Thursday, May 3, 2012

Talking math in Wisconsin (Part 2)

Here is the summary of the second of my keynote talks at the WMC conference (Wisconsin Mathematics Council). Part 1 is the previous post on this blog

Math in Picture Books = Math in Context

As a student, I was not a math person especially…so how did I end up writing and illustrating so many math picture books? At that time (late 60s and 70s) math was presented in such an abstract way it was pretty tough to relate to. To me, it was just a bunch of meaningless numbers that (as presented) had little to do with real life. Though an A or B student, I dropped out of taking math classes as soon as possible after an "incident" with an overly strict trigonometry teacher. The books I create now are the kind I wish had been around lo those many years ago…friendly, fun, and colorful. Of course, the very abstract nature of math means that it's easy to connect math with just about anything…from silly monsters to graph-making toads to lazy witch girls to Boston terriers. 

Most of my books have a storyline that puts the math concepts into meaningful context to help kids see why it's important to be able to add, subtract, and more. Without further ado, here are my math books…click on the book's cover to visit that book's page on my site with activity ideas, reviews, art notes, and ISBN numbers. The links below go to various teaching ideas online. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics quotes and citations that relate to each title come from the PDF available here.

Follow the Money! shows George the quarter as he makes his way through the economy being spent, saved, lost, and even washed in a washing machine, all in one day. The page numbers are part of the fun…they consist of various coins and bills.

Common Core Math 2.MD.8. Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately…
The Monster Money Book starts with a young monster and a girl who want to join The Monster Club. They earn money to pay dues and help figure out how to spend the club funds. Several basic personal finance concepts are discussed such as how to earn money, being a smart shopper, investing in a (very) small business, earning a profit, making a budget, and donating to good cause.

The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy has tons of educational resources, national K-12 standards, state requirements, best practices, and more.
Common Core Math 2.MD.8. (same as above)

The Great Graph Contest begins with a toad named Gonk who loves to make graphs about his interests such as mud, pie, and foot sizes. His lizard friend Beezy challenges him to a graph contest, so they go into the garden to collect and sort data, then make Venn diagrams, bar graphs, pie charts, and more.

Common Core Math: Several Standards apply, such as 1.MD.4. Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points…

It's Probably Penny stars Lisa and her dog Penny, who becomes the focus of a homework assignment about probability. Lisa predicts the likelihood of events such as whether Penny will see a shark, dig up a buried treasure, or turn into a cat, then records the actual results.

The Best Children's suggests Do the Homework! In other words, use the book itself as a lesson plan.
Common Core Math: I couldn't find a reference to probability prior to 6th grade, but a related concept may appear in lower grades… if anyone knows, please leave a comment.

In Mapping Penny's World Lisa needs to make maps for her homework, so she starts with a floor plan of her room, complete with symbols, a key, a compass rose, and a scale. Other maps include Penny’s treasures, her favorite places, and a trip around the world Penny might take some day.

Common Core Math 4.MD.3 Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems. For example, find the width of a rectangular room given the area of the flooring and the length…
Also, many of the various measurement standards apply.

In Measuring Penny, Lisa needs to measure something for her homework, so she chooses her dog Penny and a few of doggie friends at the park. Lisa uses both standard and nonstandard units to measure tails, paws, noses, as well as how high the dogs can jump and many other attributes.

Common Core Math: Every primary grade level has measurement standards, such as 2.MD.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes. 

Fraction Action features Miss Prime and her students as they learn about fractions in five short stories that start with simple geometric shapes and objects such as half a glass of milk. Scenarios such as how to divide food evenly for a lunch or how far to discount lemonade for sale in wintertime show how fractions are used in real life. 

Common Core Math: Halves and fourths are in 1st grade (1.G.3), thirds in 2nd grade (2.G.3), and fractions as numbers in 3rd grade (3.NF.1–3)

In Mission Addition, Miss Prime explains the basics then her students venture out into the world to add up scores, tally up their pets, sell things at a garage sale, and write word problems. Extra problems are at the end of each chapter.

Mission Addition online game (not related to my book)
Common Core Math: 1.OA.1 Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing…
Subtraction Action has seven short stories in which Miss Prime’s students watch a magic show, put on a play, run an obstacle course, and try to win a prize by making things disappear.

Common Core Math: 1.OA.1 (Same as above)

Missing Math When a town’s numbers vanish one day, everyone discovers how difficult a world without math would be. If nobody can count, add, subtract, make phone calls, use a computer, or use money, life becomes impossible! Hopefully a local detective can crack the case.

Common Core Math: Many of the standards relate to this book in the sense of how bad it is if you can't count, add, subtract, and so on.

Seeing Symmetry shows a myriad of examples of line and rotational symmetry, from kites to quilts to flowers to animals of many kinds. Symmetry relates to many basic math concepts such as equality, repeats, reflections, and rotations.

Common Core Math: 4.G.3: Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.

2 X 2 = BOO! A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories In six short and silly stories, Halloween characters such as ghosts, black cats, bats, and skeletons demonstrate the multiplication facts from 0 X 0 = 0 up to 5 X 5 = 25.

Common Core Math: 3.0.7. Fluently multiply and divide within 100…

For an ever-enlarging collection of various teaching ideas for elementary math, please visit my Making Math Fun! board on Pinterest.

That's all folks…whew! 

Talking Math in Wisconsin (Part 1)

Greetings, WMC conference peeps! (The Wisconsin Mathematics Council, that is.) Speakers have to send in the handouts a few weeks ahead of time, but of course I don't pull my presentation together until a few days (hours?) beforehand. So that no one has to scribble too much on the handouts, my speaker notes and links are in this post. Somebody got the bright idea to have me give two(!) keynotes, so Part 2 will be Math in Picture Books = Math in Context while this post outlines my talk about…
Seeing Symmetry!

Ideas for introducing the book
Symmetry is a great visual way to convey basic math concepts such as equality, repeats, reflection, and rotation. Show students that the back cover of the book is the same as the front…except the words are backwards. That's because the front and back are mirror images of each other, to visually convey the topic in the book design.

Watch the book trailer. FYI, it started out as a Keynote presentation that I "filmed" using ScreenFlow screen capture software. For the narration, I recorded myself with Garageband on my iPad2. Then the voiceover and sound effects were added to the timeline in ScreenFlow. 

Reading Options
Depending on the level of your students and the size of the class, this book can work as a read-aloud. Using it with a document projector makes it easier for everyone to see the pictures. It could also work to read just one or two spreads in a session and continue another day.

Concrete examples

Use symmetrical construction paper cut-outs as shown below. Hold them up while folded and have students predict what they are.
The images shown are a butterfly, square, teddy bear, number 3, letter Z, car, and star. For more info and to check out the Seeing SYMMETRY Chant that highlights these items, click on the photo above. 

Have students use a Super Simple Line of Symmetry Locator to check out images in the book for line symmetry. What am I talking about? More info and a poster are found here.
Several activities that use the book can be found in the Seeing SYMMETRY Activity Pack on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Several other PDFs with a symmetry theme are also available in my store such as Spring Mirror Word Puzzles and the Cowboy Boot Coloring Page. Several are free while the rest are two or three dollars, such as the WOW MOM Mother's Day Card.

Math Ideas on Pinterest
There are zillions of great math and other educational ideas on Pinterest (pronounced like the word "interest" with a P in front). It has become my favorite way to browse the Internet because…

Pinterest = Images + Text + Organizing + Sharing  

You "pin" the images you find on the web onto your "pinboards" (usually known as bulletin boards in the U.S.) You can "repin" other people's pins to your boards, while the link to the original source remains. You can follow other people and they can follow you. Some of my boards have close to 1,000 followers after a few weeks, which implies that plenty of other people find this as inspirational as I do.

How to find great math ideas and links on Pinterest:
on general terms such as math but also more specific words such as shapes or geometry. Adding "lesson" or a specific grade level to the search leads to more education-oriented pins. I do most searches on Boards or Pins (as opposed to People).
Follow people who have similar interests as you. Click here to see my boards. The most interesting to math teachers are: Seeing Symmetry! and Making Math Fun!

iPad Apps that incorporate Symmetry
Paint My Wings lets kids paint a butterfly…as each stroke goes on, its mirror image appears on the other wing.
Create a Monster HD has a symmetry mode as you assemble the monstrous pieces and parts.
123D Sculpt allows you to push, pull, and paint virtual clay with symmetry with an optional setting.
uzu is hard to describe…it's more of an experience that allows one or more people to play with amazing particles in a sort of intergalactic way. It has settings that create symmetrical images.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
The standard that Seeing Symmetry is aligned with is 4.G.3, or: Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.

A couple of other points… the standards for ELA state that the percentage of informational texts that elementary students read should be 50%. More on this topic is here, but my observation is that math certainly counts as "informational," right? (smile)

Lastly, there seems to be some confusion about at least one aspect of the math standards…note that the Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practice apply to ALL grades. They are reiterated in summary form for each grade level in a numbered list from 1 to 8, but the long version is what applies, not just the summary. I have run across teachers who think that only the summary applies to their grade, which is not the way it reads to me.

Anyway, if you've read this far, congratulations! Not sure if I will be able to deliver all this in an hour, but if not, people can catch the rest of it here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover