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
For the Love of Mathematics
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.
Sarah Brand, Hyunyi Jung, Ashley Dorlack, and Samuel Gailliot
Five teacher discussion strategies and outcomes of students’ responses to each are illustrated with examples.
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.
Scott Corwin, Michelle Cascio, Katherine Emerson, Laura Henn, and Catherine Lewis
Our middle school mathematics department used lesson study to investigate how to introduce fractions division to our sixth-grade students. We highlight our learnings during the Study and Plan phases, describe our observations during the lesson, and provide tips for educators interested in using lesson study to study their own content.
Aline Abassian and Farshid Safi
This article dives into the importance of engaging students in investigating the mathematics of businesses that pressure their members to recruit new members as a basis for success, also referred to as multi-level marketing (MLM). The mathematics behind these businesses are discussed, and a sample student task is given.
LouAnn H. Lovin
Moving beyond memorization of probability rules, the area model can be useful in making some significant ideas in probability more apparent to students. In particular, area models can help students understand when and why they multiply probabilities and when and why they add probabilities.