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Emily P. Bonner

As I walk down the hallway in East G Elementary School (pseudonyms have been used throughout), a largely African American school with a high population of students living in poverty, I hear chanting coming from Ms. Jacobs’s fifth-grade classroom. Student voices penetrate the usual silence in the school’s passageways as I get closer to the doorway. When I enter the classroom, I see students sitting at large tables in groups of four or five working with whiteboards and reading from “math journals.” A mixed number is up on the board—5 3/4—and students are working to change this mixed number