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.
Deanna Pecaski McLennan
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.
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.
Sarah Brand, Hyunyi Jung, Ashley Dorlack, and Samuel Gailliot
Five teacher discussion strategies and outcomes of students’ responses to each are illustrated with examples.
Thomas Edwards, S. Asli Özgün-Koca, and Kenneth Chelst
A quadratic equation was the basis for activities involving both concrete and technological representations.
Paul Naanou and Sam Rhodes
Students grapple with the problem of finding the volume of two different folds of a traditional Levantine dessert using either geometry or calculus.
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.
Micah S. Stohlmann
An escape room can be a great way for students to apply and practice mathematics they have learned. This article describes the development and implementation of a mathematical escape room with important principles to incorporate in escape rooms to help students persevere in problem solving.