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Math Know-How

Math Know-How
Answers to Your Most Persistent Teaching Issues, Grades 3-5

December 2013 | 208 pages | Corwin

From two math coaches who really know how
Have you ever wished there were a single resource to help you tackle your most persistent teaching issues once and for all? To engage students in more meaningful ways? To provide the tools you need to increase students’ understanding of key mathematical concepts? All at the same time! Math coaches Thomasenia Lott Adams and Joanne LaFramenta have just written it.

Written especially for grade 3-5 teachers, Math Know-How is organized around real questions Adams and LaFramenta have fielded from real teachers—questions that have remained remarkably consistent across the hundreds of educators they have advised . Now these two coaches share their hard-won wisdom with you, including how to

  • Employ strategies to connect instruction to the  CCSS, especially the Mathematical Practices
  • Negotiate the wide range of lesson planning and instructional choices
  • Catch up when you fall behind your pacing guide
  • Explore the myriad possibilities for exploiting technology in the classroom
  • Engage students with diverse learning needs

Read this book cover to cover and start asking and answering questions of your own about your teaching practice.

“As we shift from individual standards to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, this book will be a valuable resource in establishing strategies and instructional techniques to better equip teachers for the overwhelming transition.”
—Nena Mathews, Math/Science Teacher, Florence, SC

About the Authors
1. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Mathematics Content and Mathematical Practices
Creating the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Theoretical Basis of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Structure of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Two Brief Notes


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

2. Making Mathematics Teaching Decisions
Learning: The Primary Purpose of School and the Primary Goal of Teaching

The Nature of Learning

Formative Assessment: Discovering the Prior Knowledge

Types of Formative Assessment Practices

Making the Decisions of Teaching


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

3. Using the Pacing Guide Effectively
Pacing Guides for Mathematics Instruction

Role of the Mathematics Pacing Guide

How Do Mathematics Standards Influence the Pacing Guide?

Pacing and Mastery


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

4. Approach to Planning Mathematics Instruction
Perspective: Mathematics Content

Perspective: Models of Instruction

4-A Way to Mathematical Success

Overarching Instructional Strategies


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

5. Facilitating Differentiated Instruction
Introduction to Differentiated Instruction

Specific Points About Differentiated Instruction


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

6. Teaching and Learning Mathematics With Manipulatives
Young Students Learn Best When Mathematics Is Linked to a Real-World Context

Selection of Manipulatives

Use of Manipulatives

Tools in the Practice Standards


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

7. Appropriate Use of Technology
Technology in the Classrooms

Technology for the Learner

Effective Implementation in the Classroom

Evaluating the Use of the Technology

Technology for the Teacher


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

8. Reflecting on the Teaching Practice of Mathematics
What Is Reflection on Teaching?

Connecting Anticipations and Results

Measuring the Outcomes

The Formal Reflection Process


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

9. Understanding the Learner
The Expectations From the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI)

The Special Case of Gloria Jean Merriex

Culturally Responsive Teaching


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

10. Mathematics Assessment 101

Summative Assessment

Authentic Assessment


Questions and Tasks for Reflection

11. Conclusion
All Eyes on Mathematics Education

Appendix: Resources for Teachers

"Math Know-How is a useful resource that underlines best practices for effective mathematics instruction. In a responsive way, the authors made a necessary contribution to help teachers understand how to help develop students' mathematics thinking. The book will be helpful to new and experienced elementary teachers of mathematics."

Dr. Diana Elysee, Assistant Principal
Webster Elementary School, Webster, FL

"As we shift from our individual state standards to Common Core State Standards for mathematics, this book will be a valuable resource in establishing strategies and instructional techniques to better equip teachers for the overwhelming transition for teaching mathematics with a new way of thinking. As a master teacher, it will be a resource that I will turn to for mentoring teachers."

Nena Matthews, 5th Grade Math and Science Teacher
Lee Central Middle School, Bishopville, SC

"This resource is a compendium of research-based ideas, tools, and insights that provide teachers, as ever-emerging professionals, the ammunition needed to formulate and implement strategies for success in the mathematics classroom. The material is presented in such a way as to offer pragmatic overviews in digestible chapters that paint a mosaic of the multitude of issues that teachers must face for effective and efficient learning environments. The author engages the reader in reflective questioning – avoiding the notion that effective teaching “just happens” – and instead, providing a view that this is a profession that demands study and dedicated and informed effort to assist students in understanding the richness and beauty that can be found in mathematics."

William R. Speer, Director
Mathematics Learning Center, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Key features
  • Provides a brief primer for teachers on the CCSS for math and teaching strategies related to the CCSS Mathematical Practices
  • Includes a chapter on "Making Mathematics Teaching Decisions" that helps teachers negotiate the range of choices they have in planning lessons and instructing their students
  • Provides mathematics pacing guides for teachers—complete with dates and timelines to ensure student readiness for benchmark and summative evaluations
  • Provides guidance for teachers on how to implement differentiated instructional strategies to empower even the most diverse group of student learners
  • Covers the structural aspects of planning for mathematics instruction and the basics of selecting, using, and managing instructional supports for hands-on learning
  • Explores the myriad possibilities for using technology in the classroom, for everything from simulations to independent study
  • Includes a full chapter devoted to the topic of reflecting on one's teaching practice and adapting instruction based on information gleaned from classroom experience
  • Provides coverage of teaching methods that respond to multiple intelligences and use all modalities to affect and encourage each student as an individual
  • Explains the many types of assessments and high stakes tests teachers will encounter and guides them through the process of crafting standards-based instruction aligned to the assessment of that instruction
  • Presents interviews from five mathematics coaches that include expert advice on key concerns and questions from math teachers in the field

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781452282626

ISBN: 9781452282633