Nancy Anderson, EdD

Mathematics Teacher ~ Author ~ Consultant

1. Math Matters by S. Chapin and A. Johnson: Every K-8 math teacher should own a copy of this book.  Period.  Suzanne and Art deftly explain key ideas about K-8 math in ways that are both mathematically accurate and accessible to teachers with a wide variety of mathematical backgrounds. If you are a K-8 math teacher and you want to develop a substantive understanding of the math you teach, this is the book for you. 

2. Make It Stick by P. Brown, H. Roediger, and M. McDaniel. This book summarizes current research findings on learning and retention. And some of the findings are quite surprising (e.g., some forgetting is essential to learning). I also really appreciated the book's perspective on struggling learners and ideas about how to help them learn.

3. How People Learn J. Bransford, A. Brown, and R. Cocking (Eds.) . The authors describe key research findings about learning using a variety of colorful and captivating examples. The authors' explanations about how "experts" solve problems, what is required to promote transfer in learning, and the essential role of confusion in learning have had a transformative effect on my teaching.

4. Talk Moves: A Teacher’s Guide for Using Talk Moves to Support the Common Core and More (3rd ed.)by S. Chapin, C. O'Connor, and N. Anderson: This is a great resource for classroom teachers who want to use more math talk or increase the productivity of their class discussions.  (Full disclosure: I am one of the authors!) Suzanne, Cathy, and I were inspired to write this book when we saw the transformative effect of these talk moves on our students' learning and attitudes towards mathematics. Suzanne and Cathy showed me how to use these talk moves about twenty years ago.  They changed my teaching at its core and are still the most salient aspect of my teaching repertoire today.

5. How Children Learn Number Concepts by K. Richardson: This is my favorite resource for understanding how young children make sense of numbers. This book should be required reading for all K-2 teachers and parents of K-2 students. If you are looking for a clear explanation about why place value is so difficult for young learners or a convincing rationale for why little kids shouldn't "just memorize" their math facts, you will find those here.

6. Mathematical Mindsets by J. Boaler: A fantastic resource for teachers who want to help their students and families abandon harmful misconceptions about learning math (e.g., that only some people are math people) and embrace essential mindsets (e.g., mistakes help us learn.)

7. About Teaching Mathematics by M. Burns: This book is tremendously versatile. Its contents have helped me communicate with parents about effective arithmetic instruction, plan professional development workshops for teachers and craft problem-based lessons for students from kindergarten through grade 8. 

8. Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had by T. Zager: If you are a newly licensed teacher who is nervous about stepping in front of your first group of students, you must read this book. If you are a math teacher in need of a little inspiration, this book will lift your spirits. If you are a math who loves teaching math and yet is still (and always) looking to improve your practice, you'll find what you need here.