I’ve been reading something a little different this week, the newly updated The Elephant in the Classroom, by Jo Boaler…

*The Elephant in the Classroom provides a wide range of free online educational resources, classroom approaches and strategies for teachers looking to inspire their pupils, while advising parents on how to help children enjoy maths and methods that will help schools to improve the quality of their teaching. Jo Boaler calls for a learning revolution in how mathematics is not only taught but perceived.*

*The Elephant in the Classroom is an indispensable guide and resource for parents, teachers and educationalists, which enthuses as well as teaches.*

*Jo Boaler is Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and was recently chosen by the BBC as one of the eight people ‘whose ideas are challenging the future of education’.*

The first and biggest thing that this book did for me was dispel the myth, and I confess my long-held belief that some people can do maths, some people can’t. I’d always been of the opinion, that maths is one of those subjects at school that you either get or you don’t, as some people are wired for it differently. I did like maths at school and did well at it, so I was just hoping that my kids would both have a similar aptitude for it, making their lives easier at school.

Having now read The Elephant in the Classroom, I’m thinking very differently.

The book takes us through lots of powerful examples of how mathematics is taught around the world, along with including the rather poor statistics of where the UK stands within that. It’s interesting to read about how very differently the subject is approached in different countries, and indeed within the UK. It has given me an insight into what a more engaging classroom would look like, and how much more involved and inviting maths can be. For me, there was a little more maths dotted throughout the book than I’d like (I know, a book about maths featuring maths, who knew?!), but it didn’t detract in any way from my understanding and interest in reading on, so I see this as being quite subjective, as others may well appreciate the problems outlined to better explain the maths in question.

As a parent reading this, as well as giving me a greater appreciation for the subject and plenty of food for thought, it has also given me practical tips and suggestions on how to support my children in their learning. The ideas will integrate well into every day life and are fun activities, some that we already do, others that we will now try.

I think to sum up, I’m hoping that my daughter’s teachers have read this book, as I want my girl taught in this way and to develop an interest in the wider subject of maths than is often taught, and to enjoy the process of learning and problem solving. Thanks, Jo Boaler, for opening my eyes.

I do have one copy of the book up for grabs now, so to be in with a chance of winning it, please enter using the rafflecopter below. The competition closes at 12am 15th October 2015 and is open to UK entrants only. Good luck!

What interests you about this book?

The Elephant in the Classroom is available now, from Souvenir Press.

*Disclosure: I received this book FOC for the purposes of this post*

Tracy K NixonIt looks like it has some modern and fun ways of helping your child learn maths.

kim nevilleTo help me do some practice exercises at home with my son

ELAINE DALEthink it would be helpful to help our grandchildren in their learning

ajits a book me and my son could share together

Rachel CraigMaths, and how to learn using a variety of methods. As we are all individual learners. Good to be up to date and able to assist and encourage children with Maths.

clair downhamit will hopfully help my children with their maths skills

Sarah LI’m also of the belief that some people can do maths, some people can’t! Would love this book to dispel that myth for me too!

Jessica PowellBecause I really struggle with maths, so like things which can help me as well as the kids!

Andrea FletcherHope this would help my children with their maths.

Ashleigh AllanI think it would be interesting to see how I could help my daughter

nicola clarksonmy husband could use this for teaching his class

Rebecca Smiththat its helping children to learn

[email protected]I liked the sound of this book when you showed it to me the other day-anything to help our children del more confident learning maths is welcome as far as I’m concerned.

JocelynAbsolutely. Really interesting read x

Emma BurgessI think as a parent it could help me devise strategies to help my daughters with maths

laura stewartlooks good xx

Paula ReadingsIt looks fun to learn for the youngsters.

Lisa PondMaking learning fun 🙂

Kay PanayiI think my son would love it as it’s learning but not boring

Ruth Harwoodit’s educational yet fun xx

Mummy FeverAnything that can enhance the learning process is worth a read

Ian GoodyearAs a father of three school children I need all the guidance I can get to help them shine alongside their peers

AngelMaths wasn’t my strongest subject so would like my children to have more of an interest.

Sally CollingwoodMany children are scared of maths, so anything that makes it fun will help.

aaron broadAnything that is educational is always good would be great for my little sister

Sarah BacchusAs a teacher its great to carry on learning and find new ways to help others learn, this books looks great for both this tasks.

claire woodspractical tips and suggestions on how to support my children in their learning would be helpful. I’m not good at maths.

Samantha LoughlinBeing able to exercise at home with babies

Pam Francis GregoryTo be able to share my love of maths

lyndseyit looks a fun and good way to learn maths

Laura NiceThat its helping children to learn xx

Nicola McCI’m starting as a Teach First teacher this September so would love this book to learn some more techniques to help kids learn maths successfully, especially as it was something I hated when I was at school.

Angela MuirMy daughter is doing teacher training so I think she might find this quite useful

betony bennettLots of different ways we can support our kids in their learning that we might not otherwise know about 🙂

Jan BealAs a child I hated Maths and found it was such a struggle. I don’t want my grandchildren to have to suffer – this would help make maths more understandable and much more fun.

sarah cleggmy son loves maths hopefully this will help jim expand on that 🙂

Catherine eatwellHelping my stepdaughter to like school

Kelly LTo help me teach my son maths at home!

Irene Gilmouras im not great at maths and we could do it together

claire littlemy oldest is trying to improve his maths so would be a good read.

Lizzy CooperI was so awful at maths, I dont want my son to be the same! 🙂

jemma dwyerlove to give this to my nephew x

Eileen TingleMy grand-daughter is in the Reception class and she loves number work so I know she would like this book.

lynn nealIt looks as though it might make maths more fun for children!

Kerry SmithI tutor maths and I love looking at New ways to make it more accessible

Monica GilbertI have a 3 year old daughter that I want to encourage to enjoy math. I’ve also been a teacher and currently work in a nursery, so I’ve always been interested in encouraging children to challenge themselves and not give up.

Robyn Logan ClarkeI like to make educated, informed decisions for my kids and not just go with the flow, I think this book will open a can of worms, would love to read it.

jo liddementI like the fact that this book delves into the subject of maths and how important it is for children to grasp it.

Ray BeckerI feel it may help my grandson as he grows.

sharon martinThat it shows how to help children enjoy maths and is a book we can use together

MichelleDIt looks like a fun way that I can help my child with he learning!

Alice FoxOne of my sons is in the top 3 of his class for Maths, the other really struggles so hopefully this book will give me some good ideas to help him 🙂

Rebecca HowellsBecause it is educational as well as fun. (@PeanutHog)

Kim StylesMaking maths fun is essential from as young as possible as it is one of the most important skills in life

janine atkinim hoping this will help with my son who doesnt really enjoy maths

Angela PaullAs I expect to supplement my son’s teaching, this looks like a really useful resource to have at my fingertips

Caroline SigneyIt’s educational

Nicola HollandNew ideas to teach maths in my classroom, especially to inspire the children in early morning maths!

Christopher ReadIt sounds interesting as it suggests that everyone can do maths

Monika SHow it shows the different methods of teaching around the world

karen wattgreat prize

Marie LomasThis would be a great help with homework for both me and my child

Neha ParmarI could teach some math with this book when my daughter grows older

Chantelle79It looks a fun book, would love to try it, my son is 7 and really struggling. Will look out for this now

Aaron MilneReally want to help the kids

Karen DixonI think it will help me help my family