By Joy W. Whitenack, Laurie O. Cavey, and Catherine Henney
Make sense of and
connect with today’s elementary mathematics.
What’s happened to the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division you learned in school? And why are your children talking in math class and sharing answers?
In friendly, jargon-free language, It’s Elementary: A Parent’s
Guide to K–5 Mathematics not only decodes current teaching practices but also demystifies the fundamental concepts that your children need to understand to be successful math learners—and you need to grasp to help them. Illustrated with numerous examples of real students’ classroom work, It’s Elementary shows you how children progress in their
mathematical thinking from simple counting techniques to sophisticated strategies for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, integers, fractions, and decimals. You will discover why—
- today’s teaching emphasizes understanding why a solution works as well as how to solve the problem;
- problem solving produces more confident, creative, and accurate math students than memorizing formulas does;
- practice and drills can be great tools—but only at the right stage of learning; and
- collaborative learning—talking and sharing—not only helps children clarify their own thoughts about math but also introduces them to new ideas and strategies.
Most important, It’s
Elementary makes youan
effective participant in your children’s math education. “Things to Do” at the end of each chapter offers practical actions and activities, and a special chapter, “Mathematics at Home,” provides advice and guidance from helping with homework and dealing with math anxiety to choosing math games and talking to
your children about math beyond homework and school.
It’s Elementary: A
Parent’s Guide to K–5 Mathematics is your all-in-one source for helping you to help your children be successful—and happy—math students.
If you get nervous when your children ask the “why” question when you’re helping with math homework, then this book is for you. . . . “Everyone is a mathematician” and “mathematics makes sense” are two positive messages that resound throughout the book. . . . The
activities and resources develop both the “howand why of math” and are easy to implement. [356 characters w/spaces]
Retired Elementary Teacher and Math Coach, Columbia Public Schools
This book is a must-read for parents and guardians of elementary school–aged children … The authors make a valid case, with a clear and readable voice, for why the processes of making mathematical connections and justifying solutions are equally as important as mastering skills and applying procedures.
… Although intended as a parent guide … it is an important resource in the toolkit for any teacher addressing parent concerns and for any coach planning colleagues’ professional development or family information seminars. [524 w/spaces]
Licensed Virginia Mathematics Specialist
Joy Whitenack is an associate professor of mathematics education at Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate mathematics courses for future elementary teachers and for practicing teachers planning to become math coaches. Her research interests include children's number sense, teacher
learning, and teacher leadership.
Laurie Cavey is an associate professor of mathematics education at Boise State University, teaching mathematics courses for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Her research interests include example-based reasoning, proportional reasoning, and functions.
Cat Henney is the Math Specialist at Sabot at Stony Point, an independent school in Richmond, Virginia serving children from preschool through 8th grade. She works with teachers to develop and implement best practices for mathematics instruction, and also teaches college courses for teachers.