MTLT Tackles Problem Solving in August Issue

August 2, 2021

Contact: Mary Donovan, 703.620.9840,
RESTON —August 2, 2021—The August issue of Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK–12 (MTLT), the widely read practitioner journal from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), is scheduled to publish on Wednesday, August 4. 

August’s Front-and-Center article concentrates on the concept that students have all the tools they need to understand word problems in the mathematics classroom. Melissa Gallagher, Laura Ellis, and Travis Weiland tackle the problem of word problems in student learning, providing examples for each grade band.  Ellis shares that “solving problems is more than following procedure.” In “Making Word Problems Meaningful,” Gallagher says that the authors strive to “support students in solving word problems” by helping teachers “leverage cognitive strategies that students already use to make sense of text as they read.” 

“Formative Assessment through Think Alouds,” by Tiara Hicks and Jonathan D. Bostic, explores the necessity for “high-quality formative assessments” in classrooms. Through the use of whole-class think alouds (WCTAs,) teachers are able to observe and assess students as they work as a group to solve a problem. This efficient tool allows teachers to gather data on student problem solving while remaining inside of the classroom setting. The authors provide tools and examples of their own class experiences in this grades 3–5 Feature article. 

Classroom teacher and freelance data scientist Joshua Jones connects math to the outside world in his class every day. In this month’s grades 9–12 Focus article, “Integrating Machine Learning in Mathematics Classrooms,” Jones explores the mathematics involved in smartphones’ ability to predict what a user will type depending on the previous words in a message. Inspired by a professional development facilitator, Jones works to “connect students’ understanding of mathematics outside of the classroom.” Jones explores “a lesson in which students learned how conditional probability is the crux of many machine learning algorithms” and its connection to everyday math. Read more about his approach and find examples of student work in this month’s high school Focus article.  

NCTM encourages those interested in contributing to the publication to review the writing guidelines.


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has served as the public voice of mathematics education for more than 100 years, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for each and every student through vision, leadership, professional development, and research. NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. NCTM is committed to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for students. The organization envisions a world where everyone sees the value, beauty, and joy of mathematics and is empowered by the opportunities mathematics affords.