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## Insulating and conducting heat energy using STEM

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 6 classrooms. This article is a STEM lesson on insulators and conductors for heat energy.

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## Tracking Decimal Misconceptions: Strategic Instructional Choices

Strategic instructional choices can simultaneously address common decimal misconceptions and help students race toward decimal understanding.

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## The marriage of place and value

Students say some amazing things. Back Talk highlights the learning of one or two students and their approach to solving a math problem. Each article includes the prompt used to initiate the discussion, a portion of dialogue, student work samples (when applicable), and teacher insights into the mathematical thinking of students. This article investigates a student's understanding of the base-ten number system and how she uses her conceptions of place value to learn about the base-two number system.

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## Place Value as a Rate of Ten

Development of this multiplicative process involves unitizing within and across place.

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## Virtual Place Value

Compare how third graders think mathematically when using virtual versus concrete base-ten blocks to learn place-value concepts.

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Showcase students' in-depth thinking and work on problems previously published in Teaching Children Mathematics.

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Each month, a new problem, along with suggested instructional notes, is made available to elementary school teachers, who use the problem in their classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience. The February problem, about the January 2013 presidential inaugural speech, includes a two-page student activity sheet.

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## Building Understanding of Decimal Fractions

Using grids can help students overcome confusion about place value.

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## Revisiting the Base-Ten Block Challenge

Introducing a problem to children is always exciting when your goal is to challenge them in more than one way. The Base-Ten Block Challenge, published in TCM's January/February 2018 issue, has two layers to the activity. Conceptually, it has the challenge of using familiar materials more flexibly. In addition, this problem incorporates the strategy of Complex Instruction (CI), which aims to make group participation more equitable for all members through using random grouping and tasks with multiple entry points as well as ensuring that all students are accountable for understanding (Featherstone et al. 2011). A grade 2 class in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, took on this challenge, facilitated by a program coordinator in collaboration with their classroom teacher, Mrs. Beth Smith.

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## Moving Math in the Write Direction

Use debate journals as an innovative way to encourage your students to construct mathematical arguments as well as examine and critique others' mathematical thinking.