Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Integrating Writing into Math Adds Up to Success

Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.
 If you have ever met me, heard me speak, or read a blog you will know I believe in integrating. If it is all connected, it is easier to understand. You may, or may not know, math is not my thing. Not at all. Ironically, I am married to an engineer and have two sons who are very good in math, the oldest is in his first year as a high school math teacher, and loves it. BUT, if we can integrate math into other subjects, it's easier. Here are 5 ways to integrate math into writing.

Names
Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.

The perfect place to start, especially in kindergarten. We are practicing their names throughout the day, why not talk about them in math. Analyze their names. How many letters are in your names. The perfect beginning math lesson is counting the letters in their name. Before gluing their names, let them compare their names: Who has a name that starts the same as theirs? Who has a name that ends the same as theirs? Who has a name that has 2 letters the same? Gluing their names on the graph lets them see who else has a name that is the same length or longer or shorter. Students can also use a bingo marker to mark all the letters in their name, then see what the overall letter winner is.

Anchor Charts
Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.

Immediately making color, shape, and number posters makes the students invest in their classroom. Make sure they are helping you write the names using interactive writing and calling on students who have known letters or letters in their name. Make sure you teach them to use the anchor charts you create. If you need ideas check out my blog post for Anchor Charts.

Thinking Maps
Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.

Thinking Maps or pre-write maps are perfect for math themes. Bridge maps are probably my favorite for math skills...it shows relationships and analogies. The two in the picture above are with measuring tools. They are presented in two different forms (basically because one year I didn't have much wall space). The circle map is perfect for coins or numbers. If you put a numeral in the middle, you can allow students to draw or write representatives of that numeral in the circle map. A brace map takes apart objects...and a clock is the best lesson for this. I could go on and on about maps.

Poetry
Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.

I also love my Poems of the Week, and integrating math in this area is a great way to explain concepts. I have a few examples above, but a poem about tallying is a great introduction to this very difficult concept. During the time unit, we also use "Hickory, Dickory Dock." During our weather unit we also use "It's Raining, It's Pouring," but that's integrating Science...oops. My favorite story about using the penny poem (above) is all about Abraham Lincoln. Well, not necessarily Abe. So, we start with the penny poem at the beginning of the year and every. We say it every day during calendar and I ask the same questions every day: Who is on the front of the penny? Who is on the back of the penny? What is a penny worth? One day I noticed a struggling learner raise his hand quickly. He seemed to pulse his arm and really wanted to answer. This was very unusual, so I was quick to ask him, "Sam, who is on the front of the penny?" "COPPER BROWN!" he said excitedly. Yep, go back and read the poem.

Writing
Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.

Finally, here are just a few writing examples with a math slant. During the 100th day of school, students get a paper with a giant 100 on it for their weekly squiggle. They have to make something with the 100. I have had amazing ideas (a snorkling boy, a family with an umbrella, a school bus) and the one in the picture says, "The boy is hanging the clothes." We also wrote our names with syllables, counting them on the Tree Map. In the math center, students had to stamp each car of the train with a picture, then they will write a sentence using ordinal words.

Just write, write, write...all day. All the time. Every subject.

If you'd like a FREE Integrating Math Set, click the link or the picture below.

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Integrating writing into math helps early learners make great connections. Here are 5 ideas for making sure your students are writing math.

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