Mentor Monday is All About Math

Mentor Monday is All About Math
Math??  On Comprehension Connection??  Are you in the right place??  Of course you are because today’s Mentor Monday, and the topic of today’s Mentor Monday is all about ways to incorporate literacy into the content area of  Math.  
So how many of you would you agree that authors have genre preferences and that they typically write books that are somewhat similar?  Some of my favorites do…Jan Brett, Ezra Jack Keats, Gail Gibbons, Karma Wilson, Patricia Polacco, Dan Gutman, and Gary Paulsen?? I think they know the type of writing that fits their style and personality.  I think they know their audience, write to that audience, and know what sells best for them.  
Mentor Monday is All About Math
Dead Poet’s Society
Mentor Monday is All About Math 
Mrs. Doubtfire
I think we see the same thing with actors and actresses. Very few can move from suspense thrillers and action into romantic comedy. I mean really. Can you imagine Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis doing comedy?  Again…very few can transition from one role to a completely different role successfully. (Moment of silence for Robin Williams…one of my all time favorites.  He could do it.)  Remember these?? Well, today’s post will introduce you to a few authors you may not be familiar with, but I bet your librarians are. These authors specialize in weaving math concepts into their stories.
In the past ten-twenty years, there have been quite a few authors entering the arena whose writing really works well to introduce and model math concepts. One author I got the pleasure of hearing in person is David Schwartz.  He is the author of How Much is a Million? which is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary, so he’s been around a little while. So when I heard Mr. Schwartz speak at our reading conference, I was amazed. Imagine Bill Nye talking about math.  Well, David Schwartz is one bundle of energy, and in the classroom, he most definitely would be the teacher standing up on top of desks to demonstrate the height of something or marking off a numberline down the hall to demonstrate skip counting…literally.  Here are a few of the titles he’s published, and I’d say most fit with number sense and measurement.

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I don’t know about your students, but my students have a terrible time guessing my age.  They guess either way below or way beyond my actual age (which I will keep to myself)?  I think they have difficulty comprehending what numbers actually represents?  If the kids have trouble with small numbers, imagine how difficult it is to visualize large numbers. Did I say visualize? Hmm…isn’t that a reading word?? Well, How Much is a Million? is a wonderful choice to use to give that concrete picture to help students visualize that quantity.

In Comprehension Connections, Tanny McGregor talks about beginning lessons with a concrete model to anchor student learning, and I think this is important in math too.  We obviously can’t count out one million of anything in school, but using books like these can serve that purpose for our kids.

If you are interested in using this book, I did come across one free resource on Teachers Pay Teachers you might try out.  Just click the link below to preview it. As you teach students math, try to think of ways to help students use strategies they’ve learned in reading. Doing this helps students realize the need for strategies in all areas of learning. Interactive Notebooks work beautifully as a tool to practice strategies because our students write to explain their thinking. Giving text evidence and making connections to real world experiences are two skills used often in math, and one way to practice this is with column notes or other graphic organizers.
How much is a million

I think by using picture books in our instruction, we have another tool to use to grab attention, to help us explain and model, and to show our students the importance of reading in all content areas. For more great titles and authors you might use in your classroom, drop by The Reading Tutor/OG today to check out the other blog recommendations.

Now, before I sign off, I have one more piece of big news!  I’d like to announce the winners of this weekend’s Fall Giveaways.

Winner of the Fall Primary Pack
Lori T.

Winner of the Fall Upper Pack
Andrea M.
Tomorrow, I will be blogging over at Adventures in Literacy Land about Analyzing Reading Behaviors.  I hope you’ll drop by and visit. Otherwise, come back Thursday for a full “web” of spidery fun and learning with Thematic Thursday.  Until next time, happy reading!

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