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Teaching Numeracy

9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking
By: Margie Pearse, K. M. Walton

Foreword by Arthur Hyde

This book outlines nine critical thinking habits that foster numeracy and details practical ways to incorporate them into instruction. Includes lesson plans and handouts.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412992237
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2011
  • Page Count: 240
  • Publication date: March 23, 2011

Price: $39.95



"Margie Pearse and Katie Walton have given us a rich treasury of research-based beat math practices. This book offers practical, engaging numeracy strategies to support our struggling students and sets the bar high for our advanced young mathematicians."
—Mary Dunwoody, Director of Secondary Curriculum and Professional Development
Southeast Delco School District, Folcroft, PA

Transform mathematics learning from "doing" to "thinking"

Do some of your students arrive at wildly wrong answers to mathematical problems but have no idea why? If so, they are not alone. Many students lack basic numeracy—the ability to think through the math logically, solve problems, and apply math outside the classroom. This book outlines nine critical thinking habits that foster numeracy and details practical ways to incorporate those habits into instruction. Referencing the new common core standards, NCTM standards, and established literacy practices, the authors include "How Can I Do This in My Math Class…Tomorrow?" applications throughout the book that shows you how to:

  • Monitor and repair students' understanding
  • Represent mathematics nonlinguistically
  • Develop students' mathematics vocabulary
  • Create numeracy-rich lesson plans

Teaching Numeracy will help you move your students from simply "doing the math" to a deeper understanding of how to think through the math.


Key features

  • Introduces 9 critical thinking habits that foster numerate learning in any setting and at any grade level. Each habit is accompanied by a detailed list of practical ways to incorporate these habits into instruction.
  • The "How Can I Use This in My Math Class…Tomorrow" feature throughout the book offers practical ideas that can be implemented right away.
  • Outlines the essential components of a numeracy-based mathematics lesson.
  • Based on the new common core standards, NCTM standards, and established literacy practices.
  • Part 2 outlines the essential components of a numeracy-based mathematics lesson and offers sample lessons at each level.


Margie Pearse photo

Margie Pearse

Margie Pearse has over 30 years of teaching experience with certifications in mathematics, elementary education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Pennsylvania Quality Assurance Systems (Certified Instructor – PQAS 2014). She is presently at Chester Community Charter School as a Math Coach and in graduate education, training pre-service teachers how to create deeper, more numeracy based lessons.

Margie’s passion is to share a love of math with teachers and students! Her goal is to empower every student with the tools and strategies needed to be fluent and flexible with numbers. Margie’s educational philosophy can be summed up as such, “Why NOT reinvent the wheel! Yesterday’s lessons will not suffice for students to succeed in tomorrow’s world. We need to meet students, not just where they are, but where they need to be. There is great potential in every child. It is our job to empower students to discover that potential and possess the tenacity and self-efficacy to reach it.”

Published Books: Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking, released by Corwin in 2011; Learning That Never Ends, released by Rowman & Littlefield in 2013; and Passing the Mathematics Test for Elementary Teachers, by Rowman & Littlefield, February 2015.

K. M. Walton photo

K. M. Walton

Kate Walton has taught at both the elementary and middle school levels for twelve years. Although Kate’s primary passion and expertise is with language arts, she feels Numeracy transcends and is, at its very core, deep, logical thinking, which she has always encouraged in her classroom. She believes that a well crafted lesson and a healthy obsession with creativity are the keys to inspiring students to think deeply. Currently, she coaches teachers and conducts original professional development days on best practices.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Arthur Hyde



About the Authors

Introduction: Numeracy: What Is It, and Why Is It Important?

Part I. The 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Numerate Thinking

Habit 1. Monitor and Repair Understanding

Habit 2. Develop Schema and Activate Background Knowledge

Habit 3. Identify Similarities and Differences, Recognize Patterns, Organize and Categorize Ideas, Investigate Analogies and Metaphors

Habit 4. Represent Mathematics Nonlinguistically

Habit 5. Predict, Infer, Recognize Trends, Use Patterns, and Generate and Test Hypotheses

Habit 6. Question for Understanding

Habit 7. Summarize, Determine Importance, Synthesize: Using Note Taking and Journaling

Habit 8. Develop Vocabulary

Habit 9. Collaborate to Learn

Part II. The 5 Essential Components of a Numeracy-Based Mathematics Lesson

Component 1. Purpose and Focus

Component 2. Ignition

Component 3. Bridge to the Learning

Component 4. Gradual Release in Mathematics

Component 5. Debrief: Tying It All Together

Conclusion: Our Debrief

Appendix A. Sample Numeracy-Based Lesson Plans

Sample Lesson 1: Introduction to Division (Grades 2-3)

Sample Lesson 2: Elapsed Time (Grades 5-6)

Sample Lesson 3: Surface Area of a Right Rectangular Prism (Grades 7-8)

Appendix B. Anticipation Guide: The 2010 Census

Appendix C. Clock Reproducible for Clock Partners

References and Further Reading




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