Write for Teaching Children Mathematics

  • 2019 Focus Issue: Going beyond the Grade Book: Using Student Work to Guide Instruction

    The TCM Editorial Panel invites manuscripts about using student work in classrooms and professional communities to Identify student progress toward learning goals; to plan to address individual student’s needs; and to prompt questioning to elicit, interpret, and respond to student thinking. The submission deadline is May 31, 2018.


    Manuscript Length: No more than 1200 words
    Submit to: tcm.msubmit.net.

    Integrating Science Technology Engineering in Mathematics is the venue for ideas and activities that stimulate student interest in the integrated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in grades K-6 classrooms. 

    Please contact tcm@nctm.org with questions.


    What to Write  

    If you already have a topic in mind and are interested in sharing your ideas with TCM readers, this is what you need to know to increase the chance that the editorial panel will accept your manuscript for publication. When they review your manuscript, they use the following acceptance criteria:

    • Importance of the topic
    • Quality of the ideas
    • Quality of the writing
    • Extent of the contribution to a reader’s professional growth
    • Consistency with the mathematics teaching practices as described in Principles to Actions (NCTM 2014)

    What to Submit  

    Submit manuscripts via  http://tcm.msubmit.net using the following criteria:

    Feature manuscripts should be about 2500 words, not including tables and figures. Only a reasonable number of tables and figures that are essential to understanding should be included. Manuscripts submitted for consideration in departments should follow the guidelines for the particular department. It may be that your ideas fall neatly into one of them. Most of the departments have an editor. If you have an idea you want to send in, check the submission instructions that accompany each department in the journal. Submitting copy for a department is an excellent way to begin your writing career.

    • Use double spacing for all material, including quoted matter, lists, tables, notes, references, and bibliographies.
    • Leave margins of 1 inch on the sides, top, and bottom of each page.
    • Indicate a paragraph by indenting the first line rather than by including an extra space between paragraphs.
    • Provide accurate and complete bibliographical information. All references cited in the manuscript should be listed at the end of the manuscript. We recommend that you refer to recent issues for general bibliographical formatting.
    • Use the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003) for complete style guidelines.
    • Use dialogue and direct quotes sparingly.
    • Incorporate the key ideas of conversations into the text when possible.
    • If material is quoted, supply the complete source in the references and cite the page number with the quotation.
    • Do not use footnotes. Integrate this information into your manuscript.
    • Use mathematics editors (e.g., MathType) sparingly. Expressions and equations that can be typed using the keyboard, such as f(x)=3x2 should simply be typed, as you would the general text. Other mathematics displays that contain characters not found on the keyboard should be set using an equation editor program. For example, y= 2^1/5 should be expressed using an equation editor as


    • No author identification should appear in the manuscript. Manuscript title and name(s) of author(s) should be in an Author Cover Letter only. Do not reference your own work or your school in a way that compromises the blind review process. Use pseudonyms for students’ or colleagues’ names and blind project or grant information, acknowledgments, and conference presentations appearing in a manuscript. Links to personal or institutional Web sites should also be blind. All blinded references can be re-inserted should your work be accepted for publication. Responses to referees/Editorial Panel member’s comments on revised manuscripts should be made through a blinded Rebuttal Letter under Object Type in the system.  
    • Please proofread and spell check your manuscript before submission. Review it for grammar, completeness, mathematical correctness, and accuracy of references. Be sure to spell out all proper names, and fully identify all organizations and groups that are mentioned by initials or acronyms.
    • Figures and tables should be embedded in the manuscript near their mention in the text. Should your manuscript be accepted for publication, publication staff will request that images be sent separately, but for the review process, they should be conveniently embedded in the text for easy reading by our referees.
    • Materials that have been published elsewhere or are being considered for publication by other journals, including other NCTM-affiliated group publications, should not be submitted.

    What Happens Next  

    When the reviewers and the Editorial Panel review your manuscript, they will be using the following criteria:

    1. Importance of Topic

    • Is the topic timely and relevant to the TCM readership?
    • Does the manuscript offer ideas that are new to the field or put a new spin on old ideas?

    2. Quality of the Ideas

    • Are the ideas presented consistent with the high-leverage mathematics teaching practices described in Principles to Actions (NCTM 2014)?
    • Does the manuscript incorporate vivid illustration and description of practice, including student and teacher voice, as appropriate?
    • Does the manuscript provide examples that highlight significant and accurate mathematics?
    • Are the ideas developmentally appropriate and aligned with grade-level mathematics standards?
    • Does the manuscript provide sufficient evidence that the ideas have had a positive impact on learners?
    • Has the manuscript attended to issues of equity, as appropriate?
    • Are appropriate connections and citations made to the professional literature (i.e., research, policy documents, standards)?

    3. Quality of the Writing

    • Does the manuscript have a coherent focus that is established early and developed with depth?
    • Does the manuscript substantiate claims with sufficient evidence?
    • Is the tone respectful of teachers, learners, and other stakeholders?
    • Do the title and opening provide an enticing “hook”?
    • Is the manuscript crafted to continually motivate reader interest?
    • Is the writing organized such that ideas flow logically and smoothly within and among sections?  
    • Is the writing easy to understand (i.e., conversational, minimal jargon)?
    • Does the final section of the article provide sufficient synthesis and closure?

    4. Extent of the contribution to a reader’s professional growth

    • Is the manuscript likely to deepen readers’ professional knowledge of some aspect of mathematics teaching and learning?
    • Does the manuscript attend to practical and logistical considerations that will support readers with taking desired actions?
    • Does the manuscript give sufficient attention to supporting readers with anticipating and responding to learner difficulties?  

    Each manuscript is assigned three reviewers, each of whom are knowledgeable in the manuscript's subject area. The reviewers are given 4 weeks to review a manuscript and recommend that it be accepted, rejected, or revised. It is then sent to the Editorial Panel with the reviewer's recommendation. The Editorial Panel is allowed an additional 4 weeks for final dispensation. Please note that everyone involved in this process is a volunteer so the timeline is  a rule of thumb and could be longer or shorter.