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## Using Mancala in the Mathematics Classroom

Adapting the centuries-old game of mancala provides basic exercises on mathematical modeling.

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## Common Core confusion about modeling

Share news about happenings in the field of elementary school mathematics education, views on matters pertaining to teaching and learning mathematics in the early childhood or elementary school years, and reactions to previously published opinion pieces or articles. Find detailed department submission guidelines at http://www.nctm.org/WriteForTCM.

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## Problem: Birthday Party Patterns

Students are presented with a growing geometric pattern for table configurations at a birthday party. They must verbally describe how to extend the pattern and use their verbal description to generate an expression for the number of tables for different configurations. Each month, elementary school teachers receive a problem along with suggested instructional notes and are asked to use the problem in their own classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience.

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## Get the Goof!

Try introducing this easy-to-implement strategy that engages student detectives in error analysis and mathematical discourse.

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## Solutions: Hundred Chart Challenge

Each month, this section of the Problem Solvers department showcases students' in-depth thinking and discusses the classroom results of using problems presented in previous issues of Teaching Children Mathematics. In this month's Problem Solvers Solutions, readers have a window into students' number and operation sense in the early elementary grades. Second and third graders were presented with problem-solving tasks using a hundred chart consisting of two number cards and a challenge card aligned to an addition or subtraction structure. Drawing on the structure of the hundred chart and prior knowledge, students were able to articulate their solution strategies.

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Articles in this department showcase students' in-depth thinking and work on problems previously published in Teaching Children Mathematics. This month's scenario challenges students to consider elapsed time and requires them to convert between different units of time measure.

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## Keep on Rollin'

Here is a simple way to turn an ordinary whiteboard into an interactive tool that allows students to design and build pathways along which a sliding object will flow—within certain constraints—to reach its final destination. Students must reason, conjecture, test, conjecture again, and then retest their design features to determine a solution to the presented investigation.

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## Postscript: Knock 'em down

This simple dice game supports students' development of flexibility with numbers, the properties of the four operations (+, −, ×, ÷), and the order of operations. It requires only dice and a game board for each player.

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## CCSSM: Keeping Teaching and Learning Strong

To support mathematics educators as they consider implications of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) for instruction and assessment, Teaching Children Mathematics launched a series of articles beginning in the February 2012 issue. In this concluding installment, we concentrate on the implementation of the eight Standards of Mathematical Practice and the constellations of Practices and Standards. In the September issue, Matthew Larson follows up the series with a feature article that looks at CCSSM through the lens of mathematics education reform history and asks the provocative question, Will CCSSM Matter in Ten Years?

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## Math by the Month: The math in names

What is in a name? Actually, quite a lot of math! Join us as “math by the month” challenges students to apply their knowledge of data analysis, geometry, and algebraic thinking to solve this collection of math problems.