Mathematics for Elementary Teachers
Michelle Manes, Honolulu, HI
Copyright Year: 2017
Publisher: University of Hawaii Manoa
Conditions of Use
The book is somewhat dated and does not include current research based best practices like concrete, representational, then abstract. Like most authors, they make assumptions that students have the ability to understand abstract and start the... read more
The book is somewhat dated and does not include current research based best practices like concrete, representational, then abstract. Like most authors, they make assumptions that students have the ability to understand abstract and start the lesson there, which is contradictory to how the brain works and what current research says about effective math instruction and learning.
I agree the content is accurate, but in many areas the learner must have a very strong understanding of mathematical concepts, structures, and applications. There lacks current best practice and current NCTM recommendations to approaching the teaching of mathematical content.
Although mathematical concepts at the elementary level remain the same, the approach to engaging students in learning and the methods of instruction have evolved greatly. The book lacks many of the newer approaches and is outdated. The arrangement of the concepts is okay. I would recommend that the big ideas of teaching math are in the beginning and providing an overview of what is mathematics and best approaches to teaching/learning mathematics. Then scaffold the specific concepts. Fractions is one of the most complex and abstract, and this book starts there as a first topic.
Once again, the book is okay in terms of math learning but dated on best practice approaches. The book does not use jargon per say, but does not provide the best approaches for students to learn how to effectively teach mathematics.
Yes the book is consistent throughout.
The text is divisible, just not relevant to today nor provides current approaches. The order of the content is not in line with a methods of teaching course I would follow.
I think the topics are clear but dated and not in the order as described above.
The text provides a variety of interfaces, none of which are confusing for the student who has a very strong math background. The text does mislead students to think starting with abstract is how to instruct elementary students, which is contradictory to brain research and current best practices.
I did not notice any grammar errors.
I think the text is culturally appropriate. Not certain about the final chapter as it focuses on one population. Having a chapter or theme woven throughout the text that provides students with a stronger understanding that although mathematics is a universal language, there are cultural differences to teaching and learning as evidenced in the 1999 TIMSS report.
The text is outdated. The text is an okay resource but I would not be able to use as the main guide for learning in a college level methods of teaching elementary mathematics course.
This book introduces the reader to the standards for mathematical practice (SMP) from the Common Core standards in the introduction. I appreciated this as these standards cover all grades and are a unifying theme of the Common Core standards, yet... read more
This book introduces the reader to the standards for mathematical practice (SMP) from the Common Core standards in the introduction. I appreciated this as these standards cover all grades and are a unifying theme of the Common Core standards, yet many times overlooked. In addition, many states, including mine, that are not following Common Core directly have adopted the SMPs. The book does not cover two of the mathematical strands, namely measurement and statistics/data. Among the strands that are covered, however, the author does a thorough job of explaining the content, using a unified theme throughout, such as dots and boxes introduced in place value that appear again in number operations. I particularly liked the final chapter of the book and its connection to Hawaiian culture. The author could easily incorporate ideas related to teaching and learning measurement into this chapter in order to make the book more comprehensive.
The content was very accurate. I did not come across any mathematical errors or biases. The author did a good job of incorporating "think, pair, share" elements throughout each chapter as a model for future teachers. To further guide future teachers, I would have liked to see the author include information in each chapter about common misconceptions students have when learning the related material and ideas on how to address those misconceptions. In my experience, I find that pre-service teachers are unaware of these misconceptions and it is helpful to make them aware of them so that they can anticipate them in their own classrooms.
The content presented in this book is up-to-date and will remain relevant for a long time. Due to the fact that this book focuses more on content rather than methods, I do not foresee a need for many updates moving forward.
The book is written in a very clear and concise way that is approachable to future and current elementary teachers. The author presents key words in bold throughout the book to draw attention to them. I liked the way that the author included videos as well as written explanations of ideas, such as in the Number and Operations chapter, section titled Addition: Dots and Boxes. The author explains, in words, how to use this method to add multi-digit numbers and follows the written example with a video explanation. This helps to reach a variety of learners and learning styles. The author also addresses common "jargon" associated with particular mathematical concepts, such as proper and improper fractions (section titled What is a Fraction?), and discusses how this jargon can be misleading for students.
Each chapter in the book includes an introduction, multiple opportunities for think-pair-share discussions, and several problem sets to practice. I appreciated the consistency in the Dots and Boxes method introduced in the Place Value chapter and then carried into the Number and Operations chapter.
The book uses a modular approach to present the material. Each module contains numerous sections that help to break up the content into smaller chunks so that the content does not seem overwhelming. The modules are set up in an order that makes sense for the mathematics, but a reader could begin reading at any module and still make sense of the content.
The organization of the topics makes sense according to the mathematics presented and is logical.
I did not find anything distracting or confusing in relation to the interface of the text. The book was easy to navigate, with a clearly defined table of contents. I was able to easily click through the various modules and sections within each module. The book uses figures well to provide engagement to the reader as well as to further clarify content. The use of videos embedded within the modules helps to strengthen understanding of the content. It did take me a minute to find the navigation link that allowed me to move to the next section in a module (right arrow at bottom right corner of the page), but once I found it I was able to navigate seamlessly to each subsequent section.
I did not find any grammatical errors in the text.
In my opinion, this was one of the biggest strengths of this text. The author did a nice job of incorporating Hawaiian culture into the text. For example, the author includes an image in the Place Value chapter (Number Systems section) that references the use of tally marks on a sign at Hanakapiai Beach. In addition, a full chapter was devoted to Voyaging on Hōkūle`a. I particularly liked how the author connected this idea to beginning teaching of elementary mathematics and encouraged future teachers to think about ways to see mathematics outside of traditional mathematical settings.
I am glad that I came across this resource. I primarily teach math methods courses for elementary pre-service teachers, but I found many aspects of this text that I can incorporate into my classes to help students think more deeply about the mathematics that they will teach. I appreciated the author's attempt to challenge students in their thinking about elementary mathematics. Initially, I was surprised to find that there was no "answer key" provided for the many problem sets that were included throughout the text. After reading the quote presented on the introductory page to the Problem Solving chapter, I realized that this may have been an intentional decision made by the author to encourage readers to go beyond "a trail someone else has laid." I find that many pre-service elementary teachers want to "just know the answer" when it comes to mathematics; a no answer key approach will encourage discussion and justification, two elements important to ensuring equity in the teaching and learning of mathematics.
The content that elementary teachers need to have that is not covered in this book is graphing, probability, statistics, exponents, visual displays of data. The coverage of operations is very specific in the examples and does not cover the wide... read more
The content that elementary teachers need to have that is not covered in this book is graphing, probability, statistics, exponents, visual displays of data. The coverage of operations is very specific in the examples and does not cover the wide range that should be presented in this type of text.
While the core topics presented are correct, the number of problems that are provided without any solutions is alarming. The majority of problems that are provided are meant for the reader to perform but do not provide any type of answer key for checking the work. In this way, the book seems to assume the reader to have a solid knowledge of the topics already and this book discusses a few different approaches to these topics.
The specific content presented is up-to-date and usable.
The book's prose seem to be more of a teaching guide than a textbook. This is nice for the conversational aspect that a reader may want in their learning, but should be explained more or possibly a change of title for the book. Something more like "Exploring the concepts of Elementary Mathematics" would provide a more reading friendly approach the book offers.
The author has a consistent voice of teaching and presenting the material.
The break-up of the text with boxes is difficult to follow the purpose of each box. While some of the box styles are clear, such as the think, pair, share or problem boxes, others seem to break up the line of discussion. A problem box may be discussed more directly immediately following the box and the presentation of the problem. Most of the problem boxes are not discussed again in the main text. This cased issues for wanting to read with a specific purpose. When the reader wants to understand a problem more, there is generally not more discussion, but unclear about when that would be provided or not. Other times boxes were used without any "box type" provided and these were just to break up the flow of the text.
Place value was a major topic to start the book and had good coverage, then operations and fractions were discussed, then a return to place value with decimals. It would seem that a connection of place value and decimals would work better to follow the other place value discussion.
There are several pages that have large blank parts or are totally blank. This may be due to the PDF version that I chose. When I did use the internet-connected version, there seems to be a dependence on youtube to help do some of the teaching.
There are a few minor issues that would be resolved with a good proofread.
The book does seem to be written with the Hawaiian culture in mind. This may be difficult for other cultures to connect to or understand but does not present any insensitivities.
The book's title suggests a full discussion of the topics that elementary education pre-service teachers would need to know and teach, but this book is very lacking in the topics required for this. I selected this book to review because I teach classes that would use the textbook, but I would not use this textbook as is. There are a few topics that I plan to add to my own instruction, but the book as a whole needs additional help to be able to stand alone. This really appears to be a teaching guide based on the constant think-pair-share setup. This also is a specific teaching and method that seems to require the students to already have much of the content mastered. It does not teach all the content that is required to the level of the discussion had.
The book covers all the expected mathematical strands except for measurement and data/stats. There are some obvious connections to the strands of mathematical practice from the Common Core standards. While the abstract specifically lists MP1, MP2,... read more
The book covers all the expected mathematical strands except for measurement and data/stats. There are some obvious connections to the strands of mathematical practice from the Common Core standards. While the abstract specifically lists MP1, MP2, and MP3, the introduction clearly lists all 8. The chapter "Voyaging on Hōkūle`a" contains activities that will require use of measurement and units, but there is no explanation on how measurement topics should be taught or approached. However, this chapter does provide a good project-based learning set of materials, and is an exceptional resource for navigation. The book also includes a chapter on Problem Solving, which is important for those students who must complete the EdTPA and address the 3rd subject specific emphasis area. All embedded links to Youtube videos or Vimeo videos are working and play within the textbook pages.
I find the mathematics to be entirely accurate. There are many teaching strategies, such as "think pair share" that are found throughout the chapters. This is particularly helpful for future teachers.
This book should last a very long time in terms of relevance.
This book is very clear, with mathematical words in bold and proper definitions provided. The text also addresses common math classroom jargon. For an excellent example of this, see the heading "What is a Fraction" in the chapter on Fractions. Toward the bottom is a sub-heading "Jargon: Improper Fractions" that has students consider the usefulness of proper and improper fractions.
This book is consistently laid out, with multiple examples, problems to try, and diagrams to support the transfer of information.
This book is entirely modular. You can pick it up, and easily start in any chapter and not be lost. The heading, subheading, use of italics and boldface make it easy to locate information. As a mathematics education book, this is quite nice.
A mathematician wrote this, the layout is logical without question.
The book is extremely easy to navigate, with a logical structure to the table of contents that you can easily click through. A drop down menu in the upper left corner allows you to view the outline of the book while still viewing a page, and you can collapse/expand chapters within the menu. The many figures that are present throughout the textbook are perfectly displayed and fit the reading material. There is nothing I find distracting in the layout and interface.
I could not find any errors.
An entire chapter is dedicated to Voyaging on Hōkūle`a, with exceptional videos and diagrams to illustrate the cultural practices of the early Polynesians.
I was excited to find this book in the Open Educational Resources library. As a professor who frequently teaches methods courses in mathematics for elementary teachers, I feel that this book may be a terrific book to use to replace previous texts that I've adopted. I would like to see a chapter on Measurement to make the Voyaging on Hōkūle`a chapter more useful. It is obvious from the first page you open to that this book was well planned and thought out. I'm impressed.
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... read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This text is free from grammatical errors.
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.
This is book is fairly comprehensive and I feel could be used by most foundational courses in elementary mathematics. The structure and writing provide a good foundation for students learning the "why" behind the mathematics and becoming... read more
This is book is fairly comprehensive and I feel could be used by most foundational courses in elementary mathematics. The structure and writing provide a good foundation for students learning the "why" behind the mathematics and becoming mathematical thinkers. There were some areas that could possibly use more development. In geometry for example there was no discussion of perimeter, area, and volume. Estimation, measurement of weight, time, and probability also appears to be missing. The text is well organized and written so that the chapters do not have to be completed in the order in which they are presented. While there is not index or glossary, the author uses colored text boxes to explain specific content or terms.
The content of the text is accurate and represented in a variety of formats to support learning, Not only does it provide solutions to problems, but also the mathematical thinking behind those solutions.
The text is very relevant for K-6 elementary pre-service teachers. It would be beneficial to know the specific grade levels that the author considers as "elementary" since this does vary by location. The content is "standard" for most elementary math courses and would not need to be updated often and the consistent layout and formation would make changes easy to make.
The text is written in a conversational tone. The simplicity and straight-forwardness of the text should appeal to those students that have sometimes been overwhelmed by writing in more traditional math texts.
The text is organized consistently from chapter to chapter. The table of contents and chunking of content in the chapters is logical and clear, Each chapter includes graphics as well as sections for: Think-Pair-Share; Definitions; Theorems (when appropriate); and, Problems. This consistent structure makes navigation easy.
The table of contents and chunking of content in the chapters is logical and clear. This also makes it easy to not necessary to move sequentially through the text, but to have the option of reviewing or using only needed topics. Subtitles and graphic captioning are appropriate for the content.
The text is easy to read and the organization within each chapters makes navigation easy.
This text is easy to navigate. The inclusion of graphics, charts, photos, and videos support learning. There are several pages where graphics in the Geometry chapter are skewed in the PDF version, but this does not seem to be a problem in the online version, Not all of the video links work within the PDF version.
There were no obvious grammatical errors. Several of the errors that were found were typos and/or word omissions.
The text is culturally inclusive. One thing that should be noted is that it seems male names are over-represented in the Problem sections. A reference to Hawaiian culture and life is evident. The Hōkūle`a voyage found in the last chapter is a good example of problem based learning and the integration of math with other subject areas.
This would be a wonderful text to use as a supplement or compliment to an elementary math methods course. It is not as overwhelming as other math texts, and would provide pre-service teachers with a good foundational review of math concepts, including vocabulary and some pedagogy.
This book is fairly comprehensive for a one-semester course, although it does not include much detail about several topics. The section on number systems barely touches on Roman numerals and only mentions Mayan and Babylonian counting systems.... read more
This book is fairly comprehensive for a one-semester course, although it does not include much detail about several topics. The section on number systems barely touches on Roman numerals and only mentions Mayan and Babylonian counting systems. The sections on addition, subtraction, and division would be more robust if the author included other algorithms for these operations. The chapter on Geometry does not address perimeter, area, surface area and volume. The book does not include an index or glossary.
While the book is not error free, it is unbiased. Most of the errors seem to be typographical and/or related to web links or LaTeX. In the section on number systems, the author incorrectly explains how one million would be represented using Roman numerals and incorrectly claims that the Mayans did not use a symbol for zero. Further, the Mayan number system was not a true vigesimal system, as the text indicates.
This text uses a constructivist approach to help students build their understanding of the mathematics included in the book. It is well organized and written so that the chapters do not have to be completed in the order in which they are presented. Because of this, the text should be easy to update. When concepts that are presented earlier in the text are used in later chapters, the author includes a brief but thorough review that would allow students to understand the later chapter even if they had not read and completed the problems in the earlier chapter. The "dots and boxes" approach is timely, as it uses the idea of the "exploding dots" that are part of the Global Math Project (https://www.globalmathproject.org).
The textbook is clearly written and enjoyable to read...even for the math-phobic student. The tone is conversational and is even funny at times. The author defines important mathematical terminology in a way that is both mathematically accurate and accessible to students. The chapter on problem solving is fantastic and really gives students insight into how to think and problem solve like a mathematician. The pies per child model for fractions is not the most effective model for helping students understand fractions and this part of the text would be improved if the author replaced this type of modeling with pattern block modeling.
Overall, the text is consistent in its chapter structure and terminology use. However, there is inconsistent notation when using "dots and boxes."
The text is well-organized but can be reorganized in order to suit an instructor's preference. However, it would be best to complete the chapter on problem solving first, as it sets the stage for the rest of the book. Most of the chapters are structured more like an activity book with lots of great problems and thought provoking questions that will help students think deeply about the mathematical concepts being presented. With the exception of the chapter on problem solving, there is not a whole lot of text for students to read.
Although the topics presented could be reorganized to meet student needs, the order in which they are presented is logical and clear.
With only a few exceptions, the images it the text are clear. In the section titled "Careful Use of Language in Mathematics: =" some of the scale images need to be modified so that the items on the scale appear to actually sit on the pans. The same issue occurs in the section titled "Structural and Procedural Algebra." Some of the images in the sections titled "Platonic Solids" and "Symmetry" spill off of the page. The image that appears on page 89 and then again on page 144 would be more clear if a different font was used to label the line segments.
No grammatical errors were noted. However, there were a few typographical errors that could cause confusion for students as on page 219.
The text was culturally sensitive and nothing offensive was noted. As the focus of the text is purely mathematical, there are not many cultural references at all, unless they are references to historical cultures. The author does use names for hypothetical students that are diverse and represent a variety of ethnicities. The last chapter is an integrated unit that focuses on the Hawaiian culture. Unfortunately, the links and web addresses in this chapter do not work and/or are no longer active.
The book includes three sections at the end of the problem solving chapter in which the author articulately explains the language that mathematicians use to succinctly and precisely explain their problem solving and solutions. These sections will help students who may not think of themselves as mathematicians learn to think like mathematicians. So many mathematics textbooks are full of exercises but no true problems. On the other hand, this text is full of wonderful problem solving and critical thinking problems that are embedded in the sections as well as in the problem banks. The author also includes many "Think/Pair/Share" exercises and questions that will facilitate mathematical thinking and conversation among students. The constructivist approach used by the author will help students build deep understanding about the mathematics covered in the text. While there is some room for revision and improvement, this is a very good text to use with elementary education majors, and I definitely plan to use this book the next time I teach them.
This textbook seems to be appropriate for the first course typically taught for elementary teachers which usually includes topics of problem solving, place value, number and operations. Most books are able to be used for a second course which... read more
This textbook seems to be appropriate for the first course typically taught for elementary teachers which usually includes topics of problem solving, place value, number and operations. Most books are able to be used for a second course which focuses on geometry. This book could not be used for the second course.
Content seems to be accurate.
Topics are somewhat static for a course like this, so the textbook will not become obsolete within a short period of time.
Appears to be clear.
The flow from topic to topic is consistent in presentation.
Divided into clear sections.
Topics are presented logically and in a similar order to most books of this type.
Easy to navigate with clear images and other items such as tables.
Book is written in simple language and appears to be free of grammatical errors.
Appears to be culturally diverse.
This book could definitely be used for a first course of elementary math for teachers with the teacher providing resources. As with many open books, the print and layout is very simple without cluttering pages with unnecessary items.
This text covers many concepts appropriately; however, a few concepts are missing, such as; data analysis and statistics. For more than ten years, data-driven instruction has been a major focus in education along with many other uses. This text... read more
This text covers many concepts appropriately; however, a few concepts are missing, such as; data analysis and statistics. For more than ten years, data-driven instruction has been a major focus in education along with many other uses. This text has a table of contents but not an index and/or glossary; however, does define words in chapters when needed.
The content is well organized and accurate. Multiple representations and diverse examples are provided throughout the text which supports an unbiased approach to those entering elementary education.
The text is quite relevant to the classroom today, incorporating such resources as YouTube, varied strategies to promote differentiated instruction, scaffolding between concepts, and problem-solving opportunities. Some states may find issues with Common Core standards being addressed; however, mathematical practices could be interchanged with the "standards."
The text is written free from educational jargon; it is straightforward and easy to understand.
The text is consistent in its structure; color is not distracting, problems, strategies, diagrams, charts, and definitions are provided throughout.
The text is appealing with the page layout; it's not too busy or distracting. Colors are attractive and text is broken down into appropriate amounts.
The text has a well-organized flow with the layout of each topic/chapter.
The text has charts, pictures, diagrams, real-world examples throughout; several different versions of the text are offered too.
No grammatical errors were observed in my review of the text.
The text provides a variety of backgrounds, races, and ethnicities while providing learning experiences and pedagogical approaches to support student engagement and learning.
This text covers place value, numbers and operations, fractions, patterns, algebraic thinking, decimals, and geometry. However, elementary teachers are expected to also know and understand statistics and probability. This text does not address... read more
This text covers place value, numbers and operations, fractions, patterns, algebraic thinking, decimals, and geometry. However, elementary teachers are expected to also know and understand statistics and probability. This text does not address this mathematical concept.
The text makes non-traditional, yet, accurate representations of mathematical concepts. In some sections, different solutions are presented and explained. This eliminates bias and provides a diverse representation of ideas when solving math problems.
The text is representative of common core problem-solving standards, however, it does require mathematical knowledge beyond elementary school. The problem-solving nature of the text is very relevant to elementary pre-service and in-service teachers (the audience for the book).
The text language is clear and accessible. There is a section on terminology, which is very helpful. Additional diagrams would help to improve the clarity in some cases.
I was expecting to see videos embedded throughout, after seeing them in the first section. It would be great to have a consistent format throughout the text, however, I understand that it is not always feasible to do so. There were other obvious and clear patterns presented, color-coded sections (think/pair/share), problems, examples.
The chapters and subchapters can be easily accessed, breaking the material into smaller sections.
The topics were presented in a logical, clear fashion, however, not all of the chapters would end with a problem bank. In some cases, there were additional sections after the problem bank. It would be great if each section included key objectives or goals of the section.
The text comes in pdf, XML, and an online web version. The search feature on the online version was a valuable addition.
I did not observe any obvious grammatical errors.
Cultural awareness was very obvious in this text. While it was more relevant to Hawaiian culture, it also included cultural awareness of other cultures and backgrounds.
Overall, this text assumes that the student has successfully completed mathematics through basic calculus. There should be more support in this area, as some elementary math students are not prepared to complete problems with this focus. This a great "discussion" text.
This text covers the areas applicable to elementary mathematics extremely well (with the exception of omitting probability and data analysis) and provides graphically visual boxes within the text to define terms and instructional strategies. ... read more
This text covers the areas applicable to elementary mathematics extremely well (with the exception of omitting probability and data analysis) and provides graphically visual boxes within the text to define terms and instructional strategies. Additionally, the text provides thinking routines that support understanding more than just the concept, but also, the how's and why's of conceptual understanding.
The content is accurate and organized in a way to supports student learning for those training to become elementary teachers of mathematics.
The content of the book is relevant to today's elementary classroom in that it provides future elementary educators with the content knowledge, but also pedagogical approaches that would support student learning. Additionally, the text is organized in a way that is consistent and provides scaffolding support for those who might struggle with any one of the concepts. For Minnesota standards the only item of note is that there is not a section devoted to probability or data analysis, but the latter is touched upon in other chapters. There are three mentions of the Common Core standards in the text. Minnesota is not an adopter of the CC mathematics standards, but the references to the CCSS are in regards to the practices of mathematics and not on standards specifically.
While a great text for training future math teachers, this book does not read as a "typical" mathematics textbook. Students who have struggled in the past with mathematics might find the authors' writing style to be approachable and accessible for all levels of mathematics competence and confidence.
The text is consistent in its terminology and the structure of the framework is uniform throughout, relying on supporting student learning through exercises, think-pair-share activities, and continuous dialog and reflection.
A majority of the chapters begin with a section that introduces the strand of elementary mathematics covered. Not all chapters have this introduction which may pose challenging to interrupt the mathematical progression of some established courses.
The text is very well organized and has an easy-to-read format and flow.
The text is graphically rich with succinct advanced organizers, diagrams, and photos to support learning.
The text is written with professional level writing and is free of grammatical errors.
A variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds are present in the exercises used to support student learning throughout. The end of the text involves a Hōkūle`a voyage as a part of a problem-based learning (integrated curriculum) experience. This was something that really made this text stand out in that it gave future elementary teachers an example of using mathematical concepts in authentic (and exciting) learning experiences. This Polynesian voyage would provide many students with an introduction to life culturally different from their own.
I have been a STEM educator for more than two decades and I come from a long line of mathematics educators. While wrapping up my reading of this text, I happened to have my father (a 46 year veteran mathematics educator) here visiting. I shared the text with him and several times I heard him utter, "I like the way this problem is set up". We both found the book to be very knowledgeable for mathematical conceptual understandings, but even more so for introducing ideas for instructional strategies and classroom discourse to help future teachers become equipped with speaking the "language of mathematics" to guide their future students.
Table of Contents
I. Problem Solving
- Problem or Exercise?
- Problem Solving Strategies
- Beware of Patterns!
- Problem Bank
- Careful Use of Language in Mathematics
- Explaning Your Work
- The Last Step
II. Place Value
- Dots and Boxes
- Other Rules
- Binary Numbers
- Other Bases
- Number Systems
- Even Numbers
- Problem Bank
III. Number and Operations
- Addition: Dots and Boxes
- Subtration: Dots and Boxes
- Multiplication: Dots and Boxes
- Division: Dots and Boxes
- Number Line Model
- Area Model for Multiplication
- Properties of Operations
- Division Explorations
- Problem Bank
- What is a Fraction?
- The Key Fraction Rule
- Adding and Subtracting Fractions
- What is a Fraction? Revisited
- Multiplying Fractions
- Dividing Fractions: Meaning
- Dividing Fractions: Invert and Multiply
- Dividing Fractions: Problems
- Fractions involving zero
- Problem Bank
- Egyptian Fractions
- Algebra Connections
- What is a Fraction? Part 3
V. Patterns and Algebraic Thinking
- Borders on a Square
- Careful Use of Language in Mathematics: =
- Growing Patterns
- Matching Game
- Structural and Procedural Algebra
- Problem Bank
VI. Place Value and Decimals
- Review of Dots & Boxes Model
- Division and Decimals
- More x -mals
- Terminating or Repeating?
- Matching Game
- Operations on Decimals
- Orders of Magnitude
- Problem Bank
- Triangles and Quadrilaterals
- Platonic Solids
- Painted Cubes
- Geometry in Art and Science
- Problem Bank
VIII. Voyaging on Hokule?a
- Worldwide Voyage
About the Book
This book will help you to understand elementary mathematics more deeply, gain facility with creating and using mathematical notation, develop a habit of looking for reasons and creating mathematical explanations, and become more comfortable exploring unfamiliar mathematical situations.
The primary goal of this book is to help you learn to think like a mathematician in some very specific ways. You will:
• Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. You will develop and demonstrate this skill by working on difficult problems, making incremental progress, and revising solutions to problems as you learn more.
• Reason abstractly and quantitatively. You will demonstrate this skill by learning to represent situations using mathematical notation (abstraction) as well as creating and testing examples (making situations more concrete).
• Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. You will be expected to create both written and verbal explanations for your solutions to problems. The most important questions in this class are “Why?” and “How do you know you're right?” Practice asking these questions of yourself, of your professor, and of your fellow students.
Throughout the book, you will learn how to learn mathematics on you own by reading, working on problems, and making sense of new ideas on your own and in collaboration with other students in the class.
About the Contributors
Michelle Manes, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Hawaii