Sunday, April 19, 2009

Math for Parents

One of my students from a looong time ago at Penn State surprised me with a phone call recently. He sked what might be a good resource for parents who want their children to grow up with a better attitude about math than they had. Great question, and there are surprisingly few resources for it. My top few are below:

1) NCTM: A Family's Guide: Fostering Your Child's Success in School Mathematics
(link leads to pdf of the full text). An overview of what content should be addressed and some tips for supporting your student.

2) David Whitin (et al), Living and Learning Mathematics: Stories and Strategies for Supporting Mathematical Learning (link goes to Amazon). For young elementary, helps you think about problem solving for that age child. The Whitin's spoke at this years Math in Action and received rave reviews from the teachers in attendance. See also their book on inquiry for young science learners and using literature in math classes.

3) Susan O'Connell,
Now I Get It: Strategies for Building Confident and Competent Mathematicians, K-6 (link leads to Amazon). Really for teachers, so there's some whole classroom stuff that won't be relevant, but the majority is about real instruction that would be repeatable at home.

Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding by all the leading elementary math researchers (link leads to Amazon). This book is very teacher oriented, but portrays such a nice sense of what is possible in the elementary math classroom, that you'll wonder why we're not moving towards this vision more convincingly. Parents reading this could develop very nice, high expectations of what their children's math education should look like. My pre-service elementary teacher students this summer will be reading this.

What resources do you like for parents? I'd be very interested to hear.

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