Time! Time! Time!

There are lots of great ideas on the web for teaching students how to tell time, elapsed time, and other time concepts.  A lot of these great ideas also incorporate literacy.  Here are a few of some of these great ideas:

Have your students make wristwatches using cardboard tubes for the strap and a paper face, each with a unique time.  Then, giving your students a recording sheet, have students walk around the room recording what time each student has on their “wristwatch”.  View the activity here.

To help students learn to communicate about time, Kendra at the Aussie Pumpkin Patch blog has this learning clock template with each five minute interval labeled.  I love that each half of the circle is labeled with “to” or “past”.  This is often difficult for students to learn, and I think this is a great resource.  View their blog post here.

Have you come across any great ideas for integrating telling time and literacy?  Share them with me!

More Math Songs!

I posted here about Multiplication Songs and Tricks from Ginger’s website Ginger Snaps.  I love teaching math concepts – or any concept! – through song, chant, or rap.  Mr. R has posted many, many videos about a variety of math and science concepts, including: addition facts, place value, skip counting, geometry, number sense, multiplication, fractions, and more!

Find him on YouTube or view his website here.  My favorite thing about Mr. R’s website?  At the top of the home page, he says this:

Here are a few screen shots from Mr. R’s Even Numbers video:

I Have … Who Has?

Have you played this game with your students?  It’s great for listening, reading, and any math skills you’d like your students to practice.

If you’re practicing subtraction, for example, The first student calls out, “I have 7, who has 3 less?”  The student with the answer, calls out, “I have 4, who has ___” and the game continues until you reach the student whose card says “I have ____.  End.”

You can download free game cards from the Math n Stuff website, here.

Or visit Sandra Fiorini’s website, The Teaching Oasis, to download these free skip counting game cards, here.


Place Value and Communication

Have you heard of Laura Candler?  After teaching for 29 years, Ms. Candler created the Teaching Resources website and has a love for collaborating with teachers.  She has resources for free and for sale, view her website here.

One great math center that’s free on her website is this Place Value partner game and it’s great for incorporating speaking and listening.  One student names each digit and it’s place.  The second student listens and places cut-out number tiles in the correct positions.  Both students compare place value strips and then switch roles.

View Laura Candler’s math filing cabinet and download her free Place Value Partner activity here.

Math Question of the Day

Renee developed a math routine similar to The 2 Sisters’ Daily 5/CAFE and shared a lot of great math centers ideas on her blog, The Reading Corner.  This is a great way to incorporate literacy into your math centers.  Check out her post here.

One of the math activities that Renee shared is a math “Question of the Day”.  This is a great classroom procedure that encourages students to conduct a survey, graph results, share opinions, build classroom culture, and to communicate about math!

Great idea!

Subtraction Poetry

Abby over at The Inspired Apple blog shared this subtraction poem she discovered:

This is a great way to help students remember math “rules”.  To really encourage deep learning, have your students create their own poems or mnemonic devices.  I’m sure you’ll be amazed and this is a great way to incorporate math and reading, writing, and communication.

Graphing and Writing

Doris Young has a great blog and posted an activity that encourages students to think about the purpose for graphing.  So, if you are graphing with your students and teaching them that graphs are used to track information, I encourage you to take a look at Doris’ post.  She got her students to think deeper about graphing and then to analyze their graphs.  The students wrote their mathematical thinking in a thought bubble above a picture of themselves.  Doris posted the graphs, the pictures, and the thought bubbles on the bulletin board for the class to see and discuss.

View her blog here.
View this activity here.

Word Problems and Literacy

Suggestions for working with word problems and incorporating literacy:

1. Use word problems as a way to establish mnemonic imagery for a math concept.
2. Present word problems orally or audiovisually.
3. Have students write longer math stories.
4. Write word problem poems or verse.
5. Draw word problems (without text).
6. Sing word problems or write word problem music.

Gerofsky, S. (2004). A man left albuquerque heading east: Word problems as genre in mathematics education. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Communicate Mathematically

In their article, Watch Your Language! Recommendations to Help Students Communicate Mathematically, Bratina and Lipkin “suggest methods to help students improve their critical reading skills and to become better problem solvers” (p. 3).  Here are a few of their suggestions:

1: Include specific language arts activities in mathematics lessons
Use frequent, regular, and brief word wall activities (Bratina & Lipkin, p. 4).

2. Create instances for students to experience words in different contexts
For example, include true-false items such as, “Some squares are rectangles.” or “All squares are rectangles.” or “Some rectangles are squares.”  Items like these will lead to mathematical conversations and help students to comprehend complex statements (Bratina & Lipkin, p. 5).

3. Provide time for students to practice the language.
“Both comprehension and accuracy are essential for the development of proficiency in mathematics, and should precede attempts to perform operations with speed.  But once the students have grasped the meanings of mathematical words and symbols, they need to become fluent in using this mathematical language” (Bratina & Lipkin, p. 7).
Just as students need to master the basics of reading and then practice reading fluently and for comprehension, similarly students need to master the basics of math and then practice math for automaticity.

Suggestions for practicing the language of math:
Say it out loud
Cloze procedures
Games such as word searches, crossword puzzles, and cryptograms

4. Praise student perseverance
“When students are engaged in problem-solving exercises, have them read the entire problem before trying to analyze and dissect it.  Then have them read it again.  And again!  In other words, let the students know that instantaneous understanding is not the norm” (Bratina & Lipkin, p. 9).
Instead of asking, “Does everyone understand what we just read?”, ask students to restate or rewrite the problem in their own words.

5. Be a role model (Bratina & Lipkin, p. 10)
Set up a bulletin board as a “Wall of Fame” and post pictures of students when you catch them performing well, such as exhibiting strong communication skills.  Share examples of “real” people who are role models and involved in the communication and mathematics world, such as news anchors, and the first female shuttle commander, Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins.

You can find Bratina & Lipkin’s full article here.