Preservice elementary teachers (PSTs) often enter their teacher preparation programs with procedural and underdeveloped understandings of area measurement and its applications. This is problematic given that area and the area model are used throughout K–Grade 12 to develop flexibility in students’ mathematical understanding and to provide them with a visual interpretation of numerical ideas. This study describes an intervention aimed at bolstering PSTs’ understanding of area and area units with respect to measurement and number and operations. Following the intervention, results indicate that PSTs had both an improved ability to solve area tiling tasks as well as increased flexibility in the strategies they implemented. The results indicate that PSTs, similar to elementary students, develop a conceptual understanding of area from the use of tangible tools and are able to leverage visualizations to make sense of multiplicative structure across different strategies.
Larry Buschman and Introduction by: Beth Kobett
From the Archives highlights articles from NCTM’s legacy journals, as chosen by leaders in mathematics education.
Katherine Baker, Scott A. Morrison, and Alyssa Herrmann
This article features a third-grade multiplication exploration that integrates materials from nature and outside spaces. Teaching and learning mathematics with and in nature foster connections—mathematical, interpersonal, and with the natural world.
Gina Kling and Jennifer M. Bay-Williams
Basic fact fluency has always been of interest to elementary school teachers and is particularly relevant because a wide variety of supplementary materials of varying quality exist for this topic. This article unpacks eight common unproductive practices with basic facts instruction and assessment.
Corey Webel and Sheunghyun Yeo
In this article, we share results from a field experience model in which junior-year methods classes were held in an elementary school and preservice teachers (PSTs) worked with a single student (a “Math Buddy") on mathematics for 30 minutes per day. We focus on the development of PSTs’ skills for exploring children’s thinking and the structures and tools that we used to support this development. Data sources include screencast recordings of interactions with Math Buddies and written reflections completed by PSTs. Although the responsiveness of interactions varied across individuals and interactions, in general, PSTs showed improvements in exploring children’s thinking. We share implications of these findings for similar field experience models and for practice-based approaches to teacher education generally.
Min Wang, Candace Walkington, and Koshi Dhingra
An example of an after-school club activity gives educators some tools and suggestions to implement such an approach in their schools.
Deanna Pecaski McLennan
Amanda K. Riske, Catherine E. Cullicott, Amanda Mohammad Mirzaei, Amanda Jansen, and James Middleton
We introduce the Into Math Graph tool, which students use to graph how “into" mathematics they are over time. Using this tool can help teachers foster conversations with students and design experiences that focus on engagement from the student’s perspective.
Crystal Kalinec-Craig, Emily P. Bonner, and Traci Kelley
This article describes an innovation in an elementary mathematics education course called SEE Math (Support and Enrichment Experiences in Mathematics), which aims to support teacher candidates (TCs) as they learn to teach mathematics through problem solving while promoting equity during multiple experiences with a child. During this 8-week program, TCs craft and implement tasks that promote problem solving in the context of a case study of a child’s thinking while collecting and analyzing student data to support future instructional decisions. The program culminates in a mock parent–teacher conference. Data samples show how SEE Math offers TCs an opportunity to focus on the nuances of children’s strengths rather than traditional measures of achievement and skill.