Because I just finished reading the vampire novel The Passage by Justin Cronin for the second time (don’t you judge me), and because it’s August, when I get back to thinking about school, I’ve begun an excellent new book called Count Me In! Including Learners with Special Needs in Mathematics Classrooms by Judy Storeygard.
You should stop reading now and order it. I’ll wait.
All set? You will love this book. It aims to fill a huge gap in education literature. We focus a lot on helping children with special needs in reading, but what about math? How do we help kids who – whether they have ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, a Nonverbal Learning Disorder, or no label at all – struggle to make sense of word problems? The kids who get so lost in their steps they can’t finish their work? The kids who have difficulty using language to express mathematical ideas? And so on.
In my school district, we have reading specialists, but no math specialists. Unless a student receives special education support, math differentiation and intervention is entirely the responsibility of classroom teachers. I bet many of you are in the same boat.
Count Me In! provides classroom-tested solutions for helping struggling young mathematicians. Many of these solutions are provided by classroom teachers themselves in vignettes called “Voices From the Field.” I was lucky to contribute some of the strategies I use in my classroom, but in the book, I have a pseudonym. I can’t tell you what it is, but I understand that “Mrs. Gordon” is not only a brilliant math educator, but also gorgeous.
Tonight, I read the introduction and first chapter, which I’m going to mull over and reflect on here tomorrow. I am really enjoying Judy’s writing style, and I am filled with admiration for her and for the other contributors to the book. I know this is going to be an invaluable resource that I come to again and again. So join me! Let’s be a virtual book club! (And yes, I am always available to discuss vampire novels.)