Little Kids-Powerful Problem Solvers: Math Stories from a Kindergarten Classroom / Edition 1

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Overview

Angela Andrews and Paul Trafton know from experience that kindergartners can do great math-especially if they are engaged and challenged from the start. This collection of stories from Angela's classroom highlights the problem-solving potential of very young students. Arranged by month of the school year, each of these ten stories is an inspiration for a classroom lesson. Together the stories provide a comprehensive picture of what can be accomplished with little kids: making sense of math is the focus of the teaching; respecting children's thinking makes it possible.

Several major themes recur throughout the stories:

  • the distinction between academic and intellectual goals-the intellectual dispositions in action in this classroom reveal how children can make sense of experience and observations, how they can estimate, predict, hypothesize, analyze, and apply mathematical concepts in practical and visible ways.
  • the real meaning of a "community of learners"-how children can help, occasionally hinder, but ultimately challenge each other.
  • perseverance-the ability of even very young children to persist until they have resolved problems. To see the deep satisfaction kindergartners gain from hard work, or what they call "hard fun," is what makes Angela's day-to-day life in the classroom so wonderful and rewarding.
  • accountability-how teachers can satisfy NCTM principles and standards in math while addressing children's needs and capabilities.

With every story, Angela provides not only a narrative, but also a thoughtful appraisal of her own decisions, dilemmas, and choices in the teaching of math. At the end of each story, Paul Trafton focuses on the math involved and the mathematical reasoning of the children. Clearly evident throughout is the authors' conviction that teachers not only need to understand the math in the problems the children are tackling, but also to listen respectfully and to question them honestly about their thinking. In this way, teachers can support their young students and capitalize on the opportunities at hand, the many "teachable moments" this book so successfully captures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As I began reading the book I had not anticipated that I would want to join a cheering section to encourage [the kindergartners] effortsso easily are readers brought into the unfolding interactions and events in the classroom.”–Lilian G. Katz, Professor Emerita, CoDirector, ERIC/EECE, University of Illinois
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325004310
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 2/15/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Andrews has spent more than 25 years teaching preschool and kindergarten. In 1990, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. She was a member of the preK-2 writing team for NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000). Angela currently teaches mathematics at Scott Elementary School in Naperville, Illinois.

Paul Trafton is a professor in the mathematics department and Fellow in the Regent's Center for Early Developmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa. His long-term interest in primary mathematics led to his chairing the K-4 writing team of the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 1989).

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Table of Contents

Little Kids-Powerful Problem Solvers

September-Which Holds More?

October-The Dilemma of Sharing Cookies

November-It's Not Fair! They've Got More Blocks

December-When Is a "Triangle" a Triangle?

January-Soup with Chicken Inside

February-The Secret of the Hearts

March-Ms. McGill's Challenge

April-Aaron and the Tall Tower

May-"Dear Bus Barn"

June-Revisiting the Rice Table

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