Each month, elementary teachers are given a problem along with suggested instructional notes. Teachers are asked to use the problem in their own classrooms and report solutions, strategies, reflections, and misconceptions to the journal audience.
Postscript items are designed as rich “grab and go” resources that teachers can quickly incorporate into their classroom repertoire with little effort and maximum impact. This article adapts the classic Dots and Squares game into fun ways to encourage problem solving and computation. Variations include ways to adapt the game to different levels.
Integrating Science Technology Engineering in the Mathematics ( STEM) is the venue for ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in these fields in K—grade 6 classrooms. This month's department features two different lessons that were planned by a group of teachers and math educators who focused on the concepts of measurement and geometry, interconnected primarily with engineering.
A regular department of the journal that features collections of short activities focused on a monthly theme, Math by the Month articles aim for an inquiry or problem-solving orientation that includes at least four activities each for grade bands K—2, 3–4, and 5–6. This issue considers how children's toys and games offer many opportunities to count, compare numbers, look for patterns, explore the coordinate plane, and investigate fractions and ratios.
Silbey talks about the benefits of co-teaching. Co-teaching is a form of action research in which a teacher and a math coach collaboratively and simultaneously explore math instruction. It requires a spirit of investigation and the belief that teaching can always be improved. Co-teaching can be initiated by either a teacher or a coach and may involve working with the whole class or a small group.
The problem scenario from October 2012 engages students in simple permutations along with finding the probability of an event. Two sixth-grade teachers report on the seasonal, open-ended, authentic learning that their students experienced with a scarecrow-dressing contest.
Elementary and middle school teachers in a graduate class learned to use the PRIME Leadership Framework to focus on established principles, engaging with their colleagues, and specific tasks and challenges that math coaches face.
A mathematically rich learning environment involves building the habits of mind defined in the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. As a coach and teachers plan instruction, the Mathematical Practices should be so embedded that they are visible in each day's work. Here, Silbery presents givens one should assume when assisting teachers in creating a rich learning environment. These include students must work on engaging tasks that provide multiple entry points.
As students solve problems related to time, they discover patterns and build understanding of the relationships among seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years. Reasoning about time also strengthens concepts related to estimation, orders of magnitude, common multiples, ratios, and operations with numbers that are based on grouping by sixty instead of by ten.