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As a fifth-grade teacher, engaging in Developing Mathematical Ideas professional development with University of Washington professor Elham Kazemi, Allison Hintz started to develop a new understanding of number and curiosity for children’s thinking. She stopped talking and started listening. She felt clunky. She felt inspired. "Can you say more about your thinking?" became an opening to learn mathematics with and from children. She started finding joy and wonder for mathematics and seeing it everywhere in the world.
Continuing to teach and learn, Allison received an MEd and a PhD in mathematics education from the University of Washington. She was a teaching and research assistant and became a faculty member at University of Washington on the Bothell campus "UWB" (just north of Seattle). During all this time, learning alongside educators, students, and families in local school communities, she was grateful to collaboratively write Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions with Elham. In the years since, she has deepened a wonder around the listening that lies underneath and within such talk. Listening, truly deeply listening, is a gift she has experienced from others and is something she aspires to better understand how to do. She wonders - how can mathematics classrooms be democratic spaces that nurture listening in order to more deeply understand others and ourselves?
At UWB, she met colleague and friend, Antony T. Smith. In their offices across the hall, they found delight in thinking together about facilitating discussions with young readers and mathematicians. They thumbed through stories and were excited to discover they noticed and wondered about different things in illustrations and words! This collaboration eventually led to Mathematizing Children’s Literature: Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder through Read-Alouds and Discussion. In this book, Allison and Antony share what they have learned with and from educators – in a broad range of settings from classrooms to public libraries – including ideas about how to select books, plan engaging interactive read-alouds, and facilitate meaningful and dynamic math-literacy discussions. The book focuses on the ways mathematics is alive in children's literature, offering several different types of read-aloud experiences, open-ended questions, and ways to hear and engage with children’s ideas. Vignettes from classrooms, paired with planning templates for each read-aloud type and discussion, aim to inspire teachers to take up and innovate with the mathematizing process in their classrooms.
Allison is a scholar mother experiencing life alongside two children (ages 13 and 9), a partner of 27 years (who continues to make her laugh), and Abby the labrador.
You can connect with Allison on Twitter @allisonhintz124.