The Variable – Volume 2, Issue 3

From Kindergarten to Grade 12, there is something for everyone in this month’s issue of The Variable. In her article “Talking Points,” Heidi Neufeld describes a structure for engaging students of all ages in meaningful mathematical discourse; Jehu Peters explains in “Matching Tests” why handing back exams randomly is a bad idea, probabilistically speaking; and Colleen Haberern presents a rich problem-based task for middle school students based on TLC’s The Cake Boss in “The Cake Contest.”

You will also find our regular features, including “Spotlight on the Profession” (this month’s interview features Christopher Danielson, who offers a multitude of strategies for supporting children’s numeracy skills at home); “Reflections,” where Amanda Culver reflects on this year’s Extreme Math Challenge; “Intersections,” which will bring you up to date on upcoming professional development opportunities; and “Problems to Ponder,” where you will find a range of rich problems for K-12. Last but not least, we are proud to introduce “Math Ed Matters by MatthewMaddux,” a new column by Egan Chernoff: “slightly bent, untold, true stories of mathematics teaching and learning.” In this issue, Chernoff offers his perspective on the alleged decline of basic mathematics skills in “Subtraction: How the Hunted Became the Hunter.”

To access this month’s issue, head to, where you will find this and all issues of The Variable free to download.

We hope you find this publication relevant and valuable for your teaching or personal interest – and if so, that you share it with your colleagues and invite them to join the conversation! If you have feedback, questions, or would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you – contact us at

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