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.
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.
Amber G. Candela, Melissa D. Boston, and Juli K. Dixon
We discuss how discourse actions can provide students greater access to high quality mathematics. We define discourse actions as what teachers or students say or do to elicit student contributions about a mathematical idea and generate ongoing discussion around student contributions. We provide rubrics and checklists for readers to use.