Summer Reading About Math for Parents

parenting for success Jun 07, 2022

Summer is such a great time to settle in with some reading in a hammock or in a cozy chair.  A little bit of summer reading now will help you feel empowered to help your child with math next year. 

I have a few articles, a few videos and a few books that you might enjoy.  All of these suggestions will help you learn more about how your child is learning math.  Watch a video for a few minutes, read an article, or read a whole book.  All of those options are included here.

Articles About Learning Math Facts and Building Number Sense

Fluency Without Fear

This paper by Jo Boaler (Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford) discusses how we can support students in becoming fluent with their facts and build number sense without creating math anxiety.  Boaler explores recent research about how a focus on fact strategies affects the brain and later math performance. 

Seeing As Understanding: The Importance of Visual Math for Our Brain and Learning by Jo Boaler

This article discusses the brain science behind the use of visual math.   It ends with three recommendations for teaching and parenting.  You will walk away wondering what life would have been like if you had been taught math in a way that was in line with our current understanding of the brain.  You will also feel excited for your child to learn this way.

Videos About How Math Concepts Develop

Graham Fletcher Progression Videos

Whether your child is learning to count, working on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or fractions, there is a video for you.  In each of these videos Fletcher describes the thinking and mental constructs that go into each math concept.  He talks about all the understandings that need to be built in the brain before a child can really understand the given operation.  These videos are eye-opening, even to experienced teachers. 

Graham Fletcher – “There IS a Difference”

This short video is a powerful explanation of the difference between memorizing facts and learning them from memory.  I really enjoy the visuals that Fletcher included.  They give the message impact. 

Books to Help You Understand and Value Today's Math Approach

Adding Parents to the Equation: Understanding Your Child’s Elementary School Math by Hilary Kreisberg and Matthew Beyranevand

This book will help parents understand math in a whole new way and teach you about the strategies students are using in class.  You will come to see the importance of multiple strategies and learn how to guide your child on a path towards understanding math, rather than memorizing math.  

What’s Math Got to Do With It?  by Jo Boaler

This book is a great exploration of how today’s math teaching methods benefit students. Boaler follows students from their high school math experience into the job market years later.  She investigates how the math approaches they experienced in school influence their own attitudes about math and thus the jobs they take later on in life.  You will learn about new research into the brain and how it is changing how we teach math today.  A really powerful book.   

 Engage in some summer reading about math and start the fall feeing confident about how to support your child. While you are at it, pull your child close and encourage them to read about math too. You will both walk away feeling less stressed and with a bit of new insight.