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Every Math Learner, Grades K-5
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Every Math Learner, Grades K-5
A Doable Approach to Teaching With Learning Differences in Mind

  • Nanci N. Smith - Effective Classrooms Educational Consulting, LLC (President & CEO)

Foreword by Carol Ann Tomlinson



February 2017 | 304 pages | Corwin

As an elementary teacher, you know that students are different and learn differently. And yet, when students enter your classroom, you somehow must teach these unique individuals deep mathematics content using rigorous standards. Is differentiation really the answer? How can it be done well and in less time? 

Nationally recognized math differentiation expert Nanci Smith debunks the myths, revealing what differentiation is and isn’t. In this engaging book Smith reveals a practical approach to teaching for real learning differences. You’ll gain insights into an achievable, daily differentiation process for ALL students in the K-5 classroom.

Theory-lite and practice-heavy, this book shows how to maintain order and sanity while helping your students know, understand, and even enjoy doing mathematics. Classroom videos, teacher vignettes, ready-to-go lesson ideas, and rich K-5 mathematics examples help you build a manageable framework of engaging, sense-making math. 

Busy K-5 mathematics teachers, coaches, and teacher teams will learn to

  • Provide practical structures for assessing how each of your students learns and processes mathematical concepts
  • Design, implement, manage, and formatively assess and respond to learning in a differentiated classroom
  • Plan specific, standards-aligned differentiated lessons, activities, and assessments
  • Adjust current instructional materials and program resources to better meet students' needs

This book includes classroom videos, in-depth student work samples, student surveys, templates, before-and-after lesson demonstrations, examples of 5-day sequenced lessons, and a robust companion website with downloadables of all the tools in the books plus other resources for further planning. Every Math Learner, Grades K-5 will help you know and understand your students as learners in order to provide daily differentiation that accelerates their mathematics comprehension.

“Every Math Learner is a powerful tool for educators serious about meeting the needs of all learners in their mathematics classrooms. Nanci Smith balances philosophy with practicality while providing a glimpse into real classrooms with real students. Teachers will ultimately learn how to lift students up to their greatest potential in learning.”
—Eileen Hogan, District Mathematics Facilitator, Winnetka District #36
 
Video Contents
 
Foreword by Carol Ann Tomlinson
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
CHAPTER 1. START UP: Why Knowing and Addressing Students’ Learning Differences Is Critical
Introduction  
What Differentiation Is and Is Not  
A Glance at a Differentiated Classroom  
Frequently Asked Questions  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 2. FIND OUT: Strategies for Determining Who Each of Your Students Is as Mathematics Learner
Who Our Learners Are  
Strategies to Determine Readiness  
Strategies to Determine Interest  
Strategies to Determine Learning Profile  
Frequently Asked Questions . . .  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 3. TEACH UP: Making Sense of Rigorous Mathematical Content
Mathematics Makes Sense  
Themes and Big Ideas in Mathematics  
Teaching Up  
What Learning Mathematics with Understanding Like  
Frequently Asked Questions  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 4. STEP UP: How to Make Proactive Planning Decisions That Deepen Thinking
The Decisions Behind Differentiation  
Differentiation and KUD  
Strategies for Differentiation  
Classroom Structures  
Frequently Asked Questions  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 5. SET IT UP: Establishing the Right Tone to Make Differentiation Doable
A Healthy Learning Environment  
Embracing Fair  
Everybody Learns  
Mindsets  
Frequently Asked Questions  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 6. POWER ON: Mastering and Modeling Daily Routines for Achievement All Year
Classroom Routines  
Frequently Asked Questions  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 7. STEP BACK: Tools for Assessing and Evaluating in a Differentiated Classroom
Assessment For, Of and As Learning  
Principles to Develop Assessments  
Designing Assessments  
Frequently Asked Questions  
Keepsakes and Plans  
 
CHAPTER 8. CLOSE UP: A Week in the Life of a Differentiated Mathematics Class
A Look Into a Week in a Primary Classroom  
A Look Into a Week in an Intermediate Classroom  
Advice From the Field  
Conclusion  
 
Appendix A. Further Reading on the Topic of English Language Learners
 
Appendix B. Further Reading on the Topic of Special Education
 
Appendix C. Further Reading on the Topic of Rich Problems and Mathematical Discourse
 
References
 
Index

"I will admit, when I first began reading, I was thinking 'here we go again, another book on differentiation.' As I read, my feelings quickly changed. I believe this book provides different information than previous books I’ve read on the subject. It is very easy to read, and most teachers could make substantive changes in their instruction immediately. This may be the quickest way to improve math learning and understanding I’ve seen. I am anxious to incorporate the strategies in this book in my planning for all students to enhance their ability to know, understand, and do math
while loving it!"

Marcia Carlson, Classroom Teacher
Crestview School of Inquiry

"This is an extremely important topic right now. Young students are expected to learn concepts that used to be saved for much more mature students. The big questions are how to help those young minds understand, especially when the teachers may not have a strong mathematics background? The coverage [in this book] is very complete without being overwhelming. I am impressed that just as I began to think what an insurmountable task teaching has become, [this book] breaks it down to manageable chunks."

Lyneille Meza, Director of Data and Assessment
Denton Independent School District

“Finally! A book that is written for the elementary teacher that GETS the elementary classroom. Dr. Smith clears up the differentiation dysfunction by giving clear examples with real content. Just this would be enough to purchase and love the resource, however, this book goes the extra mile by also giving “use it now” strategies that are easily understood and implemented. For anyone wishing to have a rich toolkit of strategies to provide deep understanding in key mathematical concepts, this publication is a musthave/must-read.”

Julie W. Stevenson, Consultant, University of Missouri
Kansas City and Regional Professional Development Center

“I believe Dr. Nanci Smith’s Every Math Learner: A Doable Approach to Teaching With Learning Differences in Mind is arguably the best book now available for math teachers. In my conversations with math teachers and observations of classrooms, there is generally good-to-great expertise in math content knowledge. Problems occur, however, when there is lock-step reliance (perhaps with minor variations) on the math textbook or when there are beliefs and practices that all students predominately learn in the same way. Dr. Smith—a master teacher and trainer—flips the paradigm from teaching to learning. I’ve personally seen Dr. Smith’s work with teachers, and know that she creates tremendous excitement within the teaching profession for practically and substantively moving from teacher-centered classrooms to learning-centered classrooms that support the needs and interests of ALL students.”

Mark Boyer, Retired Assistant Superintendent for Learning
Singapore American School

“While we know that the importance of differentiation is the key to student engagement and success, implementing key differentiation practices remains elusive to us as we balance competing curriculum, student, and administrative demands. Smith’s book seamlessly unpacks what differentiation is and is not and provides explicit and, dare I say, beautiful examples of what this can look like in the classroom. You will be hooked from the first page and be inspired and empowered to transform your classroom, your teaching, and your students’ mathematical learning experiences through and with this practical, realistic, and meaningful differentiation system.”

Beth Kobett, Ed.D., Assistant Professor
Stevenson University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Start Up

Chapter 3: Teach Up


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ISBN: 9781506340739
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