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Elizabeth G. Arnold, Elizabeth A. Burroughs, Mary Alice Carlson, Elizabeth W. Fulton, and Megan H. Wickstrom

Ear to the Ground features voices from several corners of the mathematics education world.

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Megan H. Wickstrom

Preservice elementary teachers (PSTs) often enter their teacher preparation programs with procedural and underdeveloped understandings of area measurement and its applications. This is problematic given that area and the area model are used throughout K–Grade 12 to develop flexibility in students’ mathematical understanding and to provide them with a visual interpretation of numerical ideas. This study describes an intervention aimed at bolstering PSTs’ understanding of area and area units with respect to measurement and number and operations. Following the intervention, results indicate that PSTs had both an improved ability to solve area tiling tasks as well as increased flexibility in the strategies they implemented. The results indicate that PSTs, similar to elementary students, develop a conceptual understanding of area from the use of tangible tools and are able to leverage visualizations to make sense of multiplicative structure across different strategies.

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Jere Confrey, Meetal Shah, and Alan Maloney

Three learning trajectories and their connections show how to promote vertical coherence in PK–12 mathematics education.

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Katherine Baker, Scott A. Morrison, and Alyssa Herrmann

This article features a third-grade multiplication exploration that integrates materials from nature and outside spaces. Teaching and learning mathematics with and in nature foster connections—mathematical, interpersonal, and with the natural world.

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Hyunyi Jung, Megan H. Wickstrom, and Chris Piasecki

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch activity involves an urgent environmental issue that students can discuss. It engages students in the interpretation of visual data, measurements, units, and the area of regular and irregular figures.

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Sabrina De Los Santos Rodríguez, Audrey Martínez-Gudapakkam, and Judy Storeygard

An innovative program addresses the digital divide with short, engaging videos modeling mathematic activities sent to families through a free mobile app.

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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

For the Love of Mathematics

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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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Atara Shriki and Dorit Patkin

Success in STEM fields depends largely on robust spatial skills, in particular on the ability to perform a mental rotation. Given that this ability can be nurtured, this article includes examples of diverse relevant tasks appropriate for grades 6–8 students.