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Rapke, Tina – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Many studies have claimed that traditional testing actually promotes students' use of superficial approaches to learning. When preparing to take tests, students typically memorize and cram rather than understanding the material and gaining new perspectives. This article describes how the author recast traditional tests by having students take a…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Tests, Formative Evaluation, Summative Evaluation

Lee, Younhee; Lim, Woong – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Understanding how one representation connects to another and how the essential ideas in that relationship are generalized can result in a mathematical theorem or a formula. In this article, the authors demonstrate this process by connecting a vector cross product in algebraic form to a geometric representation and applying a key mathematical idea…

Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Geometric Concepts, Algebra, Mathematical Formulas

Kirwan, J. Vince – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Patterning tasks engage students in a core aspect of algebraic thinking-generalization (Kaput 2008). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Algebra Standard states that students in grades 9-12 should "generalize patterns using explicitly defined and recursively defined functions" (NCTM 2000, p. 296). Although educators…

Descriptors: Visualization, Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Algebra

Wagner, Jennifer; Sharp, Janet – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Calculus, perhaps more than other areas of mathematics, has a reputation for being steeped with procedures. In fact, through the years, it has been noticed of many students getting caught in the trap of trying to memorize algorithms and rules without developing associated concept knowledge. Specifically, students often struggle with the…

Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Concept Formation

McGraw, Rebecca – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

The task shared in this article provides geometry students with opportunities to recall and use basic geometry vocabulary, extend their knowledge of area relationships, and create area formulas. It is characterized by reasoning and sense making (NCTM 2009) and the "Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others"…

Descriptors: Mathematics Education, Geometric Concepts, Mathematical Formulas, Mathematics Skills

McCulloch, Allison W.; Whitehead, Ashley; Lovett, Jennifer N.; Whitley, Blake – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Context is what makes mathematical modeling tasks different from more traditional textbook word problems. Math problems are sometimes stripped of context as they are worked on. For modeling problems, however, context is important for making sense of the mathematics. The task should be brought back to its real-world context as often as possible. In…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Audio Equipment, Textbooks, Word Problems (Mathematics)

Shriver, Janet; Willard, Teri; McDaniel, Mandy – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

In the set of fractal activities described in this article, students will accomplish much more than just creating a fun set of cards that simply resemble an art project. Goals of this activity, designed for an algebra 1 class, are to encourage students to generate data, look for and analyze patterns, and create their own models--all from a set of…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Learning Activities, Algebra, Models

Czocher, Jennifer A.; Moss, Diana L. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

Why are math modeling problems the source of such frustration for students and teachers? The conceptual understanding that students have when engaging with a math modeling problem varies greatly. They need opportunities to make their own assumptions and design the mathematics to fit these assumptions (CCSSI 2010). Making these assumptions is part…

Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, High School Students

Richardson, Janessa; Bachman, Rachel M. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

This article describes a preservice teacher's imaginative exploration of completing the square through a process of reasoning and sense making. She recounts historical perspectives and her own discoveries in the process of completing the square. Through this process of sense making, she engaged with the content standard of completing the square to…

Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematical Logic

Rhoads, Kathryn; Mendoza Epperson, James A. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) states that high school students should be able to recognize patterns of growth in linear, quadratic, and exponential functions and construct such functions from tables of data (CCSSI 2010). In their work with practicing secondary teachers, the authors found that teachers may make some tacit…

Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Intervals, Mathematics Instruction, Algebra

Wolbert, William – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

The query "When are we ever going to use this?" is easily answered when discussing the slope of a line. The pitch of a roof, the grade of a road, and stair stringers are three applications of slope that are used extensively. The concept of slope, which is introduced fairly early in the mathematics curriculum has hands-on applications…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Experiential Learning, Learning Activities, Mathematical Concepts

Harper, Suzanne R.; Cox, Dana C. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

In the authors' attempts to incorporate problem solving into their mathematics courses, they have found that student ambition and creativity are often hampered by feelings of risk, as many students are conditioned to value a produced solution over the actual process of building one. Eliminating risk is neither possible nor desired. The challenge,…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, Student Motivation, Creativity

Freeburn, Ben; Arbaugh, Fran – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

"Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All" (NCTM 2014, p. 10) contains eight research-informed teaching practices that have been shown to support students' mathematical thinking and learning. Two teaching practices highlighted herein are "to elicit and use evidence of students' thinking" and "support…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Mathematical Logic, Thinking Skills

McCaffrey, Tony; Matthews, Percival G. – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

In this article, the authors discuss the potential of the icon-based mathematical games, emoji math and mobile math, to promote student engagement with and understanding of algebra. They describe how these games serve as accessible entry points for algebraic thinking and that, in contrast to traditional symbolic algebra, the use of these…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Algebra, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education

Taff, Jason – Mathematics Teacher, 2017

In this article, Jason Taff shares an approach that he presented to advanced seventh-grade prealgebra students. He begins by summarizing some of the shortcomings of equating the order of operations concept with the PEMDAS (often rendered mnemonically as "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally") procedure with the hope of helping teachers at…

Descriptors: Grade 7, Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, Mnemonics