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February 2008, Volume 13, Issue 6

FEATURES

Division by a Fraction: Assessing Understanding through Problem Writing
Angela T. Barlow and Jill Mizzell Drake
An assessment tool that uses student-written word problems to provide meaningful information regarding the depth of mathematical understanding. Students’ word problems representing 6 ÷ 1/2 were classified using the scoring categories described in the NAEP. By categorizing the problems, students' levels of understanding with regard to division by a fraction were revealed. Descriptions of the categories and sample student problems are included.

Teaching Algebra without Algebra
Richard Kalman
The value of problem solving in setting the stage for future math studies. Discusses three problems that can be solved verbally and algebraically.

Integrating Content to Create Problem-Solving Opportunities
Darin Beigie
Seven problems connecting the Pythagorean theorem with a variety of prealgebra topics to provide genuine problem-solving opportunities. Solutions and student samples are provided.

Read how you can use this article as part of a Professional Development Experience.

Using Quilt Blocks to Construct Understanding
Susanne Westegaard
Student experiences with quilt blocks to construct understanding of perimeter, area, probability and transformations. Also provides list of ideas for further explorations, sample quilt patterns, and student samples.