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September 2011, Volume 18, Issue 2

FEATURES

Fluency with Basic Addition
Gina Kling
Applying known facts to derive unknown facts results in efficiency, flexibility, and an understanding of number combinations for young students.

Games to help students learn basic addition facts in meaningful ways

Learning to Write about Mathematics
Renee Parker and M. Lynn Breyfogle
This student-friendly rubric helped improve third graders’ competencies when explaining solution strategies in writing.

Rubric for Learning to Write about Mathematics
Second Look:
Writing about Mathematics

Enriching Number Knowledge
Nancy K. Mack
Exploring number systems of other cultures helps students deepen mental computation fluency, knowledge of place value, and equivalent representations for numbers.

Game directions and number cards

Sift like Eratosthenes
Sandy Buczynski, Jennifer Gorsky, Lynn McGrath, and Perla Myers
The concrete, pictorial, and abstract methods of this lesson give students access to investigate, isolate, define, and use prime numbers.

Activity sheets - Rectangular Arrays

Second Look - Writing about Mathematics

The Answer Is 20 Cookies. What Is the Question?
A task that engages students in the process of creating word problems.  Difficulties in having students write problems are described, along with strategies for overcoming these difficulties.  Student work and teacher reactions are included.

Aiming for Understanding: Lessons Learned about Writing in Mathematics: Reflect and Discuss
Activities conducted and insights gained by partners in a school/university collaborative project focused on the role of writing in the mathematics classroom. Teachers and university professionals will gain ideas about school/university partnerships, as well as ways to integrate writing into the mathematics curriculum.

Promoting Communication in the Mathematics Classroom
The importance of children representing their mathematical understanding in many different ways. These modes of communication include building, writing, drawing, and talking.

Illuminations Unit: Numbers and Language

Students participate in activities focusing on the role of numbers and language in real-world situations. The emphasis on using components of language helps students build a broader vocabulary of numbers than the traditional symbolic representation of numbers. The activities also help develop good number sense.


PSSM Standard: Communication

Instructional programs from prekindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to—

  • organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication;
  • communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
  • analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others;
  • use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.