Professional books about spatial reasoning

Mini reviews of four professional books:

Taking Shape: Activities to Develop Geometric and Spatial Thinking
Taking Shape.jpg
by Joan Moss, Catherine D. Bruce, Bev Caswell, Tara Flynn, Zachary Hawes

32 field-tested and research-based activities designed to appeal to young children
Apr 29, 2016
Pearson Education Canada
(watch the video)
Research shows that children with good spatial skills perform better in mathematics overall. This research-based resource is a unique blend of professional learning and classroom activities. It includes:

  • 32 field-tested and research-based activities designed to appeal to young children
  • Guided lesson plans, including 15 videos, that serve as models for best practice in instruction
  • Tips on observing, questioning, and assessing young children's geometric and spatial thinking
  • Free access to website with videos, curriculum correlations, line masters, and observation guides

Joan Moss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the Institute of Child Study at OISE/UT. A former elementary school teacher, her research has focused on the design of developmentally based curricula highlighting areas of mathematics that are traditionally challenging for students. Her research on early algebra has appeared in numerous international publications. Since 2011, Joan has been a co-Principal Investigator of the Math for Young Children (M4YC) project, which supports the teaching and learning of spatial reasoning in Early Years classrooms. Most recently, she collaborated with the Robertson Program for Inquiry-Based Teaching in Math and Science to expand the M4YC initiative to include collaborations in four First Nations communities and with the Rainy River District School Board. Joan has won many honours and awards, including the award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching.

Catherine D. Bruce is an Associate Professor at the Trent University School of Education and Professional Learning. Catherine is a co-Principal Investigator of the Math for Young Children (M4YC) project. She won a SSHRC Award in 2013 to continue this research into early mathematics and young children''s spatial reasoning. A former teacher, Catherine has been studying teaching and learning for 25 years. She teaches mathematics methods courses at Trent where she brings her passion for mathematics teaching and learning to teacher candidates. In 2012--2013, Catherine was honoured to receive the prestigious Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) teaching award. Additionally, she received the 2015 International Eduardo Flores Leadership Award for her contributions to action research locally, nationally, and internationally. Key areas of research include teacher and student efficacy, the effectiveness of alternative models of professional learning for teachers, the use of technology in the mathematics classroom, as well as teaching and learning in the difficult-to-learn areas of fractions and algebra. Her awesome family of boys keeps her on her toes.

Bev Caswell is the Director of the Robertson Program for Inquiry-Based Teaching in Mathematics and Science at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto). She works collaboratively with educators to design participatory learning environments that invite students to engage with ideas and develop a deeper understanding of mathematics concepts. Bev completed her doctoral research focusing on equity in mathematics. She is dedicated to working with students typically underserved by the educational system. Bev has ten years'' experience as an elementary school classroom teacher and fifteen years'' experience in pre-service and in-service teacher education. She is married and is the mother of four dynamic individuals.

Tara Flynn is an educator, author, and editor who has worked with Dr. Cathy Bruce in the fascinating world of mathematics education research since 2007. As Project Manager and Research Officer, Tara has worked with countless dedicated and innovative educators, and has been an integral member of the Math for Young Children (M4YC) team since the project''s inception. She has co-authored several publications on young children''s spatial reasoning and has presented widely on this topic. As an editor, Tara cut her teeth at Alternatives Journal, and more recently has edited numerous teacher resources in mathematics education. She is the awestruck mother of a 20-year-old son. Tara has spent the past nine years trying to explain to her family what she does for a living, and is really hoping that this book will help to answer that question.

Zachary Hawes is a Ph.D. candidate in the Numerical Cognition Laboratory at the University of Western Ontario. Prior to this, he completed his M.A. and teacher training at the University of Toronto''s Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. Not wanting to leave the Institute, and having developed a keen interest in how children learn mathematics, Zack stayed on to work as a research officer for four years. His past and current research is broadly focused on understanding the development of mathematical thinking and ways in which to improve such learning. More recently, he is interested in studying the relationship between spatial and numerical cognition, with the ultimate goal of using this information to leverage classroom instruction. Other interests include painting, traveling, and playing basketball.

Learning and Teaching Early Math: The Learning Trajectories Approach
by Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama
learning and teaching early math_2nd edition.jpg
Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (April 14 2014)
Paperback: 394 pages
Language: English $67.37
ISBN-10: 0415828503
ISBN-13: 978-0415828505

In this important new book for pre- and in-service teachers, early math experts Douglas Clements and Julie Sarama show how "learning trajectories" help teachers become more effective professionals. By opening up new windows to seeing young children and the inherent delight and curiosity behind their mathematical reasoning, learning trajectories ultimately make teaching more joyous. They help teachers understand the varying level of knowledge and thinking of their classes and the individuals within them as key in serving the needs of all children. In straightforward, no-nonsense language, this book summarizes what is known about how children learn mathematics, and how to build on what they know to realize more effective teaching practice. It will help teachers understand the learning trajectories of early mathematics and become quintessential professionals.
The second edition of Learning and Teaching Early Math remains the definitive, research-based resource to help teachers understand the learning trajectories of early mathematics and become quintessential professionals.

Updates to the new edition include:
• Explicit connections between Learning Trajectories and the new Common Core State Standards.
• New coverage of patterns and patterning.
• Incorporation of hundreds of recent research studies

Focus in Kindergarten: Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points

by Karen Fuson, Douglas Clements, Sybilla Beckmann Kazez. Series Advisor: Jane F. SchielackTeaching with curriculum focal points.JPG

List Price $36.95
ISBN # 978-0-87353-645-5
Published 02/22/2010

Focus in Kindergarten: Teaching with Curriculum Focal Points describes and illustrates learning paths for the mathematical concepts and skills of each prekindergarten Focal Point as presented in Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics. It includes representational supports for teaching and learning that can facilitate understanding, stimulate productive discussions about mathematical thinking, and provide a foundation for fluency with the core ideas. This book also discusses common student errors and misconceptions, reasons the errors may arise, and teaching methods or visual representations to address the errors.

Because learning paths cut across grades, related Focal Points at kindergarten and grade 1 have been included to clarify how prerequisite knowledge in prekindergarten contributes to later understandings.

Focus in Kindergarten, one in a series of grade-level publications, is designed to support teachers, supervisors, and coordinators as they develop and refine the mathematics curriculum.

Spatial Reasoning.jpg
Spatial Reasoning in the Early Years
Edited by Brent Davis

SBN - 10:1138792047
ISBN - 13:9781138792043
List Price $58.54
Published April 15 2015

Over the past several years, "spatial reasoning" has gained renewed prominence among mathematics educators, as spatial skills are proving to be not just essential to mathematical understanding but also strong predictors of future success beyond the classroom in fields such as science, technology, and engineering. By exploring both primary and emergent dimensions, Spatial Reasoning in the Early Years helps define the concept of spatial reasoning and provides compelling evidence of the need for a clear focus within early education specifically. The authors review the research, look across current theories, and investigate implications for contemporary school mathematics pedagogy as they identify areas of inquiry necessary to bring a stronger spatial reasoning emphasis into the classroom.
The book contains many classroom- or workshop-based vignettes, highlighting the complexity of spatial reasoning in educational practice, providing an in-depth analysis of spatial reasoning as it applies to classroom practice, and offering new ways of framing lessons to help young students hone their spatial reasoning abilities. The book concludes with a forward-looking agenda that contributes to developing a greater understanding of the role spatial reasoning plays in educational contexts and beyond. Supported by plentiful visual representations, Spatial Reasoning in the Early Years skillfully integrates the conceptual and the concrete, making this text a dynamic and accessible resource.

Spatial reasoning in the early years - Click on Research Gate PDF file

First Steps in Math: Space

by The Department of Education of Western Australia, 2013First Steps in Math_Space.JPG
Team Leader: Professor Sue Willis, Murdoch University
free download

Revised edition
ISBN: 978-0-7307-4488-7
SCIS: 1593631
First Steps Mathematics is a series of teacher resource books that is organised around sets of mathematics outcomes for Number, Measurement, Space, and Chance and Data. The series will help teachers to diagnose, plan, implement and judge the effectiveness of the learning experiences they provide for students.
FIRST steps in math_space diagnostic tasks.JPG

Here is a link to the Creative Commons versions available for download as long as the resources are acknowledged, not altered, and not used commercially.

First Steps in Math_ Space

Blocks and Beyond: Strengthening Early Math and Science Skills Through Spatial Learning

Blocks and Beyond.gif

by Mary Jo Pollman

Brookes Publishing Co.
ISBN: 978-1-59857-101-1
Copyright: 2010
List price $32.95

Spatial development should be part of every young child's education—it's linked with higher achievement not just in math and science, but across all academic areas. Now early childhood educators have a guidebook to help them seamlessly integrate spatial learning into their everyday curriculum. Focusing on areas key to academic success-math, science, art and literature, and social studies-early childhood expert Mary Jo Pollman gives teachers research-based insights and ready-to-use activities for promoting children's spatial development throughout the school day. Developed for use with children in preschool through third grade, this innovative teacher training resource
  • Aligns with key focal points specified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Math Panel Report, and the National Science Education Standards
  • Helps children progress in specific areas where U.S. students are falling behind—particularly geometry and geography
  • Improves teacher quality—helps them plan a successful, well-rounded curriculum with creative, age-appropriate activities
  • Strengthens the home-school learning connection with suggestions for games that parents and children can do together
  • Uses easy-to-find materials—shows how to improve spatial skills with everyday items like blocks, play dough, puzzles, globes, and objects found in nature
  • Is fully supported by the latest research and highly respected educational theories, clearly explained throughout the book so teachers know the why behind the how
  • Provides a foundation for later success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields
A great in-service professional development resource and an essential text for pre-service teachers, this book is key to creating a curriculum that actively promotes spatial development and sets the stage for strong math, science, and other academic skills.

Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum (2006)

Learning to think spatially.jpg
National Research Council; Division on Earth and Life Studies; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Committee on the Support for the Thinking Spatially: The Incorporation of Geographic Information Science Across the K-12 Curriculum; Committee on Geography

Learning to Think Spatially examines how spatial thinking might be incorporated into existing standards-based instruction across the school curriculum. Spatial thinking must be recognized as a fundamental part of K–12 education and as an integrator and a facilitator for problem solving across the curriculum. With advances in computing technologies and the
increasing availability of geospatial data, spatial thinking will play a significant role in the information-based economy of the twenty-first century. Using appropriately designed support systems tailored to the K–12 context, spatial thinking can be taught formally to all students. A geographic information system (GIS) offers one example of a high-technology support system that can enable students and teachers to practice and apply spatial thinking in many areas of the curriculum.

Publication Info
332 pages | 7 x 10
ISBN: 978-0-309-09208-1
DOI: 10.17226/11019

Learning to think Spatially

Thinking Mathematically

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Thinking It Through: Teaching and Learning in the Kindergarten Classroom

11-book set.
Ref.# 93.750
Eleven separate chapters interconnect to help you plan your whole program and help you create dynamic and stimulating learning experiences for children.