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Relating to the Middle School Learner

Another consideration is to take advantage of the natural attributes of middle school learners who have concerns about fairness, equality, justice, social interaction, and empathy. Posing questions around those ideas that live beyond the mathematics classroom will provide additional leverage for engaging students in mathematical tasks. For example, when introducing the seventh-grade Unit What Do You Expect, you can ask students to write about what it means for something to be fair and how to be sure that something is fair. Fairness is an issue that matters to middle school students and to our society. While engaging in the Problems for What Do You Expect, you can repeatedly come back to ask how the mathematics in a Problem helps us in determining fairness.