Math Exchanges: Guiding Young Mathematicians in Small Group Meetings

Math Exchanges: Guiding Young Mathematicians in Small Group Meetings

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by Kassia Omohundro Wedekind
     
 

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Traditionally, small-group math instruction has been used as a format for reaching children who struggle to understand. Math coach Kassia Omohundro Wedekind uses small-group instruction as the centerpiece of her math workshop approach, engaging all students in rigorous "math exchanges." The key characteristics of these mathematical conversations are that

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Overview

Traditionally, small-group math instruction has been used as a format for reaching children who struggle to understand. Math coach Kassia Omohundro Wedekind uses small-group instruction as the centerpiece of her math workshop approach, engaging all students in rigorous "math exchanges." The key characteristics of these mathematical conversations are that they are: 1) short, focused sessions that bring all mathematical minds together, 2) responsive to the needs of the specific group of mathematicians, and 3) designed for meaningful, guided reflection.

As in reading and writing workshop, students in Kassia's math workshop are becoming self-directed and independent while participating in a classroom community of learners. Through the math exchanges, students focus on number sense and the big ideas of mathematics. Teachers guide the conversations with small groups of students, mediating talk and thinking as students share problem-solving strategies, discuss how math works, and move toward more effective and efficient approaches and greater mathematical understanding.

Although grounded in theory and research, Math Exchanges is written for practicing teachers and answers such questions as the following:

  • How can I use a math workshop approach and follow a certain textbook or set of standards?
  • How should I form small groups? and How often should I meet with small groups?
  • What should I focus on in small groups?
  • How can I tell if my groups are making progress?
  • What do small-group math exchanges look like, sound like, and feel like?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Throughout the book, she masterfully connects research to practice in a way that provides credibility while maintaining accessibility. The author’s passion for teaching and learning mathematics is evident throughout, making this book a pleasure to read and a resource that I will return to frequently." - Teaching Children Mathematics

"The implications for all teachers is huge.  Kassia's understanding of not only mathematics, but of how children develop, how she looks at student work, the strategic ways in which she builds problems and scaffolds for children, taught me a great deal. This book will impact my teaching of math to better match what I believe about students and learning. " - A Year of Reading blog

"I have read a lot of professional math books and Kassia brings to the profession some new organization and much-needed thinking for working with children in small groups." - Enjoy and Embrace Learning blog

"Full of ideas for planning, the book offers many examples of activities and workshop sessions, illustrated with vignettes, classroom photos, examples of children's work, and summary tables." - Book News

"Kassia provided a strong, clear conceptual background for a rationale behind the way she sets up her classroom. There were also plenty of connections between the underlying workshop philosophy that is consistent between reading, writing, and math workshops" - Snapshots of Mrs. V blog

"I feel this book is a true handbook on how to proceed with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and should be required for all elementary school teachers." - LifelongLearning.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781571108265
Publisher:
Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
263,838
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

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