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.
Christopher Harrow and Ms. Nurfatimah Merchant
Transferring fundamental concepts across contexts is difficult, even when deep similarities exist. This article leverages Desmos-enhanced visualizations to unify conceptual understanding of the behavior of sinusoidal function graphs through envelope curve analogies across Cartesian and polar coordinate systems.
Julie M. Amador, David Glassmeyer, and Aaron Brakoniecki
This article provides a framework for integrating professional noticing into teachers' practice as a means to support instructional decisions. An illustrative example is included based on actual use with secondary students.
Over the past 100 years, technology has evolved in unprecedented fashion. Calculators, computers, and smart phones have become ubiquitous, yet school mathematics experiences for many children still remain without many powerful technological tools for the exploration of mathematics. We consider the evolution of some tools as we imagine a future.
The paper discusses technology that can help students master four triangle centers -- circumcenter, incenter, orthocenter, and centroid. The technologies are a collection of web-based apps and dynamic geometry software. Through use of these technologies, multiple examples can be considered, which can lead students to generalizations about triangle centers.
NCTM has provided rich resources through the publication of practitioner journals for decades and is now leading the way once again with a digital first dynamic publication focused on the learning and teaching of mathematics. This is a rich opportunity for teachers to engage, to learn and to go.
This department publishes brief news articles, announcements and guest editorials on current mathematics education issues that stimulate the interest of TCM readers and cause them to think about an issue or consider a specific viewpoint about some aspect of mathematics education.
Kimberly M. Lilienthal
Collections of short activities, Math by the Month articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation focused on a unifying theme and include four activities each for grade levels K–2, 3–4, and 5–6. In anticipation of October's Fire Prevention Week, September's problems involve firefighters and real-life math applications.