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Word Math

About this Daily Classroom Special
Word Math was written by Ed Clement,  a former Teachers Network web mentor and a teacher in the Chicago public school system for more than twenty six years.

Word Math

5 + 3 = 8
  
C

24 X .5 = 12
   a

5² = 25
   t

  • Add a little fun to math

  • For kids in 1st grade through 12th grade. 

  • Build reading skills while doing math.

YOUR STUDENTS USE THE ANSWERS TO MATH COMPUTATION, WORD PROBLEM HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS OR TESTS TO FIND A SECRET WORD OR MESSAGE. 

A few years ago I was grading some math homework assignments while watching a PBS broadcast on weather. At that time meteorologists were having an extremely difficult time interpreting the huge amount of weather data that new weather gathering technologies were producing every minute of every day. To solve the problem they devised a computer program that would use the collected weather data and turn it into pictures or words that could be analyzed at a glance. 
While watching that program it occurred to me that if I could turn the answers of my students’ math homework assignments and tests into words (perhaps their vocabulary words and kill two birds with one stone), I would be able to correct those homework assignments and tests faster and more accurately. What came out of that thought is something I call word math.

BASIC STEPS

1. Make a “secret message” table with the letters of the
alphabet and numbers. (see sample table below)

    A

    a

     B

   b

     C

     1

     ¼

     XI

    100.5

    twenty

2. Print up enough copies of the “secret message” table for every student.
3. Make up math homework sheets and tests with computation and word problems whose answers make words or phrases when used with the “secret message” table. 
3. Use secret words or phrases to correct homework assignments and tests instead of checking every individual problem. (I use tricks like spelling the secret word or phrase with all upper case letters or backwards to keep everybody honest.)

 

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