Connecting Math and Literacy in a Standards-Based Classroom
Presented by: Tracy VanWormer, K-1 teacher and Julie Coulter 2-3 teacher
As I walked into the presentation room, I noticed right away the great math literature books in the front of the room. It immediately made me excited. Many of the books I already have in my classroom such as The Greedy Triangle, Math Potatoes, Counting on Frank, Just Enough Carrots, and many others.
Also while waiting for the break-out session to begin I spoke with Christine Denmark who is the senior associate and math specialist from America’s Choice. In her hand she had a new book called Comprehending Math: Adapting Reading Strategies to Teach Mathematics written by Authur Hyde. I currently have this book sitting in my office at school but I haven’t had time to read it yet. I asked her about the book. She said it was wonderful. If you teach K -6, she said you need to read this book. I can’t wait to get home to begin reading it. Looking through the Table of Contents I noticed it was broken into Chapters like Asking Questions, Synthesizing, and Inferencing.
We began the session by listening to the story How Big Is a Foot?by Rolf Myller. It was a Book of a Month at their school last year. After reading the story we worked in groups and had to trace one person’s foot. Then we had to make a bed that was three feet wide and six feet long. We also had to make a queen to lie in the bed. After everyone was finished we compared each group’s bed. We talked about the varying sizes and discussed where to take this lesson next (non-standard unit to a real ruler).
Julie talked about a math series of books she uses in her classroom. The series is Math Smart. She read the story called The Great Graph Contest by Loreen Leedy. This story was about graphs, survey’s, pie charts and venn diagrams. After listening to the story they put a bag of cookies that were mixed flavors. We had to come up with a question and then graph our results. Our question: What are the flavors of cookies in our bag and how many of each will we have. Next my group made a graph and counted the results. Some were concerned that this activity would only work for 2nd and 3rd grade. I think they are wrong. We begin asking survey questions and collecting data in Kindergarten. We also don’t stop there. We also explore what we do with the information we have learned.
At the end of the session, we looked through children literature to gain ideas of how to use them in our classroom. I looked through the story Anno’s Magic Seeds by Mitsumasa Anno. It would be a great book to teach multiplication, division, inferencing, and problem solving.