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Why Before How

Why Before How: Singapore Math Computation Strategies. Hazekamp, Jana (2011). Available at many libraries, bookstores, through Amazon and Powell’s, etc. (ISBN-13: 978-1934026823)

Hazekamp explores strategies for building number sense around place value and basic operations.

From the publisher:

Jana Hazekamp introduces a wide variety of computation strategies, adapted from the acclaimed Singapore approach, that will bring students a real understanding of number relationships and the meaning behind the math. The guided-conversation format is designed for quick reading, and Jana’s question-and-answer style is particularly well suited to encouraging students to focus on the why and to begin using math terminology correctly and fluently.

Teachers can use this book to build the concept of place value, encourage students to consider multiple methods for solving problems, and build real understanding of the meaning behind addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division paving the way to beginning algebra.

These strategies can be used for whole-class instruction and also for small intervention groups. The book does not have to be read cover to cover; the reader can dip in as needed to help a student who’s struggling with a particular concept. (See more at Powell’s)