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Accessible Mathematics

Ten Instructional Shifts That Raise Student Achievement

By Steven Leinwand

Explore practical strategies you can use to improve instruction in every single classroom. With just a few powerful instructional shifts in how you plan, implement, and assess daily mathematics instruction, you can significantly enhance the impact your teaching has on student achievement.

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Full Description
Raising students’ math achievement doesn’t mean ripping up your planning book and starting over. In Accessible Mathematics Steven Leinwand (author of Sensible Mathematics) shows how small shifts in the good teaching you already do can make a big difference in student learning.

Steve focuses on the crucial issue of classroom instruction. He scours the research and visits highly effective classrooms for practical examples of small adjustments to your teaching that lead to deeper student learning in math. Some of his 10 classroom-tested teaching shifts may surprise you and others will validate your thinking. But all of them will improve your students’ performance.

Thoroughly practical and ever-aware of the limits of teachers’ time, Steve gives you everything you need to put his commonsense ideas to use immediately. His extensive planning advice will help you streamline your teaching to get more from everything you do. Classroom examples from every grade level model teaching language and instructional moves. And his suggestions for professional learning help increase your effectiveness through the power of collaboration.

Steven Leinwand shares your priority: raising the mathematical understanding and achievement of every one of your students. Read Accessible Mathematics, try his 10 suggestions in your practice, and discover how minor shifts in your teaching can put student learning into high gear.

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Introduction: It’s Instruction That Matters Most

  1. We’ve Got Most of the Answers
  2. Ready, Set, Review
  3. It’s Not Hard to Figure Out Why Reading Works Better Than Math Works better than Math
  4. Picture It, Draw It
  5. Language-Rich Classes
  6. Building Number Sense
  7. Milking the Data
  8. How Big, How Far, How Much?
  9. Just Don’t Do It!
  10. Putting It All in Context
  11. Just Ask Them “Why?”
  12. Punting Is Simply No Longer Acceptable
  13. We All Have a Role to Play and Teachers Can’t Do It Alone

Conclusion: Instructional Productivity



  1. A Crib Sheet for Raising Mathematics Achievement for All
  2. A Model Vision of Effective Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
  3. Research Matters / Teach Mathematics Right the First Time
  4. Classroom Realities We Do Not Often Talk About
  5. Learning from Singapore Math




"You have to read this book.  Now.  As a country it's time to ask ourselves, "How do we make mathematics accessible to all learners?"  I have seen even the most reluctant teachers come alive after reading Accessible Mathematics.  Leinwand's strategies are accessible (that word again) to those teachers.  As a colleague said, reading it is 'life changing.'"

--Wylie Beatty, Mathematics Instructional Coach, Bethel School District, WA

"Steven Leinwand's slim volume contains a wealth of practical information packaged in small, doable increments.  As a veteran mathematics teacher, I am grateful for Leinwand's vision of what we should see in an effective mathematics classroom as well as his suggestions for getting there."

--Cathleen M. Alexander, American River College in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School

"You must read this!  Steve Leinwand has spent most of his career asking why and why not!  As we consider issues that include common curricular standards, collaborative assessments, intervention, early access to algebra and other issues, Accessible Mathematics will cause you to think hard about the mathematics children learn and you may teach.  Read this.  Question it, but more importantly think about how this book will impact your work in mathematics education."

--Skip Fennell, McDaniels College Professor and past president of NCTM

"In a time of data-driven instruction, this book is a breath of fresh air.  In just sixty-six easy-to-read and notate pages, the book puts forth time-honored strategies that really work."

--Teaching Children Mathematics