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Karen S. Karp, Sarah B. Bush, and Barbara J. Dougherty

Try these meaningful alternative approaches to helping students make sense of word problems.

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Stefanie D. Livers, Kristin E. Harbour, and Lindsey Fowler

In our attempts to make a concept easier, we may hinder student learning.

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Stephen Phelps

Edited by Anna F. DeJarnette

A monthly set of problems targets a variety of ability levels.

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P. Reneé Hill-Cunningham

Hundreds of species of animals around the world are losing their habitats and food supplies, are facing extinction, or have been hunted or otherwise negatively influenced by humans. Students learn about some of these animals and explore multiple solution strategies as they solve this month's problems. Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6.

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Megan H. Wickstrom, Elizabeth Fulton, and Dacia Lackey

Use those multicolored linking bricks to help students connect measurement with an understanding of number and operations as well as fractions.

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Michelle Stephan and Jennifer Smith

To incorporate more classroom discussion, allow students to argue.

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Michelle L. Meadows and Joanna C. Caniglia

Imagine that you and your language arts colleagues are teaching Edgar Allan Poe's short story, “The Pit and the Pendulum.” This thrilling story takes us to the Inquisition during which a prisoner is surrounded by hungry rats and bound to a table while a large pendulum slowly descends. The prisoner believes that the pendulum is 30-40 feet long and estimates that it should take about 10-12 swings before he is hit, leaving him with about a minute or a minute and a half to escape. Are his estimations correct? If so, will he make it out in time?

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Donna Christy

From coast to coast, America is filled with different types of fascinating landmarks. This set of problems offers a mathematical road trip visiting the famous sites. Math by the Month features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme. These articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes four activities each for grade bands K–2, 3–4, and 5–6.

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Molly Rawding and Jean Kelly

Students benefit from hands-on tasks exploring number, area, and fractional relationships when the value of a whole changes. This activity uses pattern blocks to explore different designs with different constraints (e.g., a target value, a set number of blocks, or a final shape) while changing the value of the whole. For example, if the trapezoid is worth 1 1/2, create different sizes of triangles and find their value.

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Claudia M. Bertolone-Smith and Linda Gillette-Koyen

Avoid off-task behavior, such as horseplay, rolling on the floor, and meowing, with a reliable routine that promotes students' thinking, communication, and social safety in sharing their ideas.