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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 Comprehensiveness rating: 2 see less. 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The book lacks many of the newer approaches and is outdated.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. 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.
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. 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 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 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The text is outdated.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 Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less.
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. 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? 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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. 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. There are some obvious connections to the strands of mathematical practice from the Common Core standards. While the abstract specifically lists MP1, MP2, 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.
ISBN 13: 9780071481588
Mathematics for Elementary Teachers