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A cartoon describing cupcakes being divided among friends is coupled with a full-page activity sheet.

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Patricia A. Sellers

The fourth graders were ready to learn long division; however, their teachers were hesitant to begin the unit—just as they are every year. In a grade-level meeting with the school's math consultant, the teachers voiced their typical concerns. The math consultant was a university mathematics education professor spending a semester of sabbatical working with teachers to find ways to help elementary-aged students get excited about doing math and about learning to make sense of math through problem-solving activities.

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Diana L. Moss and Lisa Poling

Students explore the mathematics found in chocolate production.

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Marie Wright

This department showcases students' in-depth thinking and work on previously published problems. The September 2012 problem scenario helps students build number sense and measurement sense. This problem would make a nice addition to observances Fire Prevention Week (October 6–12).

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This department showcases students' in-depth thinking and work on previously published problems. Embedded in the Field Day problem is the big idea of place value. Students explore the scenario of organizing pinnies (scrimmage vests) into bundles of ten, making it easier to distribute them to eight teams participating in a field day.

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These problems are situated in the context of firefighting to promote problem solving and critical thinking.

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Drew Polly

Seating arrangements in a theater offer a real-world context for fourth-grade students to work with factors, multiples, and divisibility.

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This cartoon problem explores serving sizes and sugar found in cereal, coupled with an activity sheet.

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Aubrey Poulsen

Students are given a real-life agricultural problem describing baby pig survival.

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A cartoon that explores how much turkey to serve is coupled with a full-page activity sheet.