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January 2004, Volume 9, Issue 5


The Chess and Mathematics Connection: More Than Just a Game
Robert Berkman
Connections between chess and mathematics, including examples of activities that connect chess with set theory, patterns, and Pascal's triangle. Teachers will learn how to integrate math into the teaching of chess to use games in the classroom.

Coordinate Plane Set Detective
Darin Beigie
An activity in which students plot collections of ordered pairs according to prescribed set conditions. The coordinate plane sets can have rich variety, and their construction fosters critical thinking, attention to detail, and algebraic reasoning. Teachers will be introduced to the activity and learn how to implement it in the classroom.

Exploring Proportional Reasoning through Movies and Literature
Charlene Beckmann; Denisse Thompson; Richard Austin
Uses of proportional reasoning by movie makers as they create believable sets in which to portray stories from literature. Several problems are posed for students to consider. A list of movies, books, etc. to use in the classroom to teach proportional reasoning is also included.

Limited-English Proficient (LEP) Students and Mathematical Understanding
Hea-Jin Lee; Woo Jung
Problematic issues that teachers and LEP students encounter, effective approaches for teaching mathematics to LEP students, and recommended learning strategies for LEP students. Many teachers have LEP students in their classrooms, and this article will give information to help reach those students and teach them math more effectively.

Teachers Grow Mathematically Together: A Case Study from Data Analysis
Kay McClain; Paula Schmitt
Describes a collaborative effort among a group of middle-school mathematics teachers focused on improving statistics instruction. Data-analysis activities from the monthly work sessions are used to highlight the mathematical issues that arose in the course of collaboration. Teachers will learn about this collaborative group's findings and how to use these findings to help guide classroom instruction.

Circles of Humanity
Allison Lide
Taking a humanistic approach to learning the fundamentals of geometry; exploring geometry as a means of cultural representation. The role of patterns and geometry in civilization and human endeavors is experienced through the use of discovery activities where students themselves discover some of the patterns that have evolved throughout human history. Teachers will learn about these patterns in history and how to implement this activity in the mathematics classroom.