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Problem solving with the Sneetches

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. In this issue, teachers read the classic Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches and other stories with their class and get students to engage with these associated mathematical problems. The problems, many of which are open-ended or contain multiple solutions or solution pathways, cover a range of mathematical concepts.

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Relational Thinking: What's the Difference?

Instructional activities designed to encourage relational thinking in primary-grades classrooms can give students advantages when they reason about subtraction.

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Solutions: Mirror, mirror

Each month, this section of the problem solvers department showcases students' in-depth thinking and discusses the classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics. In the problem from the December 2015/January 2016 issue, the task that integrates students' understanding of shapes and their properties and reflections. Students must determine which shapes can be reflected over a line so that the original shape and its reflection form specified figures.

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5 Ways to Improve Children's Understanding of Length Measurement

These activities can support elementary school teachers in building students' conceptions of measurement.

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Finding math in reading and science

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. This month's article considers one way to teach children to be lifelong learners: by applying problem-solving skills and a variety of math concepts at home, including time, measurement, basic operations, and fractions.

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Problem: Pedro's kitchen tiles

Each month, elementary school teachers are presented with a problem along with suggested instructional notes and asked to use the problem in their classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience. This month's problem asks students to help determine how many tiles are needed to remodel a kitchen.

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Selecting and Sequencing Students' Solution Strategies

For orchestrating whole-class discussions, note these suggestions to fine tune problem-solving techniques into cognitively challenging tasks.

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Is there an app for that?

This regular department of the journal 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. Perhaps thinking of the more than fifty national food days that are celebrated in the month of October has tickled your students' taste buds enough to work up an appetite with these word problems and learn about all the foods that our nation celebrates this month.

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Fun at The Fair

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 at least four activities each for grades K–2, 3–4, and 5–6. This month, challenge your students to look for all the mathematics at the local fair.

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Problem: Rocket Ship Exploration

Exploring how many pattern blocks will completely fill the Rocket Ship puzzle, students are challenged to use the most and fewest number of blocks possible. They have the opportunity to explore the composition and decomposition of shapes and generalize ideas about the relationship between the size of the pieces and the number of pieces. Each month, elementary school teachers are presented with a problem along with suggested instructional notes; asked to use the problem in their own classrooms; and encouraged to report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience.