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# Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had

## Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms

While mathematicians describe mathematics as playful, beautiful, creative, and captivating, many students describe math class as boring, stressful, useless, and humiliating. In her new book, Tracy Zager helps teachers close this gap by making math class more like mathematics.

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While mathematicians describe mathematics as playful, beautiful, creative, and captivating, many students describe math class as boring, stressful, useless, and humiliating. In *Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had*, Tracy Zager helps teachers close this gap by making math class more like mathematics.

Tracy spent years with highly skilled math teachers in a diverse range of settings and grades. You’ll find this book jam-packed with new thinking from these vibrant classrooms. You’ll grapple with big ideas: How is taking risks inherent to mathematics? How do mathematicians balance intuition and proof? How can teachers value both productive mistakes and precision? You’ll also find dozens of practical teaching techniques you can try in your classroom right away—strategies to stimulate students to connect ideas; rich tasks that encourage students to wonder, generalize, conjecture, and persevere; routines to teach students how to collaborate.

All teachers can move toward increasingly authentic, delightful, robust mathematics teaching and learning for themselves and their students. This important book helps us develop instructional techniques that will make the math classes we teach so much better than the math classes we took.

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Readers, be warned: you are about to fall in love. Tracy writes, “Good math teaching begins with us.” With those six words, she invites you on a journey through this most magnificent book of stories and portraits.… This book turns on its head the common misconception of mathematics as a black–and-white discipline and of being good at math as entailing ease, speed, and correctness. You will find it full of color, possibility, puzzles, and delight.… Let yourself be drawn in.

### About the Author(s)

### Table of Contents

- Foreword by Elham Kazemi
- Acknowledgments
- Chapter 1: Breaking the Cycle
- Chapter 2: What Do Mathematicians Do?
- Chapter 3: Mathematicians Take Risks
- Chapter 4: Mathematicians Make Mistakes
- Chapter 5: Mathematicians Are Precise
- Chapter 6: Mathematicians Rise to a Challenge
- Chapter 7: Mathematicians Ask Questions
- Chapter 8: Mathematicians Connect Ideas
- Chapter 9: Mathematicians Use Intuition
- Chapter 10: Mathematicians Reason
- Chapter 11: Mathematicians Prove
- Chapter 12: Mathematicians Work Together and Alone
- Chapter 13: "Favorable Conditions" for All Math Students
- References
- Index