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April 2013, Volume 18, Issue 8

 FEATURES Framing Measurement: An Art Gallery InstallationSarah B. Bush, Karen S. Karp, Victoria Miller Bennett, Liz Popelka, and Jennifer NadlerAn interdisciplinary activity connects mathematics and art from The Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia. Sweet Work with Fractions- FREE PREVIEW!Natalya Vinogradova and Larry BlaineThe Maximum Chocolate Party game requires students to divide and compare fractions in a practical and concrete context. Beyond the Write Answer: Mathematical ConnectionsLeigh Haltiwanger and Amber M. SimpsonAllowing students to write in mathematics class can promote critical thinking, illustrate an awareness of mathematical connections, and result in clear communication as they share ideas comfortably with peers. Second Look:Writing and Communication Posing Cognitively Demanding Tasks to All StudentsRachel Lambert and Despina A. StylianouOne middle school teacher developed classroom routines to make challenging questions accessible to all learners in her class.

 Departments Editorial/From the EditorsFrom the Editorial Panel: The MTMS Word Problem Solve It!Solve It! Rectangles Quick ReadsQuick Reads: A Circle Model for Multiplying Probabilities Cartoon CornerCartoon Corner: Olympic (Picket) Fencing Palette of Problems/Menu of ProblemsPalette of Problems - April 2013 Mathematical ExplorationMathematical Explorations: Interpreting Box Plots with Multiple Linked Representations Window on ResourcesWindow on Resources - April 2013 Math for RealMath for Real: A Bear of a Problem

 Second Look - Writing and Communication The Write Stuff: Producing a How-To BookHelp students articulate their mathematical learning through writing. Putting Mathematical Discourse in WritingA problem-solving pen pal project between preservice teachers and sixth graders presented a lens through which a sixth-grade teacher could view students’ work and her instruction. Assessing Understanding through Reasoning BooksMy Mathematical Reasoning Book  can help students communicate their thought processes to a larger audience. To work effectively, a plan of action requires focused and deliberate instruction. Additional problems are appended online. Illuminations Lesson: Mathematics as Communication  This activity was created to encourage students to observe and examine the world around them. It helps students use mathematics to model real-world problems, to reason mathematically, to communicate mathematically, and to solve problems. In particular, it helps them read and interpret graphs and organize and describe data. Communication Standard for Grades 6-8The middle-grades mathematics teacher should strive to establish a communication-rich classroom in which students are encouraged to share their ideas and to seek clarification until they understand. In such a classroom community, communication is central to teaching and learning mathematics and to assessing students' knowledge. The focus in such classrooms is trying to make sense of mathematics together. Explaining, questioning, debating, and sense making are thus natural and expected activities. To achieve this kind of classroom, teachers need to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, which can be gained by supporting students as they assume substantial responsibility for their own mathematics learning and that of their peers. When teachers build such an environment, students understand that it is acceptable to struggle with ideas, to make mistakes, and to be unsure. This attitude encourages them to participate actively in trying to understand what they are asked to learn because they know that they will not be criticized personally, even if their mathematical thinking is critiqued.