Monday, July 20, 2015
Math and Literature
A few years ago I knew I needed to improve the way I incorporate literature into my math curriculum. I wanted to go beyond simply reading picture books about math. I wanted to take a further step and find a way for the book to become my math lesson. Honestly I didn't have a clear vision for how this was supposed to look. That's why two years later I've yet to make this happen, which makes me feel like a big loser. Yet this might be my year.
I just finished reading Math and Literature Grades K-1 by Marilyn Burns and Stephanie Sheffield. The book is a compilation of several math lessons based on picture books. I love how the math tasks are open-ended, allowing young mathematicians access to the problem no matter their knowledge base. Multiple strategies are encouraged, accepted, and celebrated. The tasks are easy to extend for those who need it too. I also love the authenticity of the tasks. They thoroughly support the idea that kids can and should mathematize their world.
Whether I track down the particular picture books mentioned is immaterial. The lessons in this book were perfect exemplars which have given me confidence to know how to develop similar tasks regardless of the picture book at hand.
This is a very helpful read for K-1 teachers looking to use literature in a more inspiring, authentic, and mathematical way.