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McGarvey, Lynn M. – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

This article describes how in early mathematics learning, young children are often asked to recognize and describe visual patterns in their environment--perhaps on their clothing, a toy, or the carpet; around a picture frame; or in the playground equipment. Exploring patterns in the early years is seen as an important introduction to algebraic…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Pattern Recognition, Mathematical Concepts, Preschool Children

Kinzer, Cathy J.; Stanford, Ted – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

This article presents a sequence of learning activities that lead to using the area model of multiplication to understand the distributive property (DP). The connection between area and multiplication is an important one, both for algebraic thinking and for geometry, as indicated in two of the critical areas for the third grade in the Common Core…

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

Borenson, Henry – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

An operational understanding of the equal sign can hinder learning its relational meaning. After providing examples that illustrate the folly of expecting students who know the operational meaning of the equal sign to intuit the sign's relational meaning, this article provides teachers with strategies that will help them effectively introduce…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Elementary School Mathematics, Mathematical Concepts, Symbols (Mathematics)

Tobias, Jennifer M.; Andreasen, Janet B. – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

As students progress through elementary school, they encounter mathematics concepts that shift from additive to multiplicative situations (NCTM 2000). When they encounter fraction problems that require multiplicative thinking, they tend to incorrectly extend additive properties from whole numbers (Post et al. 1985). As a result, topics such as …

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Elementary School Mathematics, Mathematical Concepts, Multiplication

Hillen, Amy F.; Watanabe, Tad – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

Recent documents suggest that all students, even young children, should have opportunities to engage in reasoning and proof (CCSSI 2010; NCTM 2000, 2006, 2009). One mathematical practice that is central to reasoning and proof is making conjectures (CCSSI 2010; NCTM 2000; Stylianides 2008). In the elementary grades, "formulating conjectures…

Descriptors: Subtraction, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Logic, Validity

Hintz, Allison B. – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

"Strategy sharing" is a certain type of discussion that centers on students' ideas and occurs when children present different approaches to problems and provide information about how they solved the problem (Wood, Williams, and McNeal 2004). A teacher may orchestrate a strategy-sharing discussion to achieve one or more of the…

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Learning Strategies, Mathematics Instruction, Word Problems (Mathematics)

Godfrey, Connie J.; Stone, Jamalee – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

Math games can be powerful tools in helping students achieve automaticity in basic addition and related subtraction facts if both teachers and students use them purposefully. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM 2000), developing a solid mathematical foundation is essential for every child in prekindergarten through…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Skills, Educational Games, Arithmetic

Pitsolantis, Nicole; Osana, Helena P. – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

It is not surprising, as research has shown, that fractions are one of the most difficult of the elementary school math topics to teach and learn in ways that are meaningful. The authors reference a work by James Hiebert, "Mathematical, Cognitive, and Instructional Analyses of Decimal Fractions" (1992), that mathematical concepts should…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Elementary School Mathematics, Teaching Methods

Kastberg, Signe E.; Frye, R. Scott – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

To challenge students' reasoning and to align with a physical fitness unit that students were studying, teachers and authors, Scott Frye and Signe Kastberg adapted a ratio comparison problem from Susan Lamon, "Ratio and Proportion: Connecting Content and Children's Thinking," (1994) to include athletes and doctors who share…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Logic, Grade 6, Physical Fitness

Dominguez, Higinio; Adams, Melissa – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

Textbooks, as well as classroom instruction, tend to present estimation as a stand-alone exercise, ignoring that "the process of estimation depends on the situation itself as well as the estimator." When taught this way, estimation is stripped of its power to help students judge the reasonableness of answers and make sense before,…

Descriptors: Bilingual Students, Mathematics Instruction, Elementary School Mathematics, Bilingual Education

Campbell, Patricia F.; Malkus, Nathaniel N. – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

"To whom do you turn in this school for advice or information about mathematics instruction?" (Spillane, Healey, and Parise 2009, p. 413). When teachers in forty-four schools were asked this question, they were more likely to indicate a teacher leader in their school, rather than the school's principal or any other administrator.…

Descriptors: Elementary School Mathematics, Academic Achievement, Specialists, Mathematics Instruction

English, Lyn D. – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) continues to emphasize the importance of early statistical learning; data analysis and probability was the Council's professional development "Focus of the Year" for 2007-2008. Such a focus is needed, especially given the results of the statistics items from the 2003 NAEP. As…

Descriptors: Probability, Statistics, Data Analysis, Classrooms

Leavy, Aisling; Hourigan, Mairéad; McMahon, Áine – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

Quite a bit of the arithmetic in elementary school contains elements of algebraic reasoning. After researching and testing a number of instructional strategies with Irish third graders, these authors found effective methods for cultivating a relational concept of equality in third-grade students. Understanding equality is fundamental to algebraic…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Arithmetic, Elementary School Mathematics, Algebra

Bofferding, Laura; Yigit, Melike – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2013

The standing long jump was an Olympic event until 1912. In 1904, Ray Ewry set the world record for the longest standing long jump, which was about 11.5 feet, or 138 inches. Although the standing long jump is no longer an Olympic event, the Norwegians still include it in their National Competition, and Arne Tvervaag set a new world record at about…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Competition, Athletics

Burton, Megan; Mims, Patricia – Teaching Children Mathematics, 2012

Learning through meaningful problem solving is integral in any successful mathematics program (Carpenter et al. 1999). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) promotes the use of problem solving as a means to deepen understanding of all content areas within mathematics (NCTM 2000). This article describes a first-grade lesson that…

Descriptors: Elementary School Mathematics, Elementary School Students, Computation, Cooperative Learning