Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Single Best Book Ever Written for Teachers on Multiplication

The book that changed how I look at kids' thinking and learning around multiplication is


This book is by Catherine Fosnot, one of my favorite teacher book authors.  She is one of the people I would love to talk math with someday.

This book is built on solid research around the way students learn about multiplicative reasoning.  Her "landscape of learning" is a graphic that shows the paths students take to learning multiplication and division.  It shows where students start and the intermediate steps they need to get to being fluent in multiplication and division.  There are also mini-lessons in the book that really demonstrate good mathematical practices.

If you are a busy second or third grade teacher and don't have time to read an entire book, you must read chapter 3.  Chapter 3 is all about developing multiplication fact strategies.  I really think all teachers (and parents!) who work with kids on multiplication fact strategies should read this first!  It really helps make connections for kids and includes some great mini-lessons using pictures and looking at arrays.

The other must read chapter (who am I kidding, the whole book is a must read!) is chapter 6.  It is about algorithms versus number sense.  It presents some great examples of each and how they are very different.  Reading this chapter has helped me be prepared to talk to parents about why we are teaching math the way we are more than any other book.

This is a great book for anyone who teaches grades 2-5.  It will transform the way you think about and teach multiplication and division. 

If you teach older or younger students, Fosnot also has written two other books I love that I will be discussing in a future post

Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction: This book is great for K-2 teachers and is one of the first books I ever read on additive reasoning.

Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Algebra: This book is a great book for all elementary math teachers particularly those in grades 3-6.  It gets at the big idea of how arithmetic connects to algebra.

As you can see, I love this series of Young Mathematicans at Work.  The only one I haven't read is the   Fraction, Decimal and Percents book.  I have a feeling it is as good as the rest.

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?

Looking for more multiplication ideas?  Check out these posts!
A free app for working on multiplication facts
Another free app for multiplication
A FREE QR code scavenger hunt for multiplication facts
Teaching math with You Tube videos: Multiplication


  1. Sounds like a MUST READ! Thanks for sharing! Smiles!

    1. Every teacher in my district who teachers multiplication now owns it! That is how much i pushed for this book to be in the hands of teachers.

  2. I bought Fosnot's K-2 book this summer, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Looking forward to it though.

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. I just finished my M.Ed. in K-5 Math and these books were the texts for several of my classes. They are excellent resources!

  4. I just finished my M.Ed. in K-5 Math and these books were the texts for several of my classes. They are excellent resources!

    1. I wish these were my textbooks when I was an undergrad! I would have learned so much more about how to teach math a lot sooner:)