Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Bridge Between Math & Literacy: Emergent Reading Books About Math

Hello, Teaching Friends!

Connections. It's all about making connections.

We spend lots of time getting our primary grade students to recognize and use connections, like text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world, because as teachers we know that noticing and using connections is key to securing and retaining knowledge and to building deeper understanding.

For the last ten years of my teaching, I taught a literacy intervention class. Students entering first grade were recommended to the class on the basis of delays in various aspects of development in reading and writing. But of course, some of my students were absolutely amazing at math. I'll bet you see the same thing in your students. I did a lot of reading about the unevenness of their development, and spent a lot of time pondering how to build literacy development using my students' strengths in math.

One thing we did was to work a lot of literacy bits into calendar time. Using calendar notebooks is a subtle way of encouraging your students to think of math in the format of books. The calendar wall can be filled with words like days of the week, months, and seasons. Daily rereading of simple sentences like "How many students are here today? How many are not here?" can help secure appropriate directionality, one-to-one match, and early sight words, as well as fluent phrasing and expression.

Have you tried including some math in your Morning Message to strengthen the math/literacy connection? Once a week or so, try including a riddle about the date, or a question that includes some math thinking. It will help keep your math stars attentive to the reading instruction that you incorporate in your message time. Something as simple as a count and tally activity will fill the bill, like, "Let's count and tally how many {two letter words, words with the short a sound, words that begin with a digraph, words with a silent e, two syllable words, etc.} are in today's message". Then count the tally marks by fives, of course, for a bit more math learning.

Readaloud books about math are a super way to help your students build connections. There are some not-to-be-missed old favorites, like Donald Crew's Ten Black Dots and Pat Hutchins'  The Doorbell Rang, Lois Ehlert's Fish Eyes , and Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug . With the 100th Day of School quickly approaching, bring literacy into your math celebration with One Hundred Hungry Ants (Pinczes), I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words (Frith), and my favorite, Wolf's Chicken Stew (Kasza).  When you read Wolf's Chicken Stew, click on the picture below to get a freebie that's mostly math but has a pinch of literacy thrown in, too!

I've been working on a resource that will help strengthen literacy while reinforcing specific math standards, and it's finally finished and posted! With the help of the adorable graphics by Krista Wallden at Creative Clips, I've put together a set of guided reading books that feature Maddy and Matt, the Math Superstars!

The skills/standards that are supported in the six book set are...

* One More (Adding One)  (K.CC.7, K.OA.2)

* Addition Strategies (Adding Doubles) (1.OA.3)

* Missing Addends/ Complements of Ten (K.OA.4)

* Geometric Shapes (K.G.2)

* Data Collection (1.MD.4)

* Sums of Ten (K.OA.4)

All of the books are at the emergent reader level, with patterned text, picture support, and slight changes in pattern to promote visual attention to details of text. The books are easy to assemble - just collate the pages, print, staple along the left edge, and make one horizontal cut to have two ready-to-use books from each page.

You can find out more about the Maddy and Matt books at either my Teachers Notebook shop or my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Would you like to try a free Maddy and Matt emergent level reading book with your class?

Hop on over to my Primary Inspiration blog to download your copy of Tens and Ones, a free math/literacy connection book starring Maddy and Matt. Here's a peek at what you'll get.

Click on the cover to download your freebie at Primary Inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by Teaching Blog Roundup ... see you next month on the 5th!
Happy Teaching!


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