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## How Can You Incorporate Literacy with Coordinate Grids?

I was ecstatic when my new books arrived!  I had been wanting to order these books for a while, and finally discovered that I had some money in the budget!  What is so great about these books is that they tell the story of how Rene’ Descartes invented the coordinate plane.  The general story tells of how he was sick in bed staring at a fly on the ceiling and wanted to map its location.  As the old adage goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”,  so  Descartes visualized the coordinate grid system on his ceiling to locate the fly.  This is such a great story to help  students conceptualize coordinate grids while tying  social studies (maps), literacy, and math together in one lesson!

## Integrate Math and Literacy for a Halloween Costume!

For our fall carnival, we dressed up like a book character.  Me being the math coach, I wanted to incorporate literacy AND math.  I decided to become “The Greedy Triangle.”  The librarian says that kids LOVE this book.

I looked everywhere for cardboard large enough to make a human sized triangle and finally found some in the storage room–chart paper boxes.  The bottom of the triangle is as large as the box.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to be equilateral like the true Greedy Triangle.  I’m isosceles, but that leads to some great geometry discussion with kids!

I covered my front and back triangle with yellow bulletin board paper.  Then I made the mouth eyes and nose with white and colored paper, and just glued it onto my front triangle.  I just drew the eyes and nose and mouth free handed, and outlined them with marker.  I folded the eyes in half so I would have a symmetrical shape.  The cheek circles I made by tracing a round cup.  A teacher next door helped me staple the yellow ribbon, which I had at home, to the two triangles.  The costume fits over my head like a sundress.  Underneath as you can see I wore black tights a black cotton T-shirt and skirt  which I already had.  I would say this whole project took me one hour and cost me nothing–not bad.

The costume isn’t user friendly however if you plan to sit a lot.  The cardboard doesn’t bend of course.  When going in and out of small areas I found that my vertices would bump into a lot of things.  However, this was a plus because I was able to use math vocabulary all day such as….”watch out for my vertices.”

I received lots of complements on this costume…some “aww how cute” from parents, kids, and teachers.  One parent thought I was pizza…but then where are my pepperonis?  I guess I could be a happy block of cheese, too!

With that said, I suppose you could adapt this costume to many things when trick or treating…

Picture this…

“Trick or Treat”

“Hi, honey, what are you dressed up as?”

“A block of cheese, but I’m lactose intolerant.”

“Oh, honey, here’s some extra candy!”

Maribeth Alexander liked this post

## How Can You Integrate Social Studies, Literacy, and Math

I must show off the finished product from the fourth grade teachers’ fabulous unit that they designed.  They incorporated persuasive writing with learning about goods and entrepreneurship.  The students created packaging labels and persuasive ads to compel others to “buy” their products.    The teachers brought in empty used containers for the students to decorate with their own packaging labels.  Then the students created commercial videos when they had completed their projects.  Although the teachers didn’t think to do this, they could have also included math by prompting the class to figure out whose product was the better buy.  Take a look below at some of the pictures of the students finished products.

## Do You Need an App for Almost Any Discipline?

Use this link for almost any app you can think of.  The link will take you to a nearly exhaustive chart of all types of educational apps sorted by discipline.  Some of them are free and some are not.  These would be great to compile a list for your students’ parents or to use in the classroom if your school has access to ipods or ipads.

## Need an Engaging Way to Introduce Equations?

The first grade teachers at school absolutely love introducing subtraction and addition number sentences to their kids using the book Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges.  I discovered this book in a lesson recorded in a Math Solutions book entitled Minilessons for Math Practice K-2.  There is also a similar lesson (I think…not positive) in another Math Solutions book entitled Teaching Arithmetic.  In the lesson students model the action of gathering fireflies into a jar using snap cubes.  In the book there is a jar  printable to use  or the lesson suggests using a sheet of blue construction paper to represent the night sky.  Not only is this lesson good for introducing the action of subtraction and addition, but it is also good for discussing one more and one less.  Because this is such a beloved book that builds a great foundation for addition and subtraction, I worked on building this free SMART Board lesson to accompany the book this weekend, and so here is an example of this lesson.  Just click to download the SMART Board lesson for free.

## How Can You Use Literacy to Introduce Multiplication?

I have come across Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream by Cindy Neuschwanderin several of Math Solutions lesson books, however today is the first time I have read the book.  It wasn’t until last year that the book actually was ordered for our library.  The book is about a little girl who counts EVERYTHING.  She counts so much that she dreams about counting.  Her teacher and her mother encourage her to multiply because it works better for counting large numbers.  Towards the end of the book Amanda realizes that multiplying REALLY is better than counting everything.  This book would also work well for teachers who are  using CGI strategies with counting collections because on each page there are multiple illustrations of objects to count like squares in window panes, food, wheels, legs, sweaters etc.  Arrays and things that come in groups can easily be discussed after looking at the pictures.   Now I am going to recommend this book to all the teachers who are teaching multiplication.

## Try These Compelling Fall Pumpkin Activities…

I so look forward to a crisp fall day after the humid triple digit temperatures we have had in the south.  I am already wanting to hang my fall wreath on the door!  Maybe it will hasten fall weather.   With the fall weather I always think of this pumpkin unit I taught with my precious third graders in which the students all did math investigations with pumpkins.  The following are pictures of the activities we did with the unit.  I also made the lessons  available on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I added one lesson to it –pumpkin lines– to make it a full week unit.  We measured pumpkin’s weight, circumference, height, and counted the seeds (eeew so messy, but fun!)  Take a look below.

Body Benchmarks: Inch Thumbs

Pumpkin Height

Doing Pumpkin Calculations from "Pumpkin Patch Math Investigations"

Yuck!

Counting seeds

Making Arrays to Count Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seed Arrays

Total Counted Seeds from One Pumpkin

## Infuse Literacy into Your Math Bulletin Board (or door)…

Here is my door for this year.  I just finished it!  It took a lot of work, but it turned out so cute.  I took the idea from Greg Tang’s book The Grapes of Math.  I recycled the grapes from another project in the past to use on my door.  The grapes were made from purple and green construction paper circles that I glued together. I then punched a hole through the top with a hole puncher and put some green pipe cleaners through the top.  To make the vine tendrils curly, I wrapped the pipe cleaners around a pencil.  I recreated the grape vine with twisted brown bulletin board paper.  The grapes were made from purple and green construction paper circles that I glued together.  To stimulate math thinking, I added a copy of Greg Tang’s poem so that students will be encouraged to count the number of grapes that are displayed.

## Where Can You Find Amazing Word Walls?

I just heard some colleagues discussing word walls that come pre-printed with pictures to go with the words.  They have math, science, and literacy word walls–all with pictures.  I didn’t know how good they were until I clicked the link for myself…and wow!  They are fabulous!  Just take a look at the pictures.  I am attaching a link to the picture so if you are interested in viewing more or purchasing them, just click the picture.

## Flip Flops…Spring Bulletin Board Idea

I happened across this bulletin board when I visited another school for professional development.  I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of it because of the clever flip flops that the children made.  They wrote simple sentences on them, however they would make nice places to write a published piece of short poetry about summer or spring time.