What's Math Got To Do With It?

This engaging book shows —rather than tells — the reader what terrific math instruction looks like. It's for teachers and parents who want to improve children’s mathematics learning. The author presents advice and research findings through practical ideas that can be used in classrooms and homes.   

272 pages. ©2015.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted November 6, 2022


This book was an easy read. It gave me so much insight.


Review posted May 18, 2022


Different perspective on math, helpful to understand


Review posted May 6, 2022


Boaler provides useful adaptations to her original work, adding much needed commentary on the strengths and areas for reform in curricular standards like Common Core, though this did feel brief given the heavy controversy that currently engulfs the topic in our modern education discourse. As a current first year educator navigating provided curriculum that often misses the mark in helping us meet these standards, I especially appreciated Boaler's inclusion of logic games, puzzles, and other fun activities toward the end of the book that provide exciting examples for making math fun for my students.


Review posted April 25, 2022


I was thinking it would be practical examples on how to work math into the daily life of my children. I seemed more for educators and very good in that way.


Review posted October 10, 2021


Discusses what is wrong with the way math is being taught in most classrooms and why students are battling math anxiety. Gives you strategies so children can have a better experience with learning math. It helps you bring the fun and excitement back to math class.


Review posted August 29, 2021


This book was helpful.


Review posted July 29, 2021


It provides a broad overview of the state of math education, and possible directions for the future. It gives ways to get out of repetitive worksheet and teaching to the test monotony. It gives some inspiration and hope if you are caught up in the current system of teaching math. It is primarily for math teachers, and the parents of students taking a math class. It provides many ideas and useful resources. / A sampling of the themes covered including: import of mental math, getting beyond counting, tapping into our natural ability to recognize patterns, celebrating mistakes, providing challenging problems, and getting away from step-by-step instructions. / The chapter on girls and STEM was too limited. The issue goes well beyond just the math class. To address reasonably would require at least a book and deal with more disciplines that just math.


Review posted June 12, 2021


This one is a keeper, yet a hard one to get through. It took awhile to completely read and finish but once I did I appreciated it and decided to put it in my “reference” pile. Would recommend to others.


Review posted April 13, 2021


Really interesting read. I enjoyed fresh ideas and approaches to math.


Review posted March 17, 2021


This was a great read. It would have been a great book to do as part of a PLC or book study. There are thoughtful points and great strategies that help bring out the importance of teaching math.


Review posted February 21, 2021


Jo Boaler has done some remarkable research in math education. Her books should be read by all teachers and parents. Student’s perceptions about math are so important and the way we teach math has a profound impact on student outcomes. This book will make you a better teacher.


Review posted January 22, 2021


As a teacher I continue to search for ways to incorporate math learning into activities, and incorporate common core math skills so that students can use their problem solving skills in every day situationd


Review posted January 9, 2021


Very good. Simple yet concise.


Review posted January 6, 2021


The content is great. I only wish this book was more visual. It's useful, but the text could be streamlined and the illustrative examples could be more aesthetically engaging than small black and white photographs. I'd still recommend it.


Review posted January 6, 2021


This book changed my view on how to teach math. Although, there were a few ideas I didn't agree with, I will be implementing some strategies in my classroom.


Review posted December 22, 2020


Super helpful book! Math is so important and this book will benefit me teaching my daughter.

Emiliya King

Review posted November 25, 2020


Some good points, but very black and white.


Review posted November 2, 2020


I appreciate the real world examples that this book provides and the in depth nature it gives to how students learn. The variety of topics covered kept me interested in hearing more.


Review posted September 24, 2020


Great book with a lot of great information for teachers!


Review posted September 15, 2020


This is a powerful book about how the future of math instruction should look. It explains what schools are doing wrong and begins the discussion about what needs to be different. I highly recommend this book.


Review posted September 11, 2020


This was a FANTASTIC book for educators and parents! So many people have developed the idea that they aren't good at or don't like math. This book helped me give math another chance, and it can for that for you!

Penny McDermott

Review posted September 10, 2020


This book will support parents and teachers to build genuine love of the multiplicity, flexibility, and creativity for learning math. We need students to love math and be able to see its beauty. I have an increasing appreciation and understanding for best practices to support all students. This book will explore ways to inspire students, parents, and myself to enjoy math and help students achieve at high levels. The "Math Wars" are explored. Some argue that rote memorization and wide variety of skills outweighs the multiplicity, flexibility, and depth that is advocated by the author and supported with decades of her and others' research. https://www.youcubed.org/tasks/ is a free resource by the author and her Stanford University cohort to support math learning for parents and teachers. Jo Baoler fills my heart with greatness with her work to bridge the inequality in mathematics. This book did not stay on my shelf when I completed it; a colleague asked me for open ended math tasks. I sent her to youcubed.org and handed her this book.

Janice I Woody

Review posted August 22, 2020




Review posted July 27, 2020


Good book for developing a better understanding of why the “how” of math matters. The process is more beneficial than the answer.


Review posted June 4, 2020


Informative. Promotes a growth mindset in math


Review posted February 5, 2020


Awesome book! People kept picking it up off my side table wanting to read it. I was able to hang on to it and what an awesome book!! I have passed it off and I expect It may be a while before I see this book again!!


Review posted January 12, 2020


I'm a teacher and responsible for teaching both math and literacy to elementary school aged students. While I have read plenty of books on effective literacy instruction, there is somewhat less available on the topic of great math instruction. I enjoyed learning practical strategies that I can immediately apply in my math groups, and the research behind effective math teaching practices. I feel more equipped now to deliver quality math instruction to my students.


Review posted December 8, 2019


So... I was thinking about getting back into math. This is a great shortcut to just that. Gotta get back in the mix to help my youngins as they advance with their classes these days.

Megan Peterson

Review posted September 17, 2019


Incredibly practical and an easy read. Inspiring!


Review posted September 1, 2019


This book is filled with lots of great strategies for teachers that work with students that may struggle with mathematics. I look forward to utilizing the differentiation strategies provided throughout this book. It’s easy to read and apply.


Review posted July 26, 2019


This book was a big help in assisting my on teaching my children a way to understand math.


Review posted June 27, 2019


This book is easy to read, and very applicable in my role as an elementary teacher. I love the way Jo Boaler writes!

Deborah Thiessen

Review posted May 30, 2019


This book shares the traditional ways math is taught and outlines concrete solutions with classroom approaches using nature and real-world examples of how and when we can and need to apply math concepts to manage our day and to better understand our world. The book details project-based and communication as structures that work. The focus is on what is best and how proven evidence-based research, for example, applying student-driven instruction with formative and group discussion. There is a chapter for parents and ways to support children at home so their approach and abilities are kindled.


Review posted May 3, 2019


A great book about how to teach math to kids in a way that makes it feel relevant to the real world. Math shouldn't be taught by memorizing methods but by thinking mathematically and using it as a tool for problem solving. This is the practical way that adults use math, especially in fields like engineering.


Review posted April 19, 2019


Great for every level!!


Review posted April 7, 2019


Wow! What a great book. I will be using this information when I have my own class, next year. I like how the author discusses that we need to know the why of how to solve math problems not just how to do them.


Review posted March 19, 2019


It was interesting to learn about better methods of teaching Math to children. But it was upsetting to read about how some people are so closed minded and worked so hard to prevent these improved methods from being taught in our schools, especially after seeing so many improved scores and positive attitudes towards Math. I'm hoping that these methods will become accepted and even the norm in our schools in the future.

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Review posted December 29, 2018


We take the language of Math for granted. I am glad to have this.


Review posted November 16, 2018


I hated math as a student in grade school, and I wasn't much more fond of it in high school. This being said I chose to read this book with the mindful intention to help my kiddos to not only understand math, but to love it. In reading it, I found statements that challenged how I view math, and ideas of how I might better teach it. Math is not, nor should it simply be a memorization of facts, but it should and must be a quest we start on, think about, ponder. Thank you for opening my eyes to such a great book.


Review posted November 13, 2018


I can’t say enough good things about this book! I am a high school math teacher and reading this book has fueled my flame. From the stories about the classrooms she visited and taught to all the useful inspiring examples of ways to transform math education she has inspired me page by page. I was especially enthralled with the enlightening research on male and female learning differences in mathematics. This book will no doubt transform the way I teach from now on.


Review posted September 28, 2018


Quick and easy read with helpful information. Thank you.


Review posted September 1, 2018


I just sent a note to my A list saying that I kept wanting to send this book to every single parent and also to everyone who has ANYTHING to do with education. This is SUCH a crucial title, she does a great job hammering home that good math instruction is teaching about ways of thinking about problems we don’t know the answers to, not about ways of computing when you’re given the problem and an answer in the back of the book, which is what we reduce it to. I’m so glad I read this — I’d be even gladder if everyone in Oregon government and schools read it.

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Review posted August 10, 2018


such a good book I really hope many people can read it

Laura Axon

Review posted July 30, 2018


What Has Math Got To Do With It? has given me a tool I need as a mother and an educator. In high school I struggled with math and gave up. This book helped me understand why that happened. I have a child who struggles with math now and the book will help me not repeat the past. I went online to author Jo Boaler's website and found so many useful tools to help students with math. I hope to share with my colleagues that "Math is not a performance subject. Math is a learning subject. " The brain grows by making mistakes. Kids are motivated by their own questions.


Review posted June 21, 2018


Great book! Very insightful and applicable info for teachers, tutors and parents.


Review posted May 24, 2018


This book has been helpful working with my own 7th grade child to raise awareness and motivation by recognizing how math integrates into different applications -- gives practical ideas to frame the ways math ties into everyday life and strategies for working with students in the classroom/after school homework club settings to incorporate math concepts in a variety of different ways.


Review posted April 30, 2018


The question that math teachers hear almost everyday in their classrooms is, "When am I going to use this in the real world?" Well, this book has the answers! I highly recommend this book for current and future educators, and not just mathematics teachers. All to often educators are forced to teach students how to pass standardized tests, not learn and master the information. This books identifies the lack of educators ability to teach and helps equip educators with useful tools and skills!


Review posted March 15, 2018


pretty good read


Review posted February 6, 2018


This book inspired me to work harder on my math I had never liked it very much and after reading this book it gave me a whole different look at math and I am enjoying it now.


Review posted February 3, 2018


Good read. Math does have a lot to do with it