This month, I’m sharing ideas for teaching with the Common Core mathematical practice standards. And, for my Texas readers, I will be correlating them to the mathematical process standards of the TEKS. The mathematical practice standards are included in each grade level’s Common Core State Standards. They include important processes, practices, and proficiences that are important for the development of every successful mathematician. These standards were derived from the work of The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, NCTM, and The National Research Council.
For today’s Transformation Tuesday, I want to focus on Mathematical Practice Standard 4: Model with Mathematics. An excerpt for this standard, from http://www.corestandards.org/Math, is provided below.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4: Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later.
This standard correlates with Texas Mathematical Process Standard TEKS 1A which states, “apply mathematics to problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace.” (Source: Texas Education Agency)
This standard encourages us to emphasize the role of real-life mathematics in our everyday instruction. In fact, over the years, I have found it much easier to begin with a real-life situation to help students begin to understand a skill than to just begin with the math. Providing students with a context will help them make connections to what they already know. This explains why connecting learning to money is such a powerful learning experience. Children begin to understand the power of money, i.e. how to collect it, how to count it, how it’s valued, and how it is used, at an early age. This makes it a great stage for helping students understand early numeracy concepts, but what other strategies can we use to make mathematics accessible to students and connect with the real-world?
Math picture books provide a great platform for connecting math content and skills with the real-world. In fact, that’s what I love most about them, they allow me to present new math content and skills through the context of a real-world situation, even if the story itself is a fantasy. I often insert them into my lesson introductions or as my “engage” piece to stimulate student thinking about a skill. While not all math picture books present concepts through the concept of a story, there are many that do just that. The list below includes my favorites and a short synopsis of the story line. Click the links to learn more! And, stay tuned in February for the next installment of my “Math Picture Books to Love” series!
A Remainder of One: Twenty-five bugs are on a mission to march in a tidy arrangement for the queen. However, every time they try a new arrangement, poor Joe is left out. After several tries, the bugs finally find an arrangement that will successfully include Joe. (Skill: Arrays and Division)
Cut Down to Size at High Noon: Louie Cutorze is the only haircutter in the town of Cowlick. His unusual creations are the pride and joy of the town. Louie uses scale drawings to create a smaller version of a life-size object and then sculpts his artwork onto someone’s head. One day, a new hair-cutter, Buzzsaw Bart, rolls into town determined to set-up his own shop. Louie refuses the notion, so Buzzsaw challenged him to a duel. With a large crowded looming, they both snip and cut until they are ready to reveal their creations. Louie scales down a large object and Buzzsaw scales up a small object. After acknowledging each other’s talents, the two men combine their artistic talents for a whole new type of haircut. (Skill: Multiplication and Scaling)
One Hundred Hungry Ants: The story begins with one hundred ants marching in a line toward a picnic spot when the smallest ant stops the line to say that they are moving way too slow. He suggests that a different arrangement is the way to go. Again and again, the littlest ant stops the line to change the arrangement, but by the time they arrive at the picnic spot, the food is all gone. All of the ants turn on the littlest ant and blame him for them moving way too slow and missing out on all of the yummies to fill their tummies. (Skill: Arrays and Multiplication)
Math Curse: A young girl goes through her day plagued by all of the math problems she encounters in her world until she discovers a way to escape her nightmare. (Skill: Many Connections)
Multiplying Menace- The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin: Peter, son of the King and Queen, is celebrating his tenth birthday when Rumpelstiltskin returns to fulfill the promise made to him by the Queen when he spun her straw into gold. When the Queen refuses, Rumpelstiltskin reeks havoc on the town. All through the town, Rumpelstiltskin points his magic stick at all people and things. Poof! They disappear! After Rumpelstiltskin gives the King six noses, Peter agrees to go with him if Rumpelstiltskin agrees to fix the town. Rumpelstiltskin takes Peter to his home and Peter watches as he uses his magic stick to create more of the things he needs and less of what he doesn’t need. While Rumpelstiltskin is sleeping, Peter takes the magic stick and tries to figure out how to use it. Once Peter discovers the secret of the magic stick, he returns to the town to fix Rumpelstiltskin’s work. (Skill: Multiplying Fractions)
Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland: Radius, son of Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter, wanted to be a knight. He practiced every day until his teacher said he was ready for his first quest. Radius then set out with a medallion given to him by his parents. While on his quest, Radius stumbled upon an old castle with a note attached to the door. On the note was a riddle with directions to reach a kidnapped King. With his horse, Radius used his medallion (a protractor) to find the correct angles and the right paths to take to find the King. Radius later saved the King and received his knighthood. (Skill: Measuring Angles)
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All: The Comfort family wants to have a family reunion. They plan to invite 32 guests. In order to accommodate all 32 family members, they decide to order 8 four-person tables and 32 chairs. Once the guests begin to arrive, the family members begin to push the tables together so that the family can sit closer together. However, each time the family changes the table arrangement, Mrs. Comfort objects and says the new arrangement won’t work. Finally, after multiple attempts, the Comforts return to Mrs. Comfort’s original floor plan. (Skill: Connecting Area and Perimeter)