Professional Book Shelf

A teeny tiny fraction of the professional books I have collected!
 How many HUNDRED do YOU have?

How many linear inches of professional books do YOU have?  Seriously...I have shelf after shelf after shelf of them.  How do we ever have enough time to keep up with what is "current"?  There are so many amazing professionals out there sharing their ideas about best practice--I'd love for us to do some sharing about what resources have given us the most "bang for the buck"!  I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorites over the coming weeks--and ask others to chime in with resources that they feel are too good to pass up! I'd like to highlight the following--great for administrators wanting to help implement change but especially for classroom teachers:

Published by Teachers College Press, 2009

This book is a nice starting point for teachers/grade levels that want to begin looking at better ways to formulate questions for students--essentially how to take questions and make them push for higher level math.  The chapters are organized by math concept...number and operations, geometry, measurement, and so on.  Within each chapter are a variety of ways to differentiate instruction--and are separated by grade level bands  preK-2, 3-5, and 6-8.  The text focuses on how to write open ended questions and "parallel tasks" to raise the level of rigor in the classroom.  A great deal of information about math, misconceptions, and "teaching tips" occur throughout.  "Big Ideas" in math are stressed and clearly articulated.

Here are a few examples of how the text is asking teachers to reframe their thinking about math questioning or to work with more "open-ended" questioning:

"Traditional model":  What number has 3 hundreds, 2 tens, 2 thousands, and 4 ones?
"Reframed" question:  You can model a number with 11 base ten blocks.  What could the number be?
(p. 9)

"Show that the product of two numbers can sometimes be greater than the quotient and sometimes less."
(p. 56)

The author has filled the text with concrete examples that can open up great discussions for staff development or can be used as a jumping off point for teachers wanting to make some changes in their instruction.  I got a lot out of it--thought you might too!  Let me know your thoughts...and I'd love to hear about some of your favorite professional resources!  Happy 2013!


  1. That looks like a great book - I'll have to see if I can get a copy. I'm trying to do more open-ended problem solving in the classroom. Critical thinking has been our buzz word this year :)
    And on a side note - those posters are FANTASTIC!!!! I can't wait to get them and put them up. Thank you SO much for designing them!!!

    1. Thank YOU! I have another math resource I'll be highlighting are WELCOME for the posters--it was fun!

  2. Marian is one of our math gurus here in Canada and the work that she does is nothing short of exceptional. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, please do, she is among one of the best presenters you will ever see.

  3. Another great book I would recommend is called Getting to Got it by Betty Garner. In it, she describes how best to build cognitive structures I students to help them better understand what they are learning in school.