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Making Problems, Creating Solutions

  • Title:Making Problems, Creating Solutions: Challenging Young Mathematicians
  • Author:Jill Ostrow
  • Publication Date:1998
  • Grade Level:K-5
  • ISBN:9781571100412
  • Publisher:Stenhouse


In Making Problems, Creating Solutions, Jill Ostrow rethinks the teaching of mathematics and shows teachers how to build challenging learning environments in elementary classrooms. She introduces the notion of workshop learning in mathematics and demonstrates ways in which teachers can readily integrate math into all curricular areas.

Traditional mathematics instruction consists of statements of rules followed by examples which define those rules—the "tell, show, and do" model. Under this model, math concepts are fed to students in a sequence determined by the teacher rather than the intellectual readiness of the child. Alternatively, Jill takes a process approach to mathematics acquisition that is based upon understanding, challenge, independence, confidence, and choice. Such an approach makes it easier for kids to apply their knowledge to new problems and to other areas of their lives.

Making Problems, Creating Solutions:

  • gives educators a chance to see the NCTM Standards, as well as many other mathematics curricula, put into authentic practice;
  • provides examples of solutions and thinking strategies of students ages 6 to 12;
  • describes a new and innovative approach to teaching calendar;
    contains a large section on assessment;
  • features an extensive appendix of problems, with each problem annotated to show which standard is being addressed.

This book shows teachers how to encourage kids to create problem-solving strategies and then to share and discuss those strategies with peers. It is an appropriate text for both preservice and in-service programs, as well as math in-service workshops. In Making Problems, Creating Solutions, Jill places meaning and purpose at the heart of her mathematics program and in turn gives teachers ideas and techniques that will inspire critical thinking in young mathematicians.


Author Bio

Jill Ostrow taught elementary school for nearly twenty years. She now teaches at the college level and collaborates with teachers in their classrooms.

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