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December 2007, Volume 13, Issue 5

FEATURES

How Fast Do Trees Grow? Using Tables and Graphs to Explore Slope
Elana Joram, Vicki Oleson
A lesson unit in which students constructed tables and graphs to represent the growth of different trees. Students then compared the graphs to develop an understanding of slope. Includes student samples and outcomes.

A Look at the Development of Algebraic Thinking in Curriculum Focal Points
Cathy Seeley, Jane Schielack
How to put into practice the new NCTM publication, Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence. Included are specific algebraic standards for grades K through 8 and examples of problems students should be able to solve at different grade levels.

Integrating Mathematics and Social Issues
Gregory Harrell
Integrating mathematics with social issues to provide a rich context for connecting mathematical activities to the real world. The sample activities focus on measurement concepts. Activity sheet and examples of student work included.

I Can't Write All the Way to 100: Recognizing Students' Emerging Algebraic Strategies
Vanessa Pitts Bannister, Jesse Wilkins
Concepts exhibited by seventh-grade prealgebra students as they approached algebraic-thinking tasks. Article discusses students approaches to modeling the simple linear growth pattern of the height of a stack of plastic cups. Sample tasks with student responses included.

Teaching Multiplication Algorithms from Other Cultures
Cheng-Yao Lin
Multiplication algorithms from different cultures around the world: Hindu, Egyptian, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese. Students can learn these algorithms and better understand the operation and properties of multiplication. Includes tabular and pictorial demonstrations of the algorithms.

Is Silence Golden? What Silent Participants Might Be Learning in Discourse-Rich Classrooms
Amy Hillen, Margaret Smith
One concern raised for teachers who are creating discourse-rich learning environments is what students who remain silent during discussions might learn. This article considers this issue by examining the learning of one silent participant—a preservice secondary mathematics teacher. Included are example problems used to generate discussions and sample dialogues between the participants in the course.