Author: Marian Small
This text outlines the importance of differentiating mathematics in the classroom and offers some effective and easy-to-implement ideas for use during instructional periods. Open ended questions and parallel tasks are provided for every strand in every grade from prekindergarten to 8. The author provides tasks that reach students who are at a variety of developmental stages and allow a variety of responses that enables all students to feel successful. In the first chapter, she outlines why differentiation is important, and how to use the text itself to assist with the implementation. The questions provided link directly to the “big ideas” in each strand and she offers a brief discussion on possible answers that may be provided by students and other extending questions that a teacher may want to use to consolidate the activity and enrich the students’ learning. One of the questions I found effective in my Grade 5/6 Classroom was for the Number and Operations Strand. Page 33 suggests the question, “A number can be written 0.24242424….What do you know about the size of the number?” This question lent itself to an excellent discussion among my students, who at first thought it looked like a “big” number. As they further investigated, and identified the decimal, they realized it was actually less than one whole. The grade six students extended this question to recognize proportion and percentages. I would recommend this text as a great resource to help enrich a math program in the elementary grades.