BOOKS

Cover of Eyes on Math: A Visual Approach to Teaching Math Concepts
Eyes on Math: A Visual Approach to Teaching Math Concepts
By Marian Small, Illustrations by Amy LinTeachers College Press, 2012. 240 pages, $30.50 (paperback)
****
Reviewed by Christine Stone

This professional resource focuses on how educators can present important mathematical ideas pictorially at all levels, from kindergarten to grade 12. Marian Small and Amy Lin have organized the book to make it easy for teachers of any grade to quickly find the information that is most relevant to their teaching assignment.

The preface begins the conversation about how to use the book for differentiated instruction and in conjunction with other resources. The book opens by providing the theory and research behind using visual representations for understanding math concepts, finding the most important focal points within the math we are teaching, and providing learning experiences that connect across strands using big ideas and essential understandings. Recognizing that communication in math goes a long way to improving understandings, Small argues that connecting math to oral, visual, and written communication is a key part of supporting student learning. Teachers are encouraged to include rich tasks and open-ended questions in their lessons.

The rest of the book is organized by grade level. Each chapter has visual aids and questions that can be used for discussion on a variety of math topics. Teachers are encouraged to use the visuals to help build a rich math environment that promotes higher- level student thinking where meaningful questions support students in developing understandings of the big ideas and essential concepts. The appendix organizes the topics and curriculum connections to support teachers in their planning. The online component is a great additional perk. Colour pictures can be downloaded for use in the classroom, either electronically or in hard-copy form.

I believe this professional resource would be a great asset to any teacher. The multitude of visuals and questions provided would be extremely useful and easily used in planning. Teachers could pick this book up and immediately find it to be a valuable tool in their professional practice.

Christine Stone is a member of Elementary Teachers of Toronto

MORE BOOKS

Cover of book To Teach: The Journey, in Comics
William Ayers and Ryan Alexander-Tanner. Teachers College Press, 2010. 144 pages, $26.08 (paperback)
Cover of book Courageous Women Rebels
Joy Crysdale. Second Story Press, 2013. 124 pages, $10.95
Cover of Witness: Passing the Torch of Holocaust Memory to New Generations by Compiled by Eli Rubenstein, with the March of the Living
Compiled by Eli Rubenstein, with the March of the Living. Second Story Press, 2015. 136 pages, $32.95
The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International
Rosemary McCarney with Plan International. Second Story Press 2015, 32 pages, $18.95
Cover of School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruurs and Alice Feagan
Margriet Ruurs and Alice Feagan. Kids Can Press, 2015 40 pages, $19.95
Cover of Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanaine, illustrated by Claudia Davila
Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanaine, illustrated by Claudia Davila. Kids Can Press, 2015 48 pages, $18.95
Cover of Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth. Triangle Square, 2015 160 pages, $17.29
Cover of The Art of Possible
Edward Keenan, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin. Owlkids Books, 201563 pages, $17.95

Pages