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Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks, K-5

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks, K-5
Fostering Hope in the Elementary Classroom

March 2022 | 168 pages | Corwin

Empower your students as they reimagine the world around them through mathematics

Culturally relevant mathematics teaching engages and empowers students, helping them learn and understand math more deeply and make connections to themselves, their communities, and the world around them. The mathematics task provides opportunities for a direct pathway to this goal; however, how can you find, adapt, and implement math tasks that build powerful learners?

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks helps teachers to design and refine inspiring mathematics learning experiences driven by the kind of high-quality and culturally relevant mathematics tasks that connect students to their world. With the goal of inspiring all students to see themselves as doers of mathematics, this book provides intensive, in-the-moment guidance and practical classroom tools that empower educators to shape culturally relevant experiences while systematically building tasks that are standards-based. It includes

  • A pathway for moving through the process of asking, imagining, planning, creating, and improving culturally relevant math tasks.
  • Tools and strategies for designing culturally relevant math tasks that preservice, novice, and veteran teachers can use to grow their practice day by day.
  • Research-based teaching practices seen through the lens of culturally relevant instruction that help students develop deep conceptual understanding, procedural knowledge, fluency, and application in all K-5 mathematical content.

Examples, milestones, opportunities for reflection, and discussion questions guide educators to strengthen their classroom practices, and to reimagine math instruction in response. This book is for any educator who wants to teach mathematics in a more authentic, inclusive, and meaningful way, and it is especially beneficial for teachers whose students are culturally different from them.

Since the emergence of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy as a pedagogical theory, teachers have been asking, ‘Yes, but how do we do it?’ Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks is the volume we need to answer that question. It belongs on every teacher’s bookshelf.

Gloria Ladson-Billings
National Academy of Education, The British Academy, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, American educational Research Association, Madison, WI

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks is brilliant, bold, and absolutely beautiful! The authors remind us that equity and excellence draw on the brilliance of the students and communities we serve, and on the mathematics already present in students’ racial and cultural identities, communities, and history. The concepts and ideas shared here are a game-change in mathematics education! Both practical and inspirational, this book offers the perfect blueprint with in-the-moment guidance and practical classroom tools to make culturally responsive instruction attainable

Cathery Yeh
Chapman University, CA

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks provides the rationale, practices, task design tools, and beautiful examples to learn how to engage children in culturally relevant math tasks. It is the first book that connects culturally relevant teaching and mathematics in an authentic way to help math educators, coaches, and leaders bring out the brilliance in all of their students!

Georgina Rivera
West Hartford, CT

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks is a foundational resource for any educator seeking to engage their students in a culturally relevant math experience. In this resource educators will find practical tools, tips, and strategies that can be implemented immediately within their educational environment.

Kristopher J. Childs
Winter Garden, FL

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Math Tasks is a powerful, practical resource for teachers wherever they might be on their teaching journey. It offers insightful guidance in developing and implementing CRMTasks that give students voice, empowers students, connects mathematics to family and community, and provides an approach where students see themselves in the mathematics—all while pushing mathematical complexity, relevance, and high expectations for all students. I found the focus on intentionality energizing in supporting students as they understand and critique their world. Thank you to the authors for sharing your vision and experience!

Trena Wilkerson
Baylor University, Waco, TX

Engaging in Culturally Relevant Mathematics Tasks is a much-needed book for socially and culturally conscious teachers of mathematics. Drawing inspiration from the tasks will give teachers the opportunity to engage their elementary learners in becoming critical mathematical thinkers of the world around them. The treasures found in this book should be highly
cherished by all.

Michelle D. McKnight
South Windsor Publics Schools, South Windsor, CT

Lou E. Matthews

Dr. Lou Edward Mathews is a global mathematics creative and founder of InspireMath committed to building inspiring, sustainable mathematics platforms and culturally relevant education experiences in communities around the world. As Director of Mathematics and Science at Urban Teachers, a national teacher residency program with Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Lou supports the recruitment, coaching and deployment of culturally competent mathematics teachers in Baltimore, Washington DC and Dallas.   In response to the global crisis of racial injustice and COVID19 pandemic, Dr. Lou created Pi Before Dinner, a virtual space and media... More About Author

Shelly M. Jones

Dr. Shelly M. Jones is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Central Connecticut State University. She teaches undergraduate mathematics content and methods courses for pre-service teachers as well as graduate level mathematics content, curriculum and STEM courses for in-service teachers. Before joining the CCSU faculty, Dr. Jones was a middle school Mathematics Teacher and a K-12 Mathematics Administrator.  She provides mathematics professional development nationally and internationally.  She has been an educator for 30 years.  Dr. Jones serves her community by working with various professional and community organizations... More About Author

Yolanda A. Parker

Dr. Yolanda A. Parker has been an educator for over 25 years and has been full-time faculty at Tarrant County College-South Campus for over 10 years in the Mathematics Department where she primarily teaches Statistics and Math for Teachers courses. She has a B.S. in Applied Math from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX; M.A. in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH; and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Illinois State University in Normal, IL. She was honored as one of the 2017 “Hidden Figures of Dallas: Top Women of Color in S.T.E.M.” by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Dallas/Fort Worth... More About Author

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