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Brain-Compatible Mathematics

Brain-Compatible Mathematics

Second Edition
  • Diane Ronis - Southern Connecticut State University, USA

September 2006 | 200 pages | Corwin

Recharge your math instruction with brain-friendly teaching units!

Students' brains are wired to make them natural, curious learners. The mathematical world around them offers a vast classroom, filled with shapes, spaces, quantities, and experiences to discover and explore, all leading to the construction of understanding. Teachers can use this natural curiosity to tap the inborn neural mechanisms that motivate students to learn—to make relevance and meaning of their surroundings. Brain-Compatible Mathematics, Second Edition bridges the findings from the realms of brain research and improved mathematics instruction through updated teaching samples, connections to the most recent standards, newest research findings, and integration to other content areas.

Each brain is different, and when teachers teach problem-solving skills to help students arrive at their own solution paths, students go beyond mere memorization of facts and algorithms to being an actual participant in the development of mathematical understanding. In an informative and relevant approach, Diane Ronis presents teachers and math leaders with an emphasis on thinking, mathematical representation, and construction of ideas and an abundance of:

  • Sample lessons, units, and strategies linked to 2000 NCTM standards
  • Brain-friendly strategies for math teaching that meet NCLB requirements
  • How-to guides for creating more brain-tuned math teaching
  • Ideas for incorporating technology into the math curriculum
  • Planning templates for immediate use

By integrating math learning into real-world applications, students can actively practice what they learn, make meaning out of their everyday experiences, and think mathematically for success within today's information age.

Publisher's Acknowledgements
About the Author
1. Performance-Based Learning and Assessment
Traditional Versus Brain-Friendly Assessments

Importance of Performance Assessment

Alignment of Curriculum and Assessment

Assessment as Continuous Monitoring

Assessment as Tool for Learning

Grades K-2 Units

2. The Six Pillars of Performance Task Development
Set Up Clear Performance Goals

Employ "Authentic" Project Tasks

Teach and Emphasize Criteria Levels and Performance Standards

Provide Models and Demonstrations of Excellence

Teach Strategies Explicitly

Use Ongoing Assessments for Feedback and Adjustments

Brain-Compatible Framework

Grades 3-5 Units

3. Multiple Intelligences and Brain-Compatible Learning
Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences Model

Assessment for Multiple Intelligences

Grades 6-8 Units

4. Performance-Based Instructional Strategies
Cooperative Learning

Writing and Communicating in the Classroom

Classroom Practice

Challenge Project Unit

5. Problem-Solving Strategies
Instructional Strategies

Problem Exploration


Study Skills, Thinking Skills, and Thinking Processes

Mnemonic Techniques

Organizational Strategies


Challenge Project Unit

6. Teaching and Assessing With the Rubric
Scoring Rubrics

Categories for Rubrics

Types of Rubrics

Brain-Compatible Assessment

Challenge Project Unit

7. Teaching and Assessing With the Portfolio
Student Evaluations

Portfolio Assessment

A Portfolio System


Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

“Ronis grounds her pedagogy in the current understanding of how the brain operates and in multiple intelligences. This book provides rich classroom examples with management tools to move teachers immediately into practice.”

From the Foreword by Bena Kallick

"Provides theory and practice and carefully grounds pedagogy in the current understanding of how the brain operates and multiple intelligences. The book offers rich classroom examples with management tools to move teachers immediately into practice."

Bena Kallick, Educational Consultant

"A fine key to successful teaching: it takes advantage of a student's natural inclination to learn and pairs this with the latest brain research on learning to provide a set of lessons and strategies linked to 200 UCTM standards. Any math teacher must read this."

California Bookwatch, December 2006
Key features
  • Incorporates brain friendly strategies for teaching of mathematics
  • Connects brain friendly math to meeting requirements of NCLB
  • Provides sample lessons for immediate use
  • Guides the how-to for creating more brain-tuned math teaching
  • Incorporates technology
  • Models content-integrated teaching and learning
  • Links units to 2000 NCTM standards

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412939386
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