Thursday / April 25

Hopes for a Bright Mathematical Future: A 2021 Year-in-Review of the Top Math PD Books

It has been nearly seven years since the birth of the Corwin Mathematics imprint, when we made it our mission to build a cohesive collection of math PD resources that was unique and special. We didn’t want a laundry list of books full of more-of-the-same activities. We wanted a thoughtful curation of cutting-edge, research-guided professional titles that would help teachers stretch their math teaching practice with the best guidance and tools. We wanted to encourage and equip teachers to invite every single child to live up to their full mathematical potential, to author their own mathematical story, to develop their own positive mathematical identity, and to become practiced and fluent thinkers, reasoners, debaters. We wanted teachers and students to see mathematics as a tool of creativity and liberty, useful for analyzing and improving their lives and their communities. This remains our goal and aspiration. It’s the bright mathematical future we strive for.

As I reflect on the nearly 70 titles we have published and the dozens more we have in store, I am so proud of what we have produced and the impact our books have had on the field. I’m also grateful to the 100+ authors who have brought their A-game, worked hard and late, and entrusted us with their life’s work as we helped them each create a vessel for their wisdom.

Here are some highlights from 2021 in case you’re looking for some light holiday reads:

  • Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, K-12 by Peter Liljedahl boils 15 years of research into a digestible, practical collection of 14 optimal practices to get students to think. Not only has this book earned the status of top-selling first year math book of all time on the Corwin list, many have called it the “best PD book they’ve ever read on any education topic.” Peter then offered the gift of more—helping us deal with daily-changing covid protocols in his just-in-time supplement Modifying Your Thinking Classroom.
  • Jennifer Bay-Williams and John SanGiovanni have helped us see what Figuring Out Fluency really means, because fluency is so much more than timed tests and memorizing basic facts. Along with their co-authors, they gave us the Figuring Out Fluency Classroom Companion series—a massive menu of activities, games, centers, and routines rooted in the firm belief that all students have mathematical genius at their fingertips if just taught good, flexible thinking strategies.
  • If you are a K-5 teacher looking for Classroom-Ready Rich-Math Tasks to supplement your curriculum, look no further. Led by Beth Kobett, Skip Fennell, and Karen Karp, three teams of on-the-ground math education experts have crafted these ready-to-implement, engaging tasks to connect skills, concepts and practices. These tasks encourage students to reason, problem-solve, discuss, explore multiple solution pathways, connect multiple representations, and justify their thinking.
  • Are you looking for a gift for that new teacher in your life who wants to hit the ground running? Or maybe you’re a veteran teacher wanting a simple way to stretch your practice just a bit? Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Math is the just-in-time advice you need. Infused with solid, research-driven, practical, and equity focused guidance, this digestible book will hit the spot on your wish list.
  • In Partnering with Parents in Elementary School Math, Hilary Kreisberg and Matthew Beyranevand guide teachers and administrators on how to understand caregiver’s concerns about math, communicate clearly and productively, and make them feel supported and confident.
  • In Teaching Math to Multilingual Students, learn how to position grades K-8 emergent bilingual students as leaders in your mathematics classes through research-based supports and culturally responsive pedagogy.
  • Is it finally time to clean out that manipulatives closet and put those tools to their best use? In Mastering Math Manipulatives for grades K-3 and 4-8, Sara Delano Moore and Kimberly Rimbey offer nearly 150 standards-aligned activities for helping children use dozens of different commercial, virtual, and home-made manipulatives to connect representations and understand math more deeply.

And as we ring in 2022, keep your eye out for new books from both familiar and new authors on high-need topics such as:

  • Engaging in Culturally Responsive Math Tasks (grades K-5 and 6-12)
  • Mastering Small Groups in Elementary Math
  • A Guidebook on Teaching Math for Social Justice
  • Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Secondary Mathematics
  • Early Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School Math Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice
  • How to take back PD if you are an Imperfect and Unfinished Math Teacher
  • Centering Elementary Children and Communities in Mathematics with Mathematical Heart

…and more!

May your 2022 be bright and shiny, and may we continue to bring more children into their own mathematical brilliance.

Written by

Erin Null is Publisher of Corwin Mathematics, and avid coffee drinker, and a lover of all things puzzles, numbers, and math!

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