[Book Cover]

Mathematics for Elementary Teachers via Problem Solving-Preliminary Edition, 1/e

Joanna O. Masingila, Syracuse University
Frank K. Lester, Indiana University

Published September, 1997 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics

Copyright 1998, 394 pp.
ISBN 0-13-888488-9

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This multi-component learning system for prospective elementary-level teachers uses student activities—and the problem-solving strategies they employ—as the heart of its curriculum. The accompanying Student Activity Book is designed to be used during class and to provide contexts through which students make sense of mathematical ideas. Supporting the activity book are a Student Resource Book and an Instructor's Guide.


Views mathematics as a cooperative venture among students in which they are encouraged to explore, form and debate conjectures, build connections among concepts, solve problems growing out of their explorations, and construct personal meaning from all of these experiences.
Draws upon five guiding principals:

  • Solving a wide range of problems is an essential ingredient in becoming a good problem-solver.
  • Problem solving involves a very complex set of process.
  • The instructor plays a vital role in fostering healthy problem-solving skills.
  • Cooperative, small-group work should be commonplace.
  • Assessment practices should be aligned with instructional emphases.
Provides a complete learning program consisting of a Student Activity Book, a Student Resource Book, and an Instructor's Guide.
Encourages students to reflect as they work to understand a problem, evaluate their solution processes, decide if their solutions make sense, justify their generalizations, connect mathematical concepts, understand a problem solution different from their own, extend a problem, monitor their thinking processes, and communicate their ideas to other students and the teacher.
Connects activities using key mathematical ideas that run throughout the text.
Takes a developmental approach, building upon and connecting activities previously completed to make sense of new mathematical concepts.
Offers a concise, visually manageable Student Resource Book to support the exercises in the Student Activity Book, including...
  • Readings on various topics related to the historical/social/cultural aspects of the chapter concepts.
  • Explanations of mathematical concepts and procedures.
  • Exercises and problems.
  • Recreational mathematics activities.
Uses reflective writing as another source of assessment data to give instructors additional insight into which topics have been understood and which need more attention or a more focused discussion.

Table of Contents
    0. Learning Mathematics via Problem Solving.
    1. Getting Started in Learning Mathematics via Problem Solving.
    2. Numeration.
    3. Operations on Natural Numbers, Whole Numbers & Integers.
    4. Number Theory.
    5. Probability & Statistics.
    6. Fraction Models & Operations.
    7. Real Numbers: Rationals & Irrationals.
    8. Patterns & Functions.
    9. Geometry.
    10. Measurement.
    Answers to Selected Exercises and Problems.


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