Website review by Carrie Garges, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2021

Teachers2Teachers Global Math Stories

Global awareness and high-level thinking abound in innovative resource

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Based on 2 reviews
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Grades
6–12
Subjects & Skills
Math, Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Content about cultures from around the globe creates authentic problem-solving experiences.

Cons: It takes time to find the right story for a unit, and the text-heavy content has high reading levels.

Bottom Line: An innovative math resource that goes way beyond drills and grounds math in global stories.

If you've been searching for a cross-curricular resource, look no further: Teachers2Teachers Global is an excellent fit to cover lots of subject areas. That said, it isn't the only way to use it in the classroom.

Offer T2T Global Math Stories as a place to browse topics and ideas to jump-start a Genius Hour project. If a story or math problem sparks interest, encourage students to dig down into the other resources. Use the format for the culminating Genius Hour project and have teams or individuals research and write their own story. Once the story is complete, students can create math questions for their peers, and older kiddos can even create worksheets, slideshows, or other materials. T2T Global encourages users to submit their own stories. Perhaps your classroom's work can be submitted to help build the library for everyone and offer students an authentic audience.

You may want to set aside some time to search the library with an open mind. Stories are organized by location, not standard or grade level, and reading levels vary, as do the quantity of questions, extensions, and resources.  It may take some digging to find a story that fits your next unit, project, or inquiry lesson.

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Teachers2Teachers Global Math Stories is a collection of stories and explanations of culture from all over the globe that serve as a basis for varied math problems. These nonfiction articles -- often user-generated -- offer insight into people and places all over the world. Stories teach about culture, architecture, and ecology and include enough data to encourage interesting mathematical conversations. The articles, which are offered in both English and Spanish, are not the end of the road. A handful of math questions follow each story and cover a variety of skills, along with more open-ended extension questions. Each story includes at least one resource. These range from lesson materials and worksheets to slideshows. A few stories even have additional resources, such as links to source articles, topic-specific websites, NPR or BBC stories, and related videos, which encourage students to continue the adventure and follow the information off the webpage.

Math isn't everyone's favorite subject -- no surprise there -- but the stories in Teachers2Teachers Global can hook history buffs, artistic thinkers, and the naturally curious. After reading these stories, students might begin to see that math doesn't happen only in textbooks, but exists as a useful tool to understand our world. Because the math that's covered is wide-ranging and goes beyond simple practice into critical thinking and application, it gives kids a different way to think about math. Some extensions even offer a chance to think about social justice and animal rights. 

On the downside, it would be great if teachers could search by skill, concept, or reading level. Some of the reading levels seem a bit high when compared to the grade level specified by the lesson materials. Because content is evolving, some stories may have only a few resources or have content best fit for older students. But it's definitely worth a look as a way to get students to apply math, think in new ways, and get some global awareness to boot.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Stories about people and places offer a unique platform for relevant problem-solving and open-ended mathematics adventures. Additional resources vary, but what's available sparks curiosity and encourages students to dive deeper.

Pedagogy

Content from around the world makes every reader feel part of the community and creates an authentic problem-solving experience. Global stories allow students to see the role mathematics plays in everyone's lives.

Support

Finding the right story might take some time, but resources often cover more than one standard or skill. Reading levels tend to be high, so teachers can use the resource links as alternatives to the text.


Common Sense reviewer
Carrie Garges Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
RAMY W. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Concise, engaging articles accompanied by questions- A simple and effective learning tool.
The articles are concise yet still in depth, but that being said, there's a bit too much supplementary information for simple math questions. It would make more sense in the context of social justice, though. While the sample problems for math resources are good, you don't necessarily need to read the article in order to answer them, which leads me to believe students might skip/skim through and only look for bits of information (i.e. the number of residences to answer question 2 for "The World's Talles ...
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