“Teaching through problem-solving” is a commonly used phrase for mathematics educators. This book shows how to use worthwhile and interesting mathematics tasks and problems to build a classroom culture based on students’ reasoning and thinking. It develops a set of axioms about problem-solving classrooms to show teachers that mathematics is playful and engaging. It presents an aspirational vision for school mathematics, one which all teachers can bring into being in their classrooms.
Matthew Oldridge has deftly marinated his mathematics and English background to create one savory and timely book to finally address where problem-solving lies in math education—woven inextricably in the lifeblood of a math classroom. The preposition “through” is the most critical word in the title of this book, as rightfully suggests that problem-solving is the door, window, and infrastructure to building buoyant and beautiful math classrooms. Oldridge invites you to see problem-solving as being baked into classrooms, replete with figurative aromas of chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon buns. That is how appetizing mathematics can be if the problems that we select become embedded portals to the intrinsic awe, joy, and wonder that patiently awaits our students—and us! Storytelling is the most powerful way to teach, and Oldridge has spun a charming yarn to reconsider how and where we see the essence of mathematics—problem solving.