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February 2003, Volume 8, Issue 6

 FEATURES Problem Solving, Patterns, Probability, Pascal, and PalindromesAlthea Antoinette Hylton-LindsayArticle presents a problem-solving activity, the Birth Order problem, and several solution-seeking strategies. It includes responses of current and prospective teachers and a comparison of the various strategies. Explorations with a Functioning Flex-O-GramEllen Hines and Jesse BridgesArticle describes a processes to expand thinking about the formula for the area of a parallelogram by observing patterns in the operation of a flexible parallelogram. Maps and AlgebraWilliam GratzerArticle illustrates how writing out map directions can help students develop the skills necessary to become proficient at solving linear equations. Problem and solution discussion included. Why Students with Special Needs Have Difficulty Learning Mathematics and What Teachers Can Do to HelpDavid Allsopp, Louann Lovin, Gerald Green, and Emma Savage-DavisArticle describes four learning characteristics that make learning and doing mathematics difficult for students with special needs. Instructional strategies that make learning and doing mathematics attainable for these students are described in the context of a vignette based on real-life experiences. Calendar Capers: A Star is BornRita H. Barger and Cynthia G. BryantArticle describes a two-week unit based on calendars and births. It is designed to be used in January at the start of each new year. Detailed instructions and sample student work included. Classify & Capture: Using Venn Diagrams and Tangrams to Develop Abilities in Mathematical Reasoning and ProofPatricia S. Moyer and Johnna J. BolyardArticle describes a game of classifying objects according to their attributes using a three-set Venn diagram, then analyzing the classification of the objects to determine their accuracy. Students attempt to capture opponents' game pieces (tangrams) by making mathematical arguments that identify misplaced pieces.

 Departments Readers WriteReaders Write - February 2003 On my MindOn My Mind: Your Manuscript: From Beginning to End Spotlight on the Principles/StandardsSpotlight on the Principles/Standards: Thinking Rationally about Number and Operations in the Middle School Mathematics DetectiveMathematics Detective: Playing Fair at the Fair Menu of ProblemsMenu of Problems - February 2003 Food for thought from Jay’s DinerFood for Thought from Jay's Diner: Tina's Vacation Window on ResourcesWindow on Resources - February 2003