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# Mathematize It! [Grades 6-8]

**shares a reasoning approach that takes the initial focus off specific numbers and computations and puts it on the actions and relationships expressed in the word problem.**

*Mathematize It!***Grade Level:**6-8**ISBN:**9781506354484**Published By:**Corwin**Series:**Corwin Mathematics Series**Year:**2020**Page Count:**264**Publication date:**September 03, 2020

### Review Copies

Review copies may be requested by individuals planning to purchase 10 or more copies for a team or considering a book for adoption in a higher ed course. To request a review copy, contact sales@corwin.com.

## Description

*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, without careful consideration of what the problem is actually asking of them.

**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.**

*Mathematize It! Going Beyond Key Words to Make Sense of Word Problems, Grades 6–8*Sure to enhance teachers’ own operation sense, this user-friendly resource for Grades 6–8:

· 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 multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, as well as operations with rational numbers

· Demonstrates the use of visual representations 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(s)

### Kimberly Morrow-Leong

**Kimberly Morrow-Leong** is an adjunct instructor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, a part-time researcher at American Institutes for Research, and a consultant for Math Solutions. She is a former grade 5â9 classroom teacher, Kâ8 mathematics coach, and coordinator of elementary professional development for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). She recently completed an elected term as vice president and 2018 program chair for NCSM, Leadership in Mathematics Education. She holds a BA in French language and a masters in linguistics (TESOL). She also holds an MEd and PhD in mathematics education leadership from George Mason University. Kim is the 2009 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) from Virginia. She is happiest when working with teachers and students, putting pencils down and getting messy with manipulatives!

### Sara Delano Moore

Sara Delano Moore is an independent mathematics education consultant at SDM Learning. A fourth-generation educator, 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. Sara has worked as a classroom teacher of mathematics and science in the elementary and middle grades, a mathematics teacher educator, Director of the Center for Middle School Academic Achievement for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and Director of Mathematics & Science at ETA hand2mind. Her journal articles appear in *Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School*, *Teaching Children Mathematics*, *Science & Children*, and *Science Scope*.

### Linda M. Gojak

**Linda M. Gojak**directed the Center for Mathematics and Science Education, Teaching, and Technology (CMSETT) at John Carroll University for 16 years. She 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), the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), and the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

## Reviews

*is a must have for every middle school teacher! The authors provide clear guidance and suggestions to help our students become effective problem solvers. The opportunities provided to ponder and practice, as well as the student sample work and videos, make this a resource you will grow professionally from and positively impact student learning. I wish I had this resource when I started teaching 25 years ago!*

Mathematize It!Kevin Dykemais a must have for every middle school teacher! The authors provide clear guidance and suggestions to help our students become effective problem solvers. The opportunities provided to ponder and practice, as well as the student sample work and videos, make this a resource you will grow professionally from and positively impact student learning. I wish I had this resource when I started teaching 25 years ago!

8th Grade Math Teacher, Mattawan (MI) Middle School Author, Productive Math Struggle NCTM Board of Directors, 2016â2019

*This dynamic author trio brings years of classroom experiences to one of the central problems of teaching and learning mathematics: making sense of word problems. Focusing on the construct of ‘mathematizing’—drawing, constructing, describing, representing, and making sense of situations—this clear and practical guide needs to be required reading and discussion fodder for every middle school teacher of mathematics. It’s just that clear, classroom grounded, and insightful!*

Steve LeinwandThis dynamic author trio brings years of classroom experiences to one of the central problems of teaching and learning mathematics: making sense of word problems. Focusing on the construct of ‘mathematizing’—drawing, constructing, describing, representing, and making sense of situations—this clear and practical guide needs to be required reading and discussion fodder for every middle school teacher of mathematics. It’s just that clear, classroom grounded, and insightful!

Principal Researcher American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC

*When I read Mathematize It!, I experienced a journey of extending the way I think about mathematical ideas. Readers can develop their mathematical knowledge for teaching by reading this book. Also, with their sandbox approach, the authors describe a problem-solving process that is playful and exploratory. The sandbox process also orients problem solvers toward seeing mathematical structures and relationships. I recommend reading this book to experience deep mathematics and, in turn, learn more about how to support students with engaging in mathematizing.*

Amanda JensenWhen I read Mathematize It!, I experienced a journey of extending the way I think about mathematical ideas. Readers can develop their mathematical knowledge for teaching by reading this book. Also, with their sandbox approach, the authors describe a problem-solving process that is playful and exploratory. The sandbox process also orients problem solvers toward seeing mathematical structures and relationships. I recommend reading this book to experience deep mathematics and, in turn, learn more about how to support students with engaging in mathematizing.

Professor of Mathematics Education University of Delaware

*The list of generational math books to come along and truly synthesize what we know so far and what we need to know is a very short and exclusive list. Well, you can confidently add*Mathematize It!

*to this collection. Written by three of the most respected math educators today, the book zeros in on that often poorly traveled journey between the question and answer in problem solving. Mathematize It! will be your go-to resource to install the mathematical play revolution in elementary classes everywhere!*

Sunil SinghThe list of generational math books to come along and truly synthesize what we know so far and what we need to know is a very short and exclusive list. Well, you can confidently addMathematize It!to this collection. Written by three of the most respected math educators today, the book zeros in on that often poorly traveled journey between the question and answer in problem solving. Mathematize It! will be your go-to resource to install the mathematical play revolution in elementary classes everywhere!

Author of Pi of Life: The Hidden Happiness of Mathematics and Math Recess: Playful Learning in an Age of Disruption

*is a must-read for anyone who has struggled to teach word problems and is ready to figure out what really works. The authors present a plethora of strategies that help students focus on the thinking part of the problem-solving process while gently helping the reader understand that so many of our ‘tried-and-true’ methods, such as key words, really don’t work. They help us realize that the real work of solving word problems is in the sense-making phase—once students have made sense of a problem, calculating the solution is the simpler part of the process.*

Mathematize It!Kimberly Rimbeyis a must-read for anyone who has struggled to teach word problems and is ready to figure out what really works. The authors present a plethora of strategies that help students focus on the thinking part of the problem-solving process while gently helping the reader understand that so many of our ‘tried-and-true’ methods, such as key words, really don’t work. They help us realize that the real work of solving word problems is in the sense-making phase—once students have made sense of a problem, calculating the solution is the simpler part of the process.

National Board Certified Teacher Co-Founder & CEO, KP Mathematics

*addresses the complexity of problem solving more completely than any other individual resource. It is easy to say that we must teach students to ‘mathematize situations’ but this book helps us to actually help students learn to do it. The challenge and reflection pieces at the end of each chapter are a game changer for unveiling teaching opportunities, prompting discussion in your PLC, and moving this from a book on the professional shelf to a powerful tool to impact instruction.*

Mathematize It!Gina Kildayaddresses the complexity of problem solving more completely than any other individual resource. It is easy to say that we must teach students to ‘mathematize situations’ but this book helps us to actually help students learn to do it. The challenge and reflection pieces at the end of each chapter are a game changer for unveiling teaching opportunities, prompting discussion in your PLC, and moving this from a book on the professional shelf to a powerful tool to impact instruction.

Math Interventionist and MTSS Coordinator Metcalf Elementary School, Exeter, RI Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Awardee Former Member of the NCTM Board of Directors

*is a book that should be on the shelf of every classroom teacher and division leader who supports mathematics teaching and leading. This valuable resource helps educators to think about the what, why, and the how to make sense of word problems. It gives a framework and visuals on how to support teachers’ understanding around problem types and solving problems and excels in assisting teachers in how to make a commitment to teaching for greater understanding.*

Mathematize It!Spencer Jamiesonis a book that should be on the shelf of every classroom teacher and division leader who supports mathematics teaching and leading. This valuable resource helps educators to think about the what, why, and the how to make sense of word problems. It gives a framework and visuals on how to support teachers’ understanding around problem types and solving problems and excels in assisting teachers in how to make a commitment to teaching for greater understanding.

Past President, Virginia Council for Mathematics Supervision (VCMS) Mathematics Specialist for Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM)

*This is a game changer … even after 20 years of supporting students and their sensemaking of word problems, I am thrilled to learn even more from this trio of authors. They offer practical suggestions, opportunities for practice, and relevant research in order to increase awareness of best practices surrounding word problems. The only key word in this case is MATHEMATIZE! To have this resource in your hands is to have an invitation to the ‘mathematizing sandbox’.”*

Beth TerryThis is a game changer … even after 20 years of supporting students and their sensemaking of word problems, I am thrilled to learn even more from this trio of authors. They offer practical suggestions, opportunities for practice, and relevant research in order to increase awareness of best practices surrounding word problems. The only key word in this case is MATHEMATIZE! To have this resource in your hands is to have an invitation to the ‘mathematizing sandbox’.”

Mathematics Coach 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Awardee Riffa Views International School, Bahrain

*As our students begin to mathematize the world around them, it becomes extremely important that we listen to their thinking so that we can continue to move their understanding forward. What makes*Mathematize It!

*such a useful tool for teachers is that it thoughtfully unpacks student strategies, which helps inform and guide our next move as a classroom teacher.*

Graham FletcherAs our students begin to mathematize the world around them, it becomes extremely important that we listen to their thinking so that we can continue to move their understanding forward. What makesMathematize It!such a useful tool for teachers is that it thoughtfully unpacks student strategies, which helps inform and guide our next move as a classroom teacher.

Math Specialist Atlanta, GA

*engages readers deeply in the mathematics content through an easy-to-use visual analogy: playing in a sandbox. The authors have found a way to make problem-solving seem like a fun task—one that is akin to something we’ve all been doing forever: playing. Their clever and applicable problem-solving model of thinking provides a structure teachers can use to support students in tackling word problems and actually enjoying the process. It’s time for you to play in the sandbox and more importantly,*Mathematize It!

Mathematize It!Hilary Kreisbergengages readers deeply in the mathematics content through an easy-to-use visual analogy: playing in a sandbox. The authors have found a way to make problem-solving seem like a fun task—one that is akin to something we’ve all been doing forever: playing. Their clever and applicable problem-solving model of thinking provides a structure teachers can use to support students in tackling word problems and actually enjoying the process. It’s time for you to play in the sandbox and more importantly,Mathematize It!

Director, Center for Mathematics Achievement Lesley University, Cambridge, MA Author of Adding Parents to the Equation

*The authors provide a detailed and practical guide on how to take a word problem, uncover the mathematics embedded in it, carefully consider representations, and use it all to solve the problem. The reader begins to realize that all models are not created equal. The authors’ careful attention to the nuances within mathematical relationships illustrates how mathematizing differs from answer getting, yet shows us that ideas like operation sense and computation are related. The authors’ plain language explanations empower us to leverage those relationships in order to help students become better mathematicians.*

Paul GrayThe authors provide a detailed and practical guide on how to take a word problem, uncover the mathematics embedded in it, carefully consider representations, and use it all to solve the problem. The reader begins to realize that all models are not created equal. The authors’ careful attention to the nuances within mathematical relationships illustrates how mathematizing differs from answer getting, yet shows us that ideas like operation sense and computation are related. The authors’ plain language explanations empower us to leverage those relationships in order to help students become better mathematicians.

Chief Curriculum Officer, Cosenza & Associates, LLC Past President, Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics NCTM Representative for NCSM: Leadership in Mathematics Education

*I can’t wait to use*Mathematize It!

*in my work with teachers and students! The excellent examples, including actual student work and teacher commentaries, highlight the complexity of the problem situations in a way that is clear and usable for classroom teachers and for those of us who support them. The focus on operation sense, understanding the role that each quantity plays, and connecting representations to problems makes this a must read for anyone helping students become successful problem solvers. I especially appreciate the inclusion of non-whole-number examples!*

Julie McNamaraI can’t wait to useMathematize It!in my work with teachers and students! The excellent examples, including actual student work and teacher commentaries, highlight the complexity of the problem situations in a way that is clear and usable for classroom teachers and for those of us who support them. The focus on operation sense, understanding the role that each quantity plays, and connecting representations to problems makes this a must read for anyone helping students become successful problem solvers. I especially appreciate the inclusion of non-whole-number examples!

Associate Professor Author of Beyond Pizzas & Pies (With Meghan Shaughnessy) and Beyond Invert & Multiply California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

*This book is a must-have for anyone who has faced the challenge of teaching problem solving. The ideas to be learned are supported with a noticeably rich collection of classroom-ready problems, examples of student thinking, and videos. Problem solving is at the center of learning and doing mathematics. And so,*Mathematize It!

*should be at the center of every teacher’s collection of instructional resources.*

John SanGiovanniThis book is a must-have for anyone who has faced the challenge of teaching problem solving. The ideas to be learned are supported with a noticeably rich collection of classroom-ready problems, examples of student thinking, and videos. Problem solving is at the center of learning and doing mathematics. And so,Mathematize It!should be at the center of every teacher’s collection of instructional resources.

Coordinator, Elementary Mathematics Howard County Public School System, Ellicott City, MD

*Finally! An answer for equipping students in making sense of word problems.*Mathematize It!

*clarifies the challenges in problem solving and gives concrete steps and advice on understanding problem contexts and the mathematics involved. The examples, student work, and videos throughout the book bring ideas to life, and make their implementation doable. This is a must-read for every math teacher who desires their students to truly understand the role of mathematics in the world.*

Nanci N. SmithFinally! An answer for equipping students in making sense of word problems.Mathematize It!clarifies the challenges in problem solving and gives concrete steps and advice on understanding problem contexts and the mathematics involved. The examples, student work, and videos throughout the book bring ideas to life, and make their implementation doable. This is a must-read for every math teacher who desires their students to truly understand the role of mathematics in the world.

Associate Professor, Mathematics and Education Arizona Christian University, Glendale, AZ Author of Every Math Learner

### Review Copies

Review copies may be requested by individuals planning to purchase 10 or more copies for a team or considering a book for adoption in a higher ed course. To request a review copy, contact sales@corwin.com.

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