I ever use this?”

This problem ties in the Pythagorean theorem while two people walk around or across a park.

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## Equal Pay Day

April 10, 2018, was “Equal Pay Day.” In the United States, on average, women earn less than men, which means that they must work more days to earn the same amount of pay. Equal Pay Day represents how many more days women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

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## Cartoon Corner: Presidential Puzzlers

A cartoon involving presidential birth dates is coupled with a full-page activity sheet.