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May 2013, Volume 44, Issue 3

FEATURES

The Impact of Challenging Geometry and Measurement Units on the Achievement of Grade 2 Students
M. Katherine Gavin, Tutita M. Casa, Jill L. Adelson, and Janine M. Firmender
The primary goal of Project M2 was to develop and field-test challenging geometry and measurement units for all K–2 students. This article reports on the achievement results for students in Grade 2 at 12 urban and suburban sites in 4 states using the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) mathematics concepts subtest and an open-response assessment. The experimental group exhibited a deeper understanding of geometry and measurement concepts as measured by the open-response assessment while still performing as well on a traditional measure covering all mathematics content.

An Intervention Including an Online Game to Improve Grade 6 Students’ Performance in Early Algebra
Angeliki Kolovou, Marja van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, and Olaf Köller
This study investigated whether an intervention including an online game contributed to 236 Grade 6 students’ performance in early algebra, that is, solving problems with covarying quantities. An exploratory quasi-experimental study was conducted with a pretest-posttest-control-group design. Students in the experimental group were asked to solve at home a number of problems by playing an online game. Although boys outperformed girls in early algebra performance on the pretest as well as on the posttest, boys and girls profited equally from the intervention. Implications of these results for educational practice are discussed.

Two Models for Evaluating Alignment of State Standards and Assessments: Competing or Complementary Perspectives?
Jill A. Newton and Sarah E. Kasten
The release of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and their adoption across the United States calls for careful attention to the alignment between mathematics standards and assessments. This study investigates 2 models that measure alignment between standards and assessments, the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) and the Webb Alignment Tool (WAT), by examining the use of these models in 3 grade levels in 3 states. Findings indicate affordances and limitations of both models and suggest that, when taken together, the criteria of the WAT coupled with the alignment index and tile charts of the SEC provide a variety of perspectives on the alignment between standards and assessments.

Young Children’s Understandings of Length Measurement: Evaluating a Learning Trajectory
Janka Szilágyi, Douglas H. Clements, and Julie Sarama
This study investigated the development of length measurement ideas in students from prekindergarten through 2nd grade. The main purpose was to evaluate and elaborate the developmental progression, or levels of thinking, of a hypothesized learning trajectory for length measurement to ensure that the sequence of levels of thinking is consistent with observed behaviors of most young children.

BOOK REVIEW
Stephen Hegedus, Sara Dalton, and James Burke
A Review of Mathematics Education and Technology: Rethinking the Terrain, The 17th ICMI Study