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• Author or Editor: Wickstrom Megan H.
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Volume is a treat

Finding volume is not always an easy task. Students need hands-on experiences with volume units to make sense of three dimensions. Comparing the quantity of familiar objects helps students foster conceptions of volume because the task requires attention to attributes, counting strategies, and connections to multiplication and capacity.

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Piecing It Together

Use quilting as a context to relate area to perimeter as well as an opportunity to examine second graders' conceptions and misconceptions about measurement.

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Elementary Modeling: Connecting Counting with Sharing

Examine second-grade students' investigative processes, thinking, and revisions in this lesson using fish crackers.

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Emphasizing the M in STEAM activities

Modifications to a first- and second-grade STEAM activity, Elephant Toothpaste, highlight ways to emphasize mathematical thinking by running multiple experiments, posing mathematical questions, and having students make both qualitative and quantitative observations. Contributors to the iSTEM department share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K–grade 5 classrooms.

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Inch by Inch, We Measure

Examine teaching strategies, students' conceptions and visualizations of length units, and conservation of length as first graders explore the meaning of an inch in the context of a garden inchworm.

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Area Conceptions Sprout on Earth Day

Within the context of gardening, students examine rectangles with the same perimeter to see if and how their areas differ.

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LEGOs: Linking Units, Operations, and Area

Use those multicolored linking bricks to help students connect measurement with an understanding of number and operations as well as fractions.

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Exploring Yellowstone National Park with Mathematical Modeling

With the 2016 national park centennial and such initiatives as Find Your Park, students and teachers alike are encouraged to explore state and national parks as their outdoor classrooms. From terrain change to average daily temperature, many aspects of the outdoors can be explored through mathematics. Because of our location, several fifth-grade classrooms across our district have the opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park. Exploring Yellowstone is both relevant and motivating for our students because most have already visited or learned about some features of the park. For these reasons, as teachers, we thought that Yellowstone could act as an ideal context in which to investigate measurement topics and engage in the process of mathematical modeling.

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Geometric Modeling: Determining the Largest Lake

During a middle school task, students compare the sizes of Lake Tahoe and Flathead Lake.

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Bridging Modeling and Environmental Issues

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch activity involves an urgent environmental issue that students can discuss. It engages students in the interpretation of visual data, measurements, units, and the area of regular and irregular figures.