1) I wholeheartedly agree that the main problem with the old method of mathematics instruction (teacher-centered, whole group 100% of the time) is that several students were engaged in solving problems in front of the class, but the majority of the class was disengaged. While Sammons does not directly state this, it is heavily insinuated.
2) I'm so glad that Sammons called attention to the achievement gap related to mathematics between affluent students and minority students/students living in poverty. I saw this first hand at my school last year, and I am ready for this gap to narrow/close.
3) I like that Sammons points out that "teachers struggle to find the time to help them [struggling students]." I know that this book will be very helpful to teachers who are struggling with finding the time to give every student what he needs, when he needs it (aren't we all?).
4) Sammons places an importance on mathematical dialogue. I would go even further to say that students need to develop mathematical literacy. She previews some of her math work stations in later chapters, including math journals, so I believe that she will address this issue. I can't wait to read what she has to say about it. I know that this is important not only for our English Language Learners, but all of our students.
5) At this point, as Sammons has previewed her model and all of its components, I am reminded of what I know of The Daily 5 and the CAFE framework. Both have components of whole group (I'm glad that Sammons asserts that whole group instruction still has its place, but cannot be the only method of math instruction), guided instruction, small groups for stations, as well as individual conferences.
In summary, I'm so glad that I decided to pick up a copy of this book and participate in this book study. The first chapter teases many great things to come in the remainder of the book. I'm particularly looking forward to chapter 3. Since I have taught older grades in the past, calendar math is somewhat new to me (I'll be teaching 2nd grade this year). What do you include in your calendar math?