Bring Literacy to Your Math Lessons

7:00 AM

This past month, I have had the wonderful opportunity to lead PD on our new math standards.  Yes, you read that right....  Tennessee is changing their standards!

Part of presentation was talking about how we can bring literacy skills into our math instruction.  We came up with a HUGE list!

These are some of my favorites!

1.  Tradebooks - Using picture books to introduce new math topics.  There are tons and tons that go with the K-2 math standards.  Here a few of my favorites that I use with my kiddos:

2.  Math Library Basket -  Set up a math reading library in the classroom.  Use a basket and fill it with trade books that go with the topic of the week.  As you share some of your favorite tradebooks with your class, add them to the basket.

3.  Word Problems - Have students write their own word problems or work in groups to write them.  Share them with each other or the class.  Read them aloud and look first for grammar mistakes, then solve them as you usually would.  (This is one I use a lot in my classroom.  The kids write at least 3 problems throughout the week and pick one or two to put up for us to look at.  We identify any grammar mistakes and make sure that it ends with a good question.   After that we solve it like we normally do.  It doesn't take much time and is SO WORTH IT!)

4.  Math Word Walls - Start the year off with a blank word wall.  As you teach vocabulary/math topics add the word card(s) to the wall.

5.  Making Lists - Have students write a list to explain how they solved a problem.  Have them explain their thinking in their own words.  Read them aloud and see if they got all the steps covered.  

6.  Journaling - Create a notebook for math journaling.  Let kids use them as their interactive notebook and lesson reflection all in one.  (I had one for each this past year, but I'm giving it a try this year!  The teachers that have used only one say they loved it and it was so much easier to keep up with.)

Here are some of my journaling favorites:

What do you notice about your learning so far?
What did you find easy?  What was more challenging?
How can you think through the problem?
What would you tell a friend about what we did today?
What makes someone a good problem solver?
What do you wonder about math?
Write a note to a friend that is absent today and tell them what we learned?
What do you think we are going to do tomorrow?

7.  Student "Shows" - Let the students present their problem/solution to the class?  Maybe let them pick a question from last night's homework or have them write one on their own.  Giving them the shot to be teacher can really help bring writing and speaking/listening skills into your lessons.

TALK about MATH!


DISCUSS their ideas about MATH!


I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!


by Tracy Smith

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