Meeting the challenge to transform one's math teaching is a daunting prospect. Most teachers are aware of the need for change and know which individual aspects of their programs they would like to reform-if only they could make the needed changes in some easy, safe way. However, by its very nature, the transformation of a learning program is neither simple nor without risk.
In Putting It Together, Gary Tsuruda discusses how his personal belief system about learning underwent a significant transition and describes in detail how he put the results of this transition to use in a middle school mathematics classroom, where real mathematical thinking became the driving force.
The author describes the "bits of evidence" which over the years made it apparent to him that traditional methods were not working. The book includes sections on the use of essays, journals, and other forms of writing in the math classroom, as well as assessment alternatives such as portfolios. In the "Problem Solving" chapter the author writes about his use of "Problems of the Week" and "Problems of the Day" in the classroom, which encourage students to solve nonroutine problems on a regular basis and have fun doing so.
Putting It Together is for every middle school teacher looking for help and guidance in meeting the objectives of the NCTM Standards.