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September 2005, Volume 11, Issue 2

FEATURES

Addressing Diversity in the Mathematics Classroom with Cultural Artifacts
Kanwal Neel
A project done in middle school mathematics classes that addresses the learners' diversity and acknowledges their heritage, multiple abilities, and learning styles. Article discusses the use of cultural artifacts and creative stories, to enable one to teach and assess mathematics in an imaginative and creative way that both respects diversity and extends the understanding to a personal context. Includes project directions and a scoring rubric for assessment.

Using Student Work to Develop Teachers' Knowledge of Algebra
Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, Elizabeth Phillips
A set of learning activities that use algebraic problems and written student work to help preservice and in-service teachers understand students' algebraic thinking. Article discusses how examining student work can affect how teachers think about algebra. Includes in-depth examination of student work on one problem.

You Made It through the Test; What about the Aftermath?
Scott Brown
A writing activity that is used after graded exams are handed back to students. Article discusses the benefits of students reflecting on their performance by writing about their strengths and weaknesses on an exam. Includes examples of student writing, scoring rubrics, and suggestions for implementation.

Embedding Algebraic Thinking throughout the Mathematics Curriculum
G. Vennebush, Elizabeth Marquez, Joseph Larsen
The algebra that can be uncovered in many middle-grades mathematics tasks that, on first inspection, do not appear to be algebraic. Article discusses connections to the other four Standards that occur in traditional algebra problems, and it offers strategies for modifying activities to foster algebraic thinking. Includes sample problems and student work.

Developing Students' Understandings of Variable
Ana Stephens
Student misconception about variables. Article discusses the implementation of an activity designed to address "can two different variables represent the same value?” Includes student work that addresses the misconception.

Using Clock Arithmetic to Teach Algebra Concepts
Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth Jones
Clock arithmetic can help develop understanding of key structural properties in algebra such as identities and inverses. Article discusses the authors' use of finite systems in the classroom to help students understand additive and multiplicative inverses and identities. Includes tables for use in the classroom and suggestions for implementation.