Texts on Tuesdays: Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics

It’s time for another “Texts on Tuesdays” professional book highlight, and today I wanted to share with you one of the most important professional books out there for teachers who really want to be teaching for deep understanding.
As we get more and more on our plates, it becomes easier and easier to look for a quick fix…a “ready to go” resource that will tell us exactly what to do.  Here’s the deal–that doesn’t exist.  If you are truly looking at your students, their strengths, and their needs–no one book can tell you what to do each and every day.  THAT BEING SAID…
If you are not familiar with the work of Van de Walle, I urge you to invest some time into his work.  Although his book aren’t going to give you a quick fix for all your math teaching woes, his book CAN serve as an incredible resource for you as you plan.  Not sure if you are using best practice to teach multiplication?  Pull out Van de Walle and read that section.  In addition to TEACHING you about best practice in math instruction, his books are filled with teaching tips and lesson ideas–both for whole class and to use in intervention groups.
His books are divided into grade level bands–K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.  Whether you teach in a Common Core state or have other rigorous standards, the books are  goldmine of helpful ideas.  As you can see, I use mine all the time!  By the way, this is the old cover–the new version has been updated and reorganized, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to bite the bullet and splurge on the new one just so I can see how they compare.  
The first chapter explains some key instructional philosophies which should be the foundation of your math instruction.  The following chapters cover everything from mastering basic facts to fractions to geometric thinking–and more.  What is key is that the book EXPLAINS how students learn, the “big ideas” that are critical to each concept, and misconceptions that may surface.  The books aren’t cheap–but I refer to mine all the time.  If you want to see them up close, here are the links.  This is a “must own”, in my opinion.  I’ve had mine for about 5 years and use it constantly.  Thanks for stopping by for “Texts on Tuesdays!”