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.
Joe Champion and Ann Wheeler
A classic manipulative, used since the 1960s, continues to offer opportunities for intriguing problem solving involving proportions.
Kyle T. Schultz and Stephen F. Bismarck
A geometric approach using exact square manipulatives can promote an understanding of the algorithm to dismantle radical expressions.
Jessica F. Shumway
Three days of using building blocks significantly enriched second graders' thinking about multiple dimensions.
The relationship between a midpoint and an average showcases the interplay between procedural knowledge and conceptual knowledge in learning mathematics for teaching.
Sarah J. Selmer and Kimberly Floyd
A proactive preschool teacher differentiates instruction by using the Universal Design for Learning framework to decrease barriers that limit students' access to classroom learning.
Pamela Edwards Johnson, Melissa Campet, Kelsey Gaber, and Emma Zuidema
Three preservice teachers used virtual manipulatives during clinical interviews with students of elementary school age. The technology exposed students' problem-solving strategies and mathematical understanding, promoting just-in-time teaching about the target content. The process of completing and reflecting on the interviews contributed to growth of the preservice teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge.
Trena L. Wilkerson, Tommy Bryan, and Jane Curry
Using candy bars as models gives students a taste for learning to represent fractions whose denominators are factors of twelve.
Jeffrey J. Wanko, Michael Todd Edwards, and Steve Phelps
The Measure-Trace-Algebratize (MTA) approach allows students to uncover algebraic relationships within familiar geometric objects.
Katie L. Anderson
Teachers share success stories and ideas that stimulate thinking about the effective use of technology in K–grade 6 classrooms. This article describes a set of lessons where sixth graders use virtual pattern blocks to develop proportional reasoning. Students' work with the virtual manipulatives reveals a variety of creative solutions and promotes active engagement. The author suggests that technology is most effective when coupled with worthwhile mathematical tasks and rich classroom discussions.