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Whose Math Is It?

Whose Math Is It?
Building Student Ownership in Mathematics

Foreword by Douglas Fisher

October 2024 | 152 pages | Corwin

Foster Confidence and Ownership in Every Math Student

When it comes to math, does it feel like some students embrace problem-solving with agency and ownership while others are confused—or simply along for the ride? How do educators bridge that divide to develop competence, confidence, and ownership in every student?

The answers lie in establishing clear and effective measures for success. Steeped in the principles of success criteria, Whose Math Is It? provides educators with everything they need to create a classroom environment where students feel empowered to step up and take the lead. Divided into two parts, this must-read guide first defines what success looks like for math students, then provides the research-based best practices teachers can use to help students take control of their learning. Learn how to:

  • Define and establish effective success criteria in a mathematics classroom
  • Implement a variety of strategies to support student ownership and success
  • Develop class-wide social norms specific to math
  • Promote metacognition through self-regulated learning, self-assessment, and feedback
  • Reinforce student ownership through structured peer interactions and collaboration

Whose Math Is It? is an essential resource for K-12 math teachers who want to empower their students to actively own their mathematics learning. By emphasizing the importance of success criteria, promoting self-regulated learning, and developing math-specific social norms, this book provides practical strategies for creating an environment where when asked, "Whose math is it?" every student can emphatically respond: My math!

Part 1 – Determining Success Criteria
Introduction: Keeping the End in Mind
Chapter 1: What Does it Mean to be Successful in Mathematics?
Part 2 – Operationalizing Success Criteria
Chapter 2: Developing Classwide Social and Sociomathematical Norms
Chapter 3: Reinforcing Ownership through Structured Peer Interactions and Collaboration
Chapter 4: Promoting Metacognition through Self-regulated Learning and Feedback
Afterword: Actualizing Student Ownership of Mathematics

Whose Math is it? is a must read for any math teacher that seeks to create a classroom learning environment in which their students are actively engaged in challenging mathematics, thoughtfully and respectfully discussing their mathematical thinking, and are personally aware of their own learning and agency. Whether you are new to or experienced with active learning, this book offers a wealth of concrete strategies that will expand and enrich your instructional repertoire.  A book like this with such experienced-based insights is a treasure and does not come along very often. I highly recommend it!

Chris Rasmussen

Whose Math Is It? is about teaching students how to take ownership of 'their math'. A comprehensive book that includes examples, tools, strategies, and resources, it is great for any educator (teacher, co-teacher, instructional coach, and administrator) who wants all their students to see themselves as mathematicians who critically think about mathematics and talk about it in meaningful ways. Educators who want to their math students to feel confident and believe in themselves will want to read this book!

Staci Benak

Student efficacy in the math class is attainable and should be a goal for every math teacher. Whose Math Is It? provides effective strategies to move the focus from teachers doing the heavy lifting to students becoming empowered in their learning. Joseph Assof’s book guides teachers in the creation of classroom systems that support student agency in learning.

Kim West

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ISBN: 9781071949511