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January 2012, Volume 43, Issue 1


A Substituting Meaning for the Equals Sign in Arithmetic Notating Tasks
Ian Jones and Dave Pratt
Three studies explore arithmetic tasks that support both substitutive and basic relational meanings for the equals sign. The duality of meanings enabled children to engage meaningfully and purposefully with the structural properties of arithmetic statements in novel ways. Some, but not all, children were successful at the adapted task and were able to connect making substitutions of notation with their existing mental calculation strategies.

“She’s Always Been the Smart One. I’ve Always Been the Dumb One”: Identities in the Mathematics Classroom
Jessica Pierson Bishop
The moment-to-moment dynamics of student discourse plays a large role in students’ enacted mathematics identities. Discourse analysis was used to describe meaningful discursive patterns in the interactions of 2 students in a 7th-grade, technology-based, curricular unit (SimCalc MathWorlds®) and to show how mathematics identities are enacted at the microlevel. Data indicated that students’ peer-to-peer discourse patterns explained the enactment of differing mathematics identities within the same local context. The ways that people talk and interact are powerful influences on who they are, and can become, with respect to mathematics.

The Potential of a Culturally Based Supplemental Mathematics Curriculum to Improve the Mathematics Performance of Alaska Native and Other Students
Ellen Eliason Kisker, Jerry Lipka, Barbara L. Adams, Anthony Rickard, Dora Andrew-Ihrke, Eva Evelyn Yanez, and Ann Millard
A randomized controlled trial conducted in Alaska examined the efficacy of 2 second-grade modules of the reform-oriented and culturally based Math in a Cultural Context (MCC) teacher training and curriculum. The results show that the Picking Berries (representing and measuring) and Going to Egg Island (grouping and place value) modules significantly improved students’ mathematics performance. The analysis also revealed that the impacts were broad based and significant for most of the subgroups of schools and students examined.

Book Review: Taking Context Seriously: A Review of Six Recent Books on Issues
Maisie L. Gholson and Danny Bernard Martin
Six books on equity and diversity are explored.

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Call for Manuscripts: Informing Practice - January 2012