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Mathematize It! [Grades K-2]
Going Beyond Key Words to Make Sense of Word Problems, Grades K-2

- Kimberly Morrow-Leong
- Sara Delano Moore - Mathematics Consultant
- Linda M. Gojak - Mathematics Consultant, NCTM Past-President

*“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 SanGiovanni

Coordinator, Elementary Mathematics

Howard County Public School System, Ellicott City, MD

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

** Mathematize It! Going Beyond Key Words to Make Sense of Word Problems, Grades K-2** 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.

Sure to enhance teachers’ own operation sense, this user-friendly resource for Grades K-2

· 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 addition and subtraction of whole numbers as well as early thinking for multiplication and division

· Demonstrates the use of concrete manipulatives 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! *

“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.”

**Math Specialist, Atlanta, GA**

“Mathematize It! 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!”

**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.”

**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!”

**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.”

**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.”

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

“Leaving behind the procedures and the gimmicks, Mathematize It! will effectively help develop teachers’ understanding of problem types and the pedagogical techniques necessary to teach students how to solve problems through understanding. Using comprehension strategies and varied representations are key to student success with contextualized computation. The sandbox notes, structured techniques, and videos make this book very teacher friendly. The ideas are easily transferable to the mathematics classroom.”

**Coordinator of Elementary Mathematics, Baltimore County Public Schools**