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February 2007, Volume 12, Issue 6


Using Prediction to Promote Mathematical Reasoning
Ok-Kyeong Kim, Lisa Kasmer
How using students' predictions purposely in the classroom will promote mathematical reasoning and encourage discussion about mathematical concepts. Examples are provided where prediction can be used in algebra and probability. Classroom management strategies are provided to make using prediction most effective.

Cell Phone Coverage Area: Helping Students Achieve in Mathematics
Rose Zbiek, Shari Reed, Tracy Boone
Cell phone coverage areas arouse students' curiosity in a lesson that engages students with area as a measure that relates to, but is different from, linear measure. Three activities (stations) are described in detail along with suggestions on introducing the lesson and closing the lesson with a rich whole class discussion. Activities include using a "tower tool" to simulate placing a cell phone tower on a county map for optimal coverage.

Using Sorting Networks for Skill Building and Reasoning
Robert Andre, Lynda Wiest
An activity created to practice a variety of math skills within a sorting network activity. Students are given cards with numeric values and instructed to physically walk through the network. If they complete the task correctly, the network sorts them based on the value of the card. Samples and activity extensions are discussed.

Instructional Games with Calculators
Wallace Judd
This reprinted article from the November 1976 issue of Arithmetic Teacher describes a series of calculator games that can be adapted to all levels. Games can be played quickly for skill practice or looked at more in depth for conceptual development and strategy.

Alternative Uses for Junk Mail: How Environmental Print Supports Mathematical Literacy
Karen Koellner, Faith Wallace
Ways to use advertisements and solicitations to create real world math problems at various levels. Three levels of problem types are provided with examples of each. Using this environmental print requires students to read carefully and make real-life choices that require complex mathematical thought.

Magic with Mayan Math
Shannon Overbay, Mary Brod
Four activities that use the Mayan system of numeration in base 20. Students first learn the notation, then add, then complete magic squares in the Mayan system. These activities provide students an opportunity to rethink how we use place value and the importance of zero in our number system. Activities can be used with a wide range of abilities and age levels simultaneously since the ideas are new to most people.