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Corey Webel and Sheunghyun Yeo

In this article, we share results from a field experience model in which junior-year methods classes were held in an elementary school and preservice teachers (PSTs) worked with a single student (a “Math Buddy") on mathematics for 30 minutes per day. We focus on the development of PSTs’ skills for exploring children’s thinking and the structures and tools that we used to support this development. Data sources include screencast recordings of interactions with Math Buddies and written reflections completed by PSTs. Although the responsiveness of interactions varied across individuals and interactions, in general, PSTs showed improvements in exploring children’s thinking. We share implications of these findings for similar field experience models and for practice-based approaches to teacher education generally.

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Min Wang, Candace Walkington, and Koshi Dhingra

An example of an after-school club activity gives educators some tools and suggestions to implement such an approach in their schools.

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Deanna Pecaski McLennan

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Amanda K. Riske, Catherine E. Cullicott, Amanda Mohammad Mirzaei, Amanda Jansen, and James Middleton

We introduce the Into Math Graph tool, which students use to graph how “into" mathematics they are over time. Using this tool can help teachers foster conversations with students and design experiences that focus on engagement from the student’s perspective.

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Crystal Kalinec-Craig, Emily P. Bonner, and Traci Kelley

This article describes an innovation in an elementary mathematics education course called SEE Math (Support and Enrichment Experiences in Mathematics), which aims to support teacher candidates (TCs) as they learn to teach mathematics through problem solving while promoting equity during multiple experiences with a child. During this 8-week program, TCs craft and implement tasks that promote problem solving in the context of a case study of a child’s thinking while collecting and analyzing student data to support future instructional decisions. The program culminates in a mock parent–teacher conference. Data samples show how SEE Math offers TCs an opportunity to focus on the nuances of children’s strengths rather than traditional measures of achievement and skill.

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Zachary Champagne

Providing students the autonomy and choice to learn when productive struggle becomes unproductive is a core teaching belief in the author’s classroom. This article tells the story of one student’s ability to know and express when his frustration was too great and how he chose to walk away from his work and return the next day.

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Each month Asked & Answered highlights selected threads from the MyNCTM community. MyNCTM is an online community where NCTM members can ask questions, start and join discussions, and interact with education experts. We encourage you to join the conversation at https://my.nctm.org.

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Sean P. Yee, George J. Roy, and LuAnn Graul

As mathematical patterns become more complex, students' conditional reasoning skills need to be nurtured so that students continue to critique, construct, and persevere in making sense of these complexities. This article describes a mathematical task designed around the online version of the game Mastermind to safely foster conditional reasoning.

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Matt Enlow and S. Asli Özgün-Koca

Equality is one of the main concepts in K–12 mathematics. Students should develop the understanding that equality is a relationship between two mathematical expressions. In this month's GPS, we share tasks asking students one main question: how do they know whether or not two mathematical expressions are equivalent?