Mathematics for Elementary Teachers

Reviewed by Monica Rose Gilmore, Graduate Student, CU Boulder on 7/1/19

Comprehensiveness rating: 3

This textbook goes into depth about different mathematical concepts that are important for elementary school teachers to understand in teaching mathematics. However, the text is missing a focus on statistics and probability, which are key areas of focus in elementary math classrooms. The text is also missing an index or glossary but does define new terms as they are introduced.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

The content, mathematical diagrams and depictions are accurate and error-free. Each chapter also accurately shows various ways to understand mathematical concepts. However, the diagrams are geared towards an audience that already has some understanding of advanced mathematics.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

The content is organized in a way that necessary updates would be straightforward to implement. More specifically, much of the content reflects current mathematical practices and activities endorsed by up-to-date research in mathematics education.

Clarity rating: 5

The text is written in accessible prose and provides context for jargon and technical terminology. Additionally, the text clearly separates different terms for different strategies and concepts. For example, in the Problem Solving Strategy section, the interface is divided into different strategies for the reader to explore. This is helpful in keeping new concepts and strategies organized for the reader.

Consistency rating: 5

The text is written with consistent terminology. More specifically, the text consistently gives examples of what concepts are called by mathematicians and teachers. This is helpful for pre-service teachers that might be teaching mathematical concepts and strategies for the first time.

Modularity rating: 4

The text is easily divided into smaller reading sections. These sections include not only explanations of mathematical concepts, but also theorems, activities and diagrams which can be referenced by the teacher at any point. Also, the text gives teachers ideas for activities and additional problems to try with students.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

Though the topics in the texts are presented in a logical, clear fashion, it might be beneficial for pre-service or elementary teachers to see how to specifically scaffold the different concepts within those topics for elementary students at different grade levels. Additionally, the text could also demonstrate how students typically confuse topics so teachers and pre-service teachers are prepared to navigate new concepts for the class.

Interface rating: 4

The interface is easy to navigate since the content clearly outlines chapters and the topics within them. Sections such as notation and vocabulary, think pair shares and theorems are clearly outlined, organized and conceptually scaffolded. However, it might be helpful to have an index so the reader does not have to click within each topic to find the concept they are exploring.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

This text is free from grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive and includes examples from the Hawaiian culture. Though the text is mainly made up of mathematical explanations, there are a variety of people's names in different problems that could be attributed to a variety of cultures. Additionally, the text reflects Polya's advice (1945) to try adapt the problem until it makes sense. Though the text includes mainly mathematical explanations, it does call for adapting problems which could potentially be applied to a variety of students of different backgrounds.