I am so excited to be starting a book study on Children's Mathematics. This is an excellent book for elementary teachers. The first edition of this book helped set me on the path my career has taken from being a general K-6 teacher towards being a math specialist. It helped me get started with making math meaningful for kids and has shaped me into the teacher I am today. I am excited to be sharing the second edition on my blog and can't wait to hear what everyone else thought about this book.
If you are just joining us, it is not to late to join our book study. Grab a copy of the book and maybe a friend or two and jump in when you are ready. Also, if this December is just to hectic for you, I will be starting another book study the second week in January. Read more details about both book studies here.
Here is the posting schedule for Children's Mathematics:
December 7: Chapters 1- 3
December 14: Chapters 4 & 5
December 21: Chapters 6 & 7
December 28: Chapters 8 - 10
January 4: Chapters 11 - 13
I will post each Sunday morning and share it on my Facebook page. Please join in by leaving a comment on my blog post or Facebook page. If you have your own blog and want to write a post about the book that works too! Add your link in the comments section here.
Introduction and Chapter 1
"I have always known that it is important to listen to kids, but I never knew what questions to ask or what to listen for." This is a quote from the opening paragraph of the book and does a great job demonstrating the journey I have taken over the past 9 years as a math specialist. I have learned to stop teaching and start listening and I have learned how to seize teachable moments. When reading the introduction and the opening chapter what struck me most is how much of a different place I am in than when I read the first edition of this book.
Chapter 1 also reinforces my beliefs that students can and need to construct their own knowledge about mathematics rather than being taught a procedure. "Without direct instruction on specific number facts, algorithms, or procedures, children can construct viable solutions to a variety of problems."
Chapter 2: Addition and Subtraction: Problem Types
When the Common Core was first published and I took a look at Table 1 from the Glossary it was a real wake up call that my students were not being exposed to all the different problem types for addition and subtraction. If you haven't checked out table 1, you will see there are TWELVE different problem types for addition and subtraction word problems. When my students were first exposed to some of these problem types that I had been neglecting, they found them extremely challenging. Now I have included them in problem sets starting in the primary grades, working on double digit addition and subtraction and going up through fraction operations. What a difference it has made!
Chapter 2 does such a great job of outlining these different problem types that I think anyone who has looked at Table 1 in the Common Core and been confused should definitely read this chapter. It provides the detailed explanation about the different problem types and give some great ideas about how to make problems easier or more challenging by playing with the wording and the positions of the unknowns in the equations.
Please make sure that you note distinguishing between the different types and knowing what they are called in a job for teachers, not for students. Don't spend time trying to teach kids which kind of problem it is and what it is called!
Chapter 3: Addition and Subtraction: Children's Solution Strategies
I love this chapter and I think it has a lot of value for professional development. It is great to read about different strategies and ideas kids have but it is even better to be able to watch the videos. I absolutely love the chart on page 41. I think this will be something I refer to often.
What are your thoughts and ideas about this week's reading?!