School Years Resources for Mathematics Teachers

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Recommended Online Resources

British Columbia Ministry of Education – Early Numeracy Project

The BC Ministry of Education funded a three-year research initiative called The Early Numeracy Project with a goal to enhance numeracy learning for children in Kindergarten to Grade 1, particularly those at-risk in the area of mathematics. Four tools for teachers have been developed from this research project including:

  1. Assessing Early Numeracy
  2. Supporting Early Numeracy
  3. Whole Group Follow-up
  4. Math for Families – Helping Your Child with Math at Home

Canadian Mathematical Society

The Canadian Mathematical Society promotes and advances the discovery, learning and application of mathematics in Canada by fostering the community of mathematicians, promoting mathematical research, supporting education efforts at all levels and championing mathematics in the Canadian public. This website provides links to upcoming events, current research, journals, books and other important information.

Count Me In (Carleton University)

Count Me In is a research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Because one of the predictors of success in mathematics is the development of basic counting and number skills, this website has teacher and parent zones that provide teachers and parents with links to current numeracy resources and research to support the development of these skills. The kid zone section of this website provides online math activities for students from K-8.

Designed Instruction

Designed Instruction is an education research and development firm from Texas that focuses on improving student learning through design and development of instructional products, education research and evaluation, and alignment of instructional products and programs with state and national U.S. education standards. This website has sections devoted to instructional resources including teacher activities, tips, and research for teachers and parents. The instructional resources are divided into PreKorner™ (early childhood education) and LearningLeads™ (K-12) sections, both of which can be accessed from the main page.

Encyclopedia of Language and Literacy Development

This web-based resource developed by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet) helps provide answers to questions about children's language, literacy and numeracy – answers that are based on relevant and up-to-date research presented in an easily accessible format. Teachers can all draw on the Encyclopedia for reliable, evidence-based information to support their daily practices. The Encyclopedia includes an extensive section on numeracy development, with contributions from leading numeracy researchers around the world. For sample entries, see chapters on Acquisition of Mathematics in Primary School (ages 6 through 8) and Acquisition of Mathematics in Middle Childhood (ages 9 through 11).


This online resource, developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), contains over one hundred online activities and lessons arranged according to grade level and math strand. The site also provides links to hundreds of exemplary online resources.


By: John Mighton
Available for purchase at:

JUMP Math is a numeracy program started in 1998 by mathematician, author, and award-winning playwright John Mighton. This program promotes the belief that all children can be led to think mathematically, and that with even a modest amount of attention every child will flourish. The program offers educators and parents complete and balanced materials as well as training to help them reach all students. Free sample worksheets are available to download from this website.

Manitoba Education

The Manitoba Education website provides mathematics learning resources for parents, teachers and students.

Mathematics Magazine for Grades 1-12

This magazine is an online publication for students and teachers. The magazine offers mathematics tests, listings of math tutors, mathematics applications and mathematics problems and exercises for Grades 1-12.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

The NCTM is a public voice of mathematics education supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students through vision, leadership, professional development and research. This website includes information about the NCTM, curriculum focal points, lesson ideas, resources and current research. Links to the NCTM ’s useful instructional resource series entitled Navigation Series are available on this website. The Navigation Series was designed to provide teachers from pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 with a wide variety of resources to facilitate mathematics program development and implementation.

Recommended Online Activities

Build It and See!

By: Digi-Block Inc.
Available for purchase at:

The Digi-Block Program is a manipulative-based supplemental mathematics program that teaches base-10 number sense, place value and operations with whole numbers and decimals. The Build It and See! activity book presents 80 distinct challenges that reinforce critical learning concepts in number sense and operations. Available for Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4, the Build It and See! challenges support independent discovery by engaging students in problem solving and thinking about the base-ten number system. This resource is also available in Spanish.

The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) (University of Waterloo)

Founded in 1995, the CEMC has become Canada’s largest and most recognized outreach organization for promoting and creating activities and materials in mathematics and computer science. This website provides links to research-based online activities including Math Frog that are suitable for children in Grades 4-12.

Esso Family Math

The Esso Family Math Project is a community-based initiative for families who want to help their children experience success in mathematics. It is a research-based program that was developed at the University of Western Ontario. Families learn to use everyday activities and materials to foster learning of mathematical concepts. These activities can be adapted for classroom use. Two books can be downloaded in PDF format, one for use with four- to six-year-olds and the other for seven- to ten-year-olds. They include lists of suggested books.

Family Math Fun!

By: Kate Nonesuch
Available at:

This ready-to-use manual of family numeracy activities can easily be adapted for the classroom. Activities include recipes, rhymes, games, and crafts. This manual was created as a result of collaboration between 30 parents in the Cowichan Valley and Kate Nonesuch, an instructor at Vancouver Island University. The manual can be downloaded in PDF format.

Figure This! Math Challenges for Families

This website was designed to help families enjoy mathematics outside school through a series of fun and engaging, high-quality challenges. A joint project by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), Widmeyer Communications, and the Learning First Alliance, this program provides challenging middle school mathematics activities and emphasizes the importance of high-quality math education for all students.

This website offers free math resources designed by teachers, specifically for students and children of all ages. Students can practice all aspects of math, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, in a fun and pressure free way. Students can access many online activities, while teachers can use the site to create worksheets for their students.


This website offers some free ideas for simple math-related activities and lesson plans for preschool educators and K-12 teachers.

Math Dance

This site focuses on the relationship between movement and learning math. Teachers will find classroom activities that develop awareness of space, laterality and sequencing.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM)

By: Utah State University

The NLVM, created by the National Science Foundation, is a library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials, mostly in the form of Java applets, for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis). It is designed for K-12 teachers who wish to enrich mathematics instruction with technology. The library is organized according to content area (number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data analysis and probability) and grade level (Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12).

PBS Parents – Early Math

This website, from the U.S. Public Broadcasting System, is aimed at parents, but includes many activity ideas that can easily be adapted to the classroom. Suggestions for creative and fun activities are grouped by age, including pre-K to K and Grades 1 to 2. The site also includes simple online games and a list of math-related books for children.

Recommended Books and Print Resources

Berch, D. B., & Mazzocco, M. M. M. (Eds.). (2007). Why is math so hard for some children? The nature and origins of mathematical learning difficulties and disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing.

Based on the most current research available, this highly informative book gives readers the foundation they need to advance research, teaching strategies, and policies that identify struggling students and to begin developing appropriate practices that really help these students improve their math skills.

Burns, M. (2007). About teaching mathematics: A K-8 resource (3rd Ed.). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

This resource contains more than 240 classroom-tested lessons, and is essential in helping teachers: 1) to build student understanding and skills; and 2) to understand how children best learn math. In this third edition, Marilyn Burns has completely revised the first section to reflect what she has learned over the years from her classroom experience with students and her professional development experience with teachers. This section has also been expanded to address the following important topics: teaching math vocabulary, incorporating writing into math instruction, linking assessment and instruction, and using children's literature to teach key math concepts. In an entirely new section, the author addresses a wide range of questions she has received over the years from elementary and middle school teachers regarding classroom management and instructional issues.

Calkins, T. (2007). Power of ten manual: Visual strategies for learning adding, subtracting and place value. Victoria, BC: Power of Ten Educational Consulting.

This manual is a parent/teacher resource that provides a step-by-step program for teaching adding and subtraction using games and cards. This manual includes two 20-card decks, assessment sheets as well as many activity ideas based on non-traditional methods for adding, subtracting and place value. More information on this manual is available at

Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet) & Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF). (2009). Foundations for numeracy: An evidence-based toolkit for early learning practitioners. London, ON: CLLRNet.

This resource kit is designed for early learning practitioners. It includes a summary of research on the development of mathematics skills, along with practical suggestions/tools to help children succeed in mathematics in early learning and child care settings.

Colgan, L. (2003). Elementary mathematics in Canada: Research summary and classroom implications. Toronto, ON: Pearson Education, Canada Inc.

This resource examines the status of mathematics education in Canada and offers some practical suggestions on how to make a difference. It summarizes key research findings of best practice, suggests implications for the classroom and for professional development, and helps educators with the task of defining and shaping implementation plans.

Fennel, F., Bamberger, H. J., Rowan, T. E., Sammoms, K. B., & Suarez, A. R. (2000). Series: Connect to NCTM Standards 2000: Making the standards work at grade (K-8). Chicago, IL: Creative Publishing.

This series of books is designed to be read independently of the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and to aid educators in preparing to teach in a manner consistent with the Principles and Standards. Each book is intended to model ways to develop content understanding along with process skills and to provide teachers the opportunity to incorporate what they have learned into lessons of their own creation. Teachers at the specific grade level of each book are the intended audience.

Kilpatrick, J., Swafford, J., & Findell B. (Eds.). (2001). Adding it up: Helping children learn mathematics. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Adding It Up explores how students in pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8 learn mathematics and recommends ways that teaching, curricula, and teacher education should change to improve mathematics learning during these critical years. The committee identifies five interdependent components of mathematical proficiency and describes how students develop this proficiency. With examples and illustrations, the book presents a portrait of mathematics learning: 1) research findings on what children know about numbers by the time they arrive in pre-K and the implications for mathematics instruction, and 2) details on the processes by which students acquire mathematical proficiency with whole numbers, rational numbers, and integers, as well as beginning algebra, geometry, measurement, and probability and statistics. The committee discusses what is known from research about teaching for mathematics proficiency, focusing on the interactions between teachers and students around educational materials and how teachers develop proficiency in teaching mathematics.

Krulik, S., & Rudnick, J. A. Roads to reasoning: Developing thinking skills through problem solving grades 1-8 series. Whitby, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.

Roads to Reasoning falls into the categories of problem solving, standards and assessment, skill practice, and concept development. Each book contains six sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the problem solving process. The sections begin with a teaching problem followed by ten practice problems. As students practice their problem solving skills, their ability to reason will increase. The lessons in Roads to Reasoning can be used as openers or warm-ups, as lessons of the day, as small group or partner activities, as individual assignments or even as homework.

Lester, F. K., & Charles, R. I. (Eds.). (2003). Teaching mathematics through problem solving: pre-Kindergarten-Grade 6. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

This book presents several authors’ research perspectives on teaching math through problem solving, including the benefits of teaching through problem solving, and designing and selecting problem solving tasks.

Mantyka, S. (2007). The math plague: How to survive school mathematics. St. John's, NL: MayT Consulting Corporation.

This book, written by Dr. Sherry Mantyka, Director of the Mathematics Learning Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland, discusses the math difficulties that students face throughout school. The book is divided into 38 small sections, each containing a confirmed principle for the effective learning of mathematics; it is applicable to students of all ages as well as parents and teachers who are frustrated with the current state of mathematics.

Mighton, J. (2003). The myth of ability: Nurturing the mathematical talent in every child. Toronto, ON: Wilshire Publications.

John Mighton, the founder of the JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies) Math program describes his method of teaching the basics of mathematics in tiny, carefully-structured chunks that any student could understand. This book also highlights how all children are capable of learning, understanding and mastering mathematics but too often lose confidence in a culture where it is accepted that many will never fully understand the subject.

Mighton, J. (2008). The end of ignorance: Multiplying our human potential. Toronto, ON: Vintage Canada.

A follow-up to The Myth of Ability, John Mighton conceives a philosophy of education where all children have the potential to be successful, not only in mathematics but in every subject. He stresses that failure is a result of disenchantment in a subject and that self-confidence and perceived ability play key roles in academic success.

Schiro, M. S. (2009). Mega-fun math games and puzzles for the elementary grades: 125 ready-to-use activities that teach math facts, concepts, and thinking skills. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

With this great collection of over 125 easy-to-use games, puzzles, and activities, teachers and parents can help kids comprehend fundamental math concepts, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value, fractions, and more. This resource is divided into two sections: the games section is designed specifically to help elementary students learn, remember and practice basic arithmetic facts, skills, and concepts by participating in enjoyable activities; the puzzle section focuses on developing algebra, geometry, measurement, probability, and data analysis. The games and puzzles are based on research on how children learn and understand mathematics. More information on this resource is available at

Silva, J. A. (2004). Teaching inclusive mathematics to special learners, K-6. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

This book is designed to open windows of understanding, which will help teachers to better recognize and compensate for the difficulties that special education students may encounter when learning mathematics. The author discusses general characteristics of students with learning disabilities as they relate to planning mathematics instruction as well as some instructional techniques and suggested modifications for facilitating their learning. Many of these techniques and strategies are designed to address specific difficulties or weaknesses; however, these techniques can be useful for all students, particularly those who may not be diagnosed with a learning disability, but have difficulty with math.

Small, M. (2008). Making math meaningful to Canadian students, K-8. Toronto, ON: Nelson.

Written for a Canadian audience, this book will start teachers on their way to a successful career in teaching mathematics by providing them with insight into how to make mathematics make sense to students and to capture their interest. Author Marian Small combines her wealth of research and practical experience to make this a thorough, yet very accessible text for students. This text is uniquely Canadian with samples from Canadian student texts and attention to Canadian curricula. It is an excellent reference for teachers who often have not had specialist training in mathematics, yet are expected to teach a more sophisticated curriculum to a diverse student population.

Small, M. (2009). Good questions: Great ways to differentiate mathematics instruction. New York: Teachers College Press.

This book was written to help K-8 teachers differentiate math instruction with less difficulty and greater success. This book: underscores the rationale for differentiating math instruction; describes two universal, easy-to-implement strategies designed to overcome the problems that teachers encounter; offers almost 300 questions and tasks that teachers and coaches can adopt immediately, adapt, or use as models to create their own; includes Teaching Tips sidebars and an organizing template at the end of each chapter to help readers build new tasks and open questions; and describes how to create a more inclusive classroom learning community with mathematical talk that engages participants from all levels.

Sowder, J., & Schappell, B. (Eds.). (2002). Lessons learned from research. Reston, VA: NCTM.

This book brings mathematics education research to K–12 teachers in an easy-to-use, readable form. It features 29 research articles from the U.S. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, rewritten specifically for teachers. The chapters are collected into four broad sections: research related to: teaching; learning; curriculum; and assessment. The content is useful on many levels, from inspiration for classroom activities and assessment to explorations of the research conclusions and implications.

Sullivan, P., & Lilburn, P. (2002). Good questions for math teaching: Why ask them and what to ask (K-6). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

The purpose of this book is to provide elementary teachers with knowledge of good, open-ended mathematical questioning, defined by the authors as requiring “a student to think more deeply and to give a response that involves more than recalling a fact or reproducing a skill” (p. 1). The authors describe what makes good questions, how to create good questions, and give some practical ideas for using good questions in the classroom. The questions posed in this book cover concepts such as number, measurement, geometry, and data management and are organized according to age group. The intended audience is teachers of mathematics in grades K-6.

Van de Walle, J. A., & Folk, S. (2005). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally (Canadian edition). Toronto: Pearson.

This book provides an unparalleled depth of ideas and discussion to help pre-service teachers develop a real understanding of the mathematics they will teach. John Van de Walle is one of the foremost experts on how children learn mathematics. The text reflects the NCTM Principles and Standards and the benefits of constructivist-or student-centered-mathematics instruction. Moreover, it is structured for maximum flexibility, offering 24 brief, compartmentalized chapters that may be mixed and matched to fit any course or teaching approach.

Van de Walle, J.A., & Lovin, L. H. (2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics grades K-3, 3-5, 5-8. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

This series covers the best information available on how children learn mathematics and provides a one-stop resource of simple, problem-based activities designed to engage students in the mathematics that are important for them. The authors demonstrate how teachers can teach math in a student-centered, problem-based classroom, and help teachers to understand why this method is so successful in helping students to understand mathematics. The readable, user-friendly, completely integrated instructional strategies found throughout the series create a must-have three volume reference set.

Books for Children

The following list is to be used as a starting point for teachers when they are faced with the challenge of trying to select appropriate books to be used in mathematics instruction. This is not an exhaustive list and the grades are not exclusive. Teachers are encouraged to use a variety of books in the classroom for mathematics instruction.

Kindergarten to Grade 3

Adams, P. (2002). Ten beads tall. Wiltshire, UK: Child’s Play International.

Bellfontaine, K. (2008). Canada 1, 2, 3. Toronto: Kids Can Press.

Brookes, D. (1990). Passing the peace: A counting book for kids. Manotick, ON: Penumbra Press.

Burns, M. (1994). The greedy triangle. Markham, ON: Scholastic.

Burns, M. (1990). The $1.00 word riddle book. Math Solutions Publications.

Emberley, E. (2001). The wing on a flea: A book about shapes. Little, Brown.

Kusugak, M. (1996). My Arctic 1, 2, 3. Toronto: Annick Press Ltd.

McFarlane, S. (2002). A pod of orcas: A seaside counting book. Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Organ, B. (2004). My Newfoundland and Labrador counting book. St. John’s, NL: Creative Book Publishing.

Taylor, C. (2005). Out on the prairie: A Canadian counting book. Markham, ON: Scholastic.

Thornhill, J. (1990). The wildlife 1, 2, 3: A nature counting book. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Grades 3-6

Enzenberger, H. M. (1997). The number devil: A mathematical adventure. Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

Neuschwander, C. (1997). Sir cumference and the first round table. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing.

Neuschwander, C. (1999). Sir cumference and the dragon of pi. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing.

Neuschwander, C. (2001). Sir cumference and the great knight of angleland. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing.

Nolan, H., & Walker, T. (1995). How much, how many, how far, how heavy, how long, how tall is 1000? Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press Ltd.

Scieszka, J. (1995). Math curse. New York: The Penguin Group.

Tompert, A. (1990). Grandfather tang’s story. New York: Crown Publishers.

Wells, R. E. (1993). Is a blue whale the biggest thing there is? Park Ridge, IL: Albert Whitman & Company.

Story Books

In addition to these books mentioned above, teachers are encouraged to use storybooks that involve comparing sizes and arranging items in order, for example, Goldilocks and the Three Bears or The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Recommended Journals

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Canadian Journal of Mathematics (CJM)

The CJM is a highly respected and strictly refereed journal published by the Canadian Mathematical Society to disseminate the timely and significant mathematical research vital to the worldwide scientific community. This internationally renowned journal maintains a vigorous publication schedule and is an independent, peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing original works of high standard.

Canadian Mathematical Bulletin (CMB)

Appearing quarterly, the CMB is a highly respected and strictly refereed journal published by the Canadian Mathematical Society to disseminate the timely and significant mathematical research vital to the worldwide scientific community. This internationally renowned journal maintains a vigorous publication schedule and is an independent peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing original works of high standard. The CMB publishes self-contained papers no longer than 15 typed pages. Readers include university and industry researchers who reflect a wide variety of fields of interest.

Professional Journals

American Educator

American Educator, the professional journal of the American Federation of Teachers, is a quarterly magazine published for classroom teachers and other education professionals from preschool through university. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students; heading off student discipline problems; teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy; the benefits of a common coherent curriculum; and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad.

For the Learning of Mathematics

This journal aims to stimulate reflection on mathematics education at all levels, and promote study of its practices and its theories: to generate productive discussion; to encourage enquiry and research; to promote criticism and evaluation of ideas and procedures current in the field. It is intended for the mathematics educator who is aware that the learning and teaching of mathematics are complex enterprises about which much remains to be revealed and understood.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME)

The JRME, an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, is devoted to the interests of teachers of mathematics and mathematics education at all levels-preschool through adult. JRME is a forum for disciplined inquiry into the teaching and learning of mathematics. The editors encourage the submission of a variety of manuscripts: reports of research, including experiments, case studies, surveys, philosophical studies, and historical studies; articles about research, including literature reviews and theoretical analyses; brief reports of research; critiques of articles and books; and brief commentaries on issues pertaining to research.

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School (MTMS)

MTMS is an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is intended as a resource for middle school students, teachers, and teacher educators. The focus of the journal is on intuitive, exploratory investigations that use informal reasoning to help students develop a strong conceptual basis that leads to greater mathematical abstraction. The journal's articles have won numerous awards, including honors from the Society of National Association Publications.


Micromath is a journal of the Association of Mathematics Teachers that focuses on integrating technology and mathematics instruction.

Teaching Children Mathematics (TCM)

TCM is an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is intended as a resource for elementary school students, teachers, and teacher educators. The focus of the journal is on intuitive, exploratory investigations that use informal reasoning to help students develop a strong conceptual basis that leads to greater mathematical abstraction. The journal's articles have won numerous awards, including honors from the Society of National Association Publications.

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