Mathematics Lessons Learned from Across the World - Pk-8
By Johnny Lott, Carolyn Lott
Around the World in 18 Math Lessons—An International Perspective on Mathematics
Mathematics—the universal language—is the only language that all people share in the same
way, regardless of culture, religion, or gender. Unlike other languages, math does not change
according to location. Pi is still approximately 3.14159 no matter where you live, and 2 + 2 always
equals four. Yet each culture brings its own unique perspective to teaching mathematics,
providing teachers with fresh approaches to use with students.
This unusual book features classroom-tested activities from around the world for students from
prekindergarten through grade 8 and showcases concepts discussed in Korea at the most recent
International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME), held in 2012. Activities were selected
to exemplify a standard or guideline of a particular country, and where possible, those standards
are noted along with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in the United States. The
activities are organized by the age-level designation of the originating country as well as by
content if there is more than one activity in a content area.
Each activity sets the scene by country and classroom and includes mathematical content, a
materials list, teacher notes, extensions, research notes with references, and activity sheets. Any
variations on these features are based on student age. To keep the character of the country of
origin, the editors retained native language in some instances, use of local currency and measures
in others, and even symbolism and idiomatic language if the language was essential to the
original meaning. The research notes place the mathematics topics in an international setting;
some sources are in other languages.
This extraordinary resource not only engages students with hands-on, Common Core–aligned
activities but also allows them to experience math with an international perspective, proving that
mathematics is truly universal.
About the Authors
Johnny W. Lott taught mathematics in grades 8–12 in Georgia and grades 6–12 in Pelican, Alaska. He is a coauthor of A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics for Elementary Teachers (12th edition) and several other books. He has written numerous articles and essays for Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teacher, Student Math Notes, and Mathematics Education Dialogues, and he served as the project manager for NCTM’s Figure This! website. Lott was NCTM president from 2002–2004 and is Professor Emeritus from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Montana. He was director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, professor of mathematics, and professor of education at the University of Mississippi. He is now retired and is currently on the Steering Committee of the Park City Mathematics Institute.
Carolyn J. Lott is Professor Emerita from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Montana. She taught grades 9–12 in Georgia, Montana, and Alaska and was also a library media specialist. She is the coauthor of Ease into Writing, volumes I and II, as well as the author of numerous articles in English Journal, The ALAN Review, Social Education, The Social Studies, Social Studies and the Young Learner, and many National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) affiliate journals. Currently retired, Lott still reviews articles for English Journal. A frequent presenter at national and international meetings of NCTE, she served on the Executive Board, chaired the Orbis Pictus Committee, the Standing Committee of Affiliates, and several otherNCTE working groups. Lott was an active member of the Montana Library Association and the American Library Association.