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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Math and Literature Connection

Math and Literature Connection

HOW IT WORKS
Working within the mathematics curriculum, this program utilizes stories that coincide with the topic being taught. For example, when teaching students about polygons and their traits, the book The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns is a good story to read. It tells of a triangle, unhappy with its shape, that keeps adding angles and lines until it doesn’t know who/what it is. The math vocabulary is included in the story as well. For literacy, a discussion of the story and its moral can be a definition of this genre. For a relevant writing exercise, the children write a story with the same moral. And the story touches  on the concept of self-image—an important one for young individuals. This program can be done by the teacher working in the confines of the classroom curriculum. An interdisciplinary program makes time for all subjects during the day. It gives the teacher and the students more flexibility in the day’s schedule because all areas are planned in an economical way. Another way to work the program is to have the pairing of staff—one as the literacy teacher and the other as the math teacher. During the day these teachers switch classes to work the subject area of their expertise.  In this way, the students receive instruction in subjects with master teachers of that subject.

THE STUDENTS
The students participate actively and control the learning process with hands-on lessons. The explorations lend themselves to cooperative learning groups, with students having a final product such as a completed activity sheet, an art piece, or a response to the lesson that comes from the groups’ participation. During literacy time, the story can be used to work on some form of creative writing, a grammar lesson, or a reading skill. This too can be in reading groups or during full class participation. 

THE STAFF
Doris Abraskin has taught in District 18 for the last 11 years, starting with a Title I program and doing staff development. She went on to become the Staff Developer for the district three years ago and is now Math Staff Developer  for third and fourth grade at P.S. 219. She has been at the Discrete Math Institute at Rutgers University since 1995 and does staff development workshops. She also trains teachers in Southern New Jersey and has developed workshops in discrete math.

WHAT YOU NEED
Literature that coincides with the math curriculum is an important part of this program. Calculators are used with the lessons as well as math manipulatives. All the supplies are necessary to make the math more interesting and fun for the students. For example, use marshmallows and straws to form plane and solid geometry figures. This lesson goes with the story The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns (Scholastic, Inc.). A computer for the word processing is also required. 

OVERALL VALUE
This program is a great way to integrate subject areas. It allows the classroom teacher to work with interdisciplinary lessons so that the children learn that all areas can be worked together. Allowing the children to learn by exploration gives them confidence in their math skills and the experience to communicate. This program covers all math and literacy standards for New York City and New York State. A bibliography is available on request. 

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

 

CURRICULUM AREAS
Mathematics
Language Arts
Technology

GRADES
K-5

MORE INFORMATION

Doris Abraskin
Kennedy-King School
P.S. 219
1060 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11212
Phone: (718) 342-0493
Fax: (718) 345-3065
mathmomma48@aol.com
Principal: 
Ms. Gloria Powel

 

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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