Mathematize It! (K-2)

  • Title:Mathematize It! Going Beyond Key Words to Make Sense of Word Problems, Grades K-2
  • Author:Kimberly Morrow-Leong
    Sara Delano Moore
    Linda M. Gojak
  • Publication Date:May 2020
  • Grade Level:Elementary
  • ISBN:9781544389851
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

Help students reveal the math behind the words.

“I don’t get what I’m supposed to do!” This is a common refrain from students when asked to solve word problems.

Solving problems is about more than computation. Students must understand the mathematics of a situation to know what computation will lead to an appropriate solution. Many students often pluck numbers from the problem and plug them into an equation using the first operation they can think of (or the last one they practiced). Students also tend to choose an operation by solely relying on key words that they believe will help them arrive at an answer, which without careful consideration of what the problem is actually asking of them.

Mathematize It! Going Beyond Key Words to Make Sense of Word Problems, Grades K-2 shares a reasoning approach that helps students dig into the problem to uncover the underlying mathematics, deeply consider the problem’s context, and employ strong operation sense to solve it. Through the process of mathematizing, the authors provide an explanation of a consistent method—and specific instructional strategies—to take the initial focus off specific numbers and computations and put it on the actions and relationships expressed in the problem.

Sure to enhance teachers’ own operation sense, this user-friendly resource for Grades K-2

  • Offers a systematic mathematizing process for students to use when solving word problems
  • Gives practice opportunities and dozens of problems to leverage in the classroom
  • Provides specific examples of questions and explorations for addition and subtraction of whole numbers as well as early thinking for multiplication and division
  • Demonstrates the use of concrete manipulatives to model problems with dozens of short videos
  • Includes end-of-chapter activities and reflection questions

How can you help your students understand what is happening mathematically when solving word problems? Mathematize it!


Author Bio

Kimberly Morrow-Leong is an adjunct instructor at George Mason University, a part-time researcher at American Institutes for Research, and a consultant for Math Solutions. She is a former grade 5–9 classroom teacher, K–8 mathematics coach, and coordinator of elementary professional development for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Sara Delano Moore is an independent mathematics education consultant at SDM Learning.  Her work focuses on helping teachers and students understand mathematics as a coherent and connected discipline through the power of deep understanding and multiple representations for learning.

Linda M. Gojak has spent 28 years teaching elementary and middle school mathematics, and has served as the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM). Building conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas and problem solving sit at the core of her expertise.

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