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## Setting up symmetrical structures

iSTEM: Integrating Science Technology Engineering in the Mathematics authors share ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K'grade 6 classrooms. In this month's lesson, elementary school children in the primary grades learn to create symmetrical structures using wooden blocks. Student interviews and an observational rubric are used to assess the children. Extensions for intermediate elementary grades are provided.

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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.

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## The Functionator 3000: Transforming Numbers and Children

Be inspired by a formerly timid third grader who now confidently conveys a new understanding of numbers, patterns, and their relationships as functions.

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## A foxy loxy and a lallapalagram

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that teaching mathematics should greatly differ from teaching language arts. The subjects are usually scheduled separately in the school day. Classroom teachers at Munich International School in Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany, did not pay much attention to what language means to learning and teaching mathematics—until their geometry students offered language surprises that reminded their teachers how important language is.

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## Gerrymandering: When Equivalent Is Not Equal!

Students explore the idea of equal versus equivalent, then learn about the social, political, economic, and educational implications of gerrymandering.

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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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## From Classroom to Coach: One Teacher's Journey

In addition to differentiating and developing curriculum, this teacher's transition to coaching in an early childhood setting involves a complex blend of mentoring teachers, teaching students, and discovering resources.

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## Can Kindergartners Do Fractions?

Do prekindergarten students describing and illustrating their attempts at fair-sharing tasks exhibit a spontaneous understanding of fractions prior to formal instruction? This researcher shares her findings.

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## Decomposing Rectangles

Students are given a problem to break down rectangles.

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## Formative Assessment: Easy as 1, 2, 3

Beginning teachers can easily implement these strategies to increase student achievement.