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Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Math

Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Math
Five to Thrive [series]

September 2021 | 232 pages | Corwin
Your guide to grow and learn as a math teacher!

Let’s face it, teaching elementary math can be hard. So much about how we teach math today may look and feel different from how we learned it. Today, we recognize placing the student at the center of their learning increases engagement, motivation, and academic achievement soars. Teaching math in a student-centered way changes the role of the teacher from one who traditionally “delivers knowledge” to one who fosters thinking. Most importantly, we must ensure our practice gives each and every student the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve at high levels, while providing opportunities to develop their agency and authority in the classroom which results in a positive math identity. 

Whether you are a brand new teacher or a veteran, if you find teaching math to be quite the challenge, this is the guide you want by your side. Designed for just-in-time learning and support, this practical resource gives you brief, actionable answers to your most pressing questions about teaching elementary math. Written by four experienced math educators representing diverse experiences, these authors offer the practical advice they wish they received years ago, from lessons they've learned over decades of practice, research, coaching, and through collaborating with teams, teachers and colleagues—especially new teachers—every day. 

Questions and answers are organized into five areas of effort that will help you most thrive in your elementary math classroom:  
1. How do I build a positive math community?
2. How do I structure, organize, and manage my math class?
3. How do I engage my students in math?
4. How do I help my students talk about math?
5. How do I know what my students know and move them forward?

Woven throughout, you'll find helpful sidebar notes on fostering identity and agency; access and equity; teaching in different settings; and invaluable resources for deeper learning. The final question—Where do I go from here?— offers guidance for growing your practice over time. Strive to become the best math educator you can be; your students are counting on it!  What will be your first step on the journey?

About the Authors
Chapter 1: How Do I Build a Math Community?
Chapter 2: How Do I Structure, Organize, and Manage My Math Class?
Chapter 3: How Do I Engage My Students in Math?
Chapter 4: How Do I Help My Students Talk About Math?
Chapter 5: How Do I Know What My Students Know and Move Them Forward?
Chapter 6: Where Do I Go From Here?

"Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Math: Five to Thrive is a must-read for new and experienced math teachers alike! Learn how to develop a strong mathematics community—a community that includes everyone, from the ground up. This will be a nice book to keep on hand and refer back to throughout the year."

Lukas Hefty
Pinellas County Schools, Florida

"Working to ensure all students have access to high-quality math instruction at the elementary level raises a number of questions for educators. In clear, easy-to-read, and practical terms, the authors effectively outline essential components and strategies to guide educators in fostering a student-centered approach to mathematics instruction that gives all students the agency to be successful “doers” of mathematics. This must-have book provides illuminating examples of best practices, sound tips and resources, and authentic samples of student work to showcase key methods and ideas that are grounded in research and, most importantly, classroom tested."

Ann Marie Spinelli
Central Connecticut State University

"Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Math: Five to Thrive is a must-read question-and-answer guide for mathematics educators and leaders. The authors paint a vivid picture of student-centered instruction and share how to implement mathematics instructional shifts to prepare students for a future in which they can reason, think critically, and become doers of mathematics."

Mona Toncheff

As an instructional coach, I will be recommending this book to every teacher I coach. The format is user-friendly and the content is extraordinary! This book answers questions I hear from teachers every day. What's the best way to make anchor charts? How do I organize my math block? How do I make math student-centered? How do I plan for small group instruction? These and other pertinent questions are answered with best practice, culturally relevant, growth mindset, and mathematical practices in mind. I am looking forward to using this for a book study with several groups of teachers I coach! Game-changer!

Gail Donahue, Ph.D. (Instructional Coach)
Notre Dame of Maryland University

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