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Sensible Mathematics Second Edition

A Guide for School Leaders in the Era of Common Core State Standards

By Steven Leinwand

Discover how to make the necessary shifts in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development to meet and exceed national and state standards. Learn why these changes are necessary for preparing students to become mathematical thinkers in a 21st century world.

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“Steven Leinwand has seen sensible mathematics in hundreds of classrooms around the world in his role as a teacher, a researcher, and a school leader. Best of all for us, he knows how to articulate those perspectives with clarity and wit.”
—Dan Meyer, International speaker on mathematics education and one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future

Providing effective leadership for school mathematics programs is particularly challenging in an era of both ambitious Common Core State Standards and unprecedented pressure to raise mathematics achievement.  In this updated edition of the bestselling Sensible Mathematics, Steve Leinwand provides principals, teacher leaders, math coaches and administrators with specific guidance on how to make the necessary shifts in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development to meet and exceed the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. Even more important, he shows us why these changes are so urgently needed if we truly are to prepare students to become mathematical thinkers in a 21st century world.

Making these critical shifts requires strong, clear, and effective leadership.  Sensible Mathematics serves as a guiding light through the sea of change and provides a broad array of practical strategies for implementing the standards, as well as how-to game plans for overcoming obstacles and challenges.  Other topics of discussion include:

  • Making the case for change:  strategies, ammunition, and compelling examples
  • 10 characteristics of sensible, sense-making mathematics
  • Math Coaches:  how to recruit the best and support their efforts
  • Intervention: providing effective support services
  • Technology and instruction: providing access for teachers and students
  • 15 key components of a high performance mathematics program
  • Success stories:  school leaders who made a difference

Sensible Mathematics is a call-to-arms for positive, realistic change that empowers teachers and prepares students for our changing world.  Make a difference—move your school mathematics program into the 21st century.

(click any section below to continue reading)


Introduction Change Requires Leadership

Chapter 1 The Math Leader's Domain of Responsibility
Chapter 2 Making the Case for Change:  Strategies and Compelling Examples
Chapter 3 Responding to These Changes:  What to Expect and Advocate
Chapter 4 Building Sensible, Sense-making Mathematics:  What to Encourage and Implement
Chapter 5 Pulling It All Together:  Glimpses of What We Should See
Chapter 6 Recognizing and Overcoming Obstacles:  Insights and Practical Strategies
Chapter 7 Changing the System:  Assuring Quality of Program Components

Conclusion Critical Lessons Learned Along the Way




Sensible Mathematics successfully targets math specialists, principals, and administrators for developing a complete school mathematics program to address the complex nature of CCSSM. I found many useful strategies that can be implemented in any school mathematics program. The text not only describes these but also discusses how crucial the components are to one another.”
—Teaching Children Mathematics

“For those who are hungry for change in math, Sensible Mathematics is the novel you just cannot put down. Steve Leinwand expertly contrasts traditional and alternative instructional practices in an effort to highlight the importance of the Common Core State Standards. Teachers and district leaders alike will benefit from reading this practical guide to implementing change in the teaching and learning of mathematics.”
—Tammy Baumann, K-12 Mathematics Coordinator, School District of the City of Erie, New York

“As a district administrator, anticipating the implementation of the Common Core State Standards is both exciting and daunting. Steve Leinwand’s Sensible Mathematics made me very enthusiastic and hopeful about the future of mathematics education in the United States. In order to make this shift in teaching, administrators and teachers must work together. This book provides the guidance to make that happen for people at any point in their career. Steve provides the steps that every school administrator and faculty could use to create a road map for implementation of the new standards.”
—Michelle Herman, Elementary Math Specialist, Jefferson County Public Schools