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September 2013, Volume 2, Issue 1


EDITORIAL: Revise and Resubmit: It’s Not a Consolation Prize!- FREE PREVIEW!
Margaret S. Smith
The MTE editor describes the decision making that is required when accepting, rejecting, or asking for a revision of a manuscript, then delves into the role of Revise and Resubmit, “perhaps the most nebulous and misinterpreted of categories.”

Developing Addition Strategies: Preservice Teachers’ Learning From Standards-Based Curriculum Materials
Andrew Tyminski, Corey Drake, and Tonia Land
Despite the prevalence of mathematics curriculum materials in elementary classrooms, most current mathematics methods texts provide little or no support for preservice teachers (PSTs) who are learning to use curriculum materials. To meet this need, the authors designed and studied several modules intended to provide PSTs with opportunities to learn about and from the use of curriculum materials. Their results examine the nature of PSTs’ developing content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, evidenced through their interactions with and reflections on Standards-based curriculum materials.

Challenging Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Image of Rectangles
Gayle Millsaps
Preservice elementary school teachers (PSTs) often have difficulty understanding hierarchical (i.e., class inclusion) relationships between geometric shapes. In particular, PSTs’ predisposition to place squares and rectangles in separate categories can be attributed to their concept images. This study examines the benefits and limitations of using the Shape Makers curriculum unit to modify preservice teachers’ concept images and their definitions of special quadrilaterals.
Online Extra:
Additional Online Geometer's Sketchpad File (ZIP)

Developing Preservice Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching: Making Explicit Design Considerations for a Content Course
Alison Castro Superfine, Wenjuan Li, and Mara V. Martinez
Research has highlighted the nature of the mathematical work in teachers’ practice. However, preservice mathematics coursework often too narrowly focuses on the development of common content knowledge and not enough on the development of specialized content knowledge, a kind of mathematical knowledge that is specific to the work of teaching mathematics. The authors offer three design principles that have informed a mathematics content course for elementary preservice teachers, and they provide learning outcomes data that suggest the overall content course experience supports specialized content knowledge development.

Family-School Partnerships: Promoting Family Participation in K-3 Teacher Professional Development
Heidi L. Fleharty and Carolyn Pope-Edwards
Sixty-three teachers in a K—3 mathematics specialist certificate program conducted family projects to improve their skills in partnering with families around mathematics. Past studies have indicated that family involvement in children’s education has many positive influences on academic achievement; however, parents’ discomfort with math, and teachers’ discomfort of working with parents, may be obstacles. The purpose of the present study was to examine 2 years of teachers’ mathematical family projects and describe the types of projects chosen, the risks and benefits of these projects, and the quality of the parent-child interaction.

Developing Teachers’ Knowledge of a Transformations-Based Approach to Geometric Similarity
Nanette Seago, Jennifer Jacobs, Mark Driscoll, Johannah Nikula, Michael Matassa, and Patrick Callahan
U.S. students’ poor performance in the domain of geometric transformations is well documented, as are their difficulties applying transformations to similarity tasks. At the same time, a transformations-based approach to similarity underlies the Common Core State Standards for middle school and high school geometry. The authors argue that engaging teachers in this topic represents an urgent but largely unmet need. The article considers what a transformations-based approach to similarity looks like by contrasting it with a traditional, static approach and by providing classroom examples of students using these different methods.
Online Extras:
Powerpoint Slides (ZIP)
Video 1 - Makayla and Victoria
Video 2 - Randy

Exploring the Nature and Impact of Model Teaching With Worked Example Pairs
Kristie J. Newton and Jon R. Star
This study involved a promising practice-based professional development activity called model teaching, where teachers collaboratively wrote and then enacted a lesson plan to a “class” of fellow teachers. Analysis of videos during the activity suggested that playing the role of “students” was especially effective as a way to highlight student thinking and to help teachers consider pedagogical strategies for addressing student difficulties. The activity also provided evidence of teacher learning from the professional development experience. Five teachers were followed throughout the school year, and findings suggested that although implementation varied, much of what was learned transferred to the classroom.

FROM NCTM: NCATE Program Reviewer Recognition

NCTM thanks the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) program reviewers for 20122013.