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Although girls enter school more "math ready" than boys, statistics show that by the time they graduate from high school they will have been outdistanced by males both in critical test scores and in level of interest. What has happened in the intervening years and what can we do to stop it? In Feisty Females, the authors offer some insight and propose a solution.
Feisty Females is based upon a two-year action research project undertaken by a university professor and three classroom teachers who set out to change the status quo. They developed an innovative approach to literature-based mathematics instruction that focuses on books with strong female role models. The authors discovered that these "feisty females" not only help change the way boys and girls think about females, they also encourage all students to face problem-solving situations with confidence.
Feisty Females offers ideas for using this kind of literature to lead elementary students in explorations of four key mathematical areas: number and computation; geometry and measurement; probability and statistics; and algebraic ideas. Organized around learning strategies proven successful with girls, it provides guidance in selecting books with hardy female characters, in-depth descriptions of lessons in real classrooms, a list of children's literature resources, and an extensive annotated bibliography. Readers will discover how to help students see the connections among the stories, the math, and their own lives and come to appreciate how integral mathematical literacy will be in our increasingly technological society.
Any teacher looking to create equitable classrooms in which all students become mathematically literate will benefit from the experience of these four feisty educators.
Talking with Words, Pictures, and Numbers
Hands-On, Minds-On, and Hearts-On
Building Critical Friends
Knowing What Is Known
Connecting Mathematics to Life
Conclusion: Where Are We Now?
Appendix: Spreading the Words