Monday, January 28, 2013

Math Literature

I incorporate literature into all content areas. I do not teach Math, but I still have leveled books in our classroom library that relate to Math topics. I included cookbooks because I think they are an authentic form of literature. I believe that incorporating literature into Math lessons allows teachers yet another way to expose students to the complex text referenced in the Common Core Standards.

Probably Pistachio by Stuart J. Murphy
Pigs at Odds by Amy Axelrod

Gross Grub by Cheryl Porter
Pigs in the Pantry by Amy Axelrod
The Cooking Book by Jane Bull
The Children's Step-by-Step Cookbook by Angela Wilkes

The 100 Pound Problem by Jennifer Dussling
Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy

Math Applications and Extensions
Mathematickles by Betsy Franco (poetry)
Math Fables by Greg Tang
Marvelous Math by Lee Bennett Hopkins (poetry)
The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang (riddles)
Math Curse by Jone Scieszka and Lane Smith

Counting on the Woods by George Ella Lyon (poetry)
One Monkey Too Many by Jackie French Koller
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
Blast Off! by Norma Cole

The Incredibly Awesome Box by Joanne Rocklin
Mummy Math by Cindy Neuschwander
Pyramids and Mummies by Seymour Simon
Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy
Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone by Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander
When a Line Bends A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

Addition and Subtraction
Shark Swimathon by by Stuart J. Murphy
The Hershey Kisses Addition Book by Jerry Pallotta

Multiplication and Division
Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream by Cindy Neuschwander
The 512 Ants on Sullivan Street by Carol A. Losi
A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes
What Comes in 2's, 3's, and 4's? by Suzanne Aker
Hershey's Chocolate Math from Addition to Multiplication by Jerry Pallotta
Just Add Fun by Joanne Rocklin
One Grain of Rice by Demi
Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno
Each Orange Had Eight Slices by Paul Giganti Jr
Hershey Kisses Multiplication and Division by Jerry Pallotta
Math Strategies That Multiply by Greg Tang

Telling Time
The Long Wait by Annie Cobb
Game Time by Stuart J. Murphy
Get Up and Go by Stuart J. Murphy
Pigs in a Blanket by Amy Axelrod

Sold by Nathan Zimelman
The Penny Pot by Stuart J. Murphy
Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells
Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod
Pigs Go to Market by Amy Axelrod

Problem Solving
Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares by Frank Murphy
The Case of the Backyard Treasure by Joanne Rocklin
Dinner at Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson
The Case of the Missing Birthday Party by Joanne Rocklin
The Fly on the Ceiling by Dr. Julie Glass
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All by Marilyn Burns 

Lemonade for Sale by Stuart J. Murphy
Bart's Amazing Charts by Diane Ochiltree
Tiger Math by Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel

Jump, Kangaroo, Jump by Stuart J. Murphy
Pizza Pizzazz by Carol Losi
Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy
The Hershey's Chocolate Fraction Book by Jerry Pallotta
Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta

Number Sense
On Beyond a Million by David Schwartz
Betcha by Stuart J. Murphy (estimating)
Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop by Stuart J. Murphy (classifying)
Dinosaur Deals by Stuart J. Murphy (equivalent values)
Even Steven and Odd Todd by Kathryn Cristaldi
Among the Evens and Odds by Priscilla Turner
How Big is a Million by Anna Milbourne and Serena Riglietti
How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall is 1000? by Helen Nolan

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Hunt

I have been preparing for our next book club, biography/narrative nonfiction, and since this is my school's first year using a balanced literacy framework, finding enough books at specific levels has been a challenge. 

My first step in the hunt for books was to know which levels I needed for the clubs. I know that for nonfiction it is acceptable to go down as much as 2 levels, but I am not sure how this transfers to narrative nonfiction (if you have an answer to this please share in the comments section).

My next step was to check in our school Media Center and see which Guided Reading sets matched my genre and levels.

Then I looked on my book shelves to see if I had multiple copies of books that matched my search criteria.

I also looked through the ancillary materials that are part of my Social Studies textbook program. Time for Kids and the Harcourt leveled readers each provided me with a set of books--yay!

Finally, I used the website Reading A-Z since I was not having much luck finding lower level books. Reading A-Z has something called multilevel books which are wonderful because you could have three different groups reading the same book that is three different levels.

Now I have an idex card labeled with each Fountas and Pinnell level. I recorded the books I have for each level. Now I can see how many sets I have and how many more I need.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Analyzing Book Club Jottings

I have a variety of methods I use for keeping record of my students' discussions during book clubs, but the following one is my current favorite.  It allows me to organize the students' jottings that they choose to turn in.  I record the book title (or a shortened version), the teaching point I gave in the minilesson, any anecdotal records, and a quick description of what I will discuss during conferencing with the students in that book club.

I make note of behaviors I see or patterns that appear from meeting to meeting. I am able to reflect on my notes and see which students are progressing and which remain stagnant. Sometimes I conference with individual students and other times I might meet with the whole book club together.

As I listen in on book club discussions, I often write down phrases or questions students say that I think should be shared with other groups.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Love New Books

When I was little I used to get excited every time my teacher sent home the Scholastic book order. Some of the books I ordered in elementary school are part of my classroom library today. I received a shipment of books today and found these two new gems!

The story White Water takes place in the 1960's during segregation. A boy envisions that the water from the whites only fountain must taste better than from the colored fountain.  He daydreams about tasting it. One day he stays home from school so he can sneak to the park and drink the white water.  He gets to taste it, but then a white woman yells at him causing him to fall. When he falls down he sees that both fountains are connected by the same pipe. He realizes that all of the water is the same, the fountains just look different.

I hope Tedd Arnold adds more books to this series!  My students love the Fly Guy books and I know they are going to love this new nonfiction addition!  The organization of the book is appealing and informative. It creatively uses nonfiction text features such as cutaways, photographs, captions, highlighted words, and pronunciation keys.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Keeping Jottings Fun with Special Sticky Notes

Happy 100th blog post to me! I thought I would share an idea I use to keep students excited about jottings. They start to get bored of the plain, yellow sticky notes. I like to change it up a little and mix in some fun colors, shapes, and designs. For some reason, the number of jottings increases...but sometimes the quality decreases. Isn't it great to have a problem when students want to write too much?!

So I came up my special bag of teacher sticky notes. When I see a student that makes a wonderfully thoughtful jotting then I tell them they can choose a few special sticky notes from my bag. This way they sort of get rewarded for putting effort into their jottings instead of just grabbing cool sticky notes and writing any old thing on them. By keeping the sticky notes in a certain location, I can can control how many a student uses. This cuts down on the expense.

Here is my special bag ($1 Target bin) and some of my special sticky notes ($1 Target bin too):

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can ALL Students Participate in Book Clubs?

Yes! Absolutely! Of course! I have students in my morning literacy block that range in Fountas and Pinnell levels from A to Q!  The students in my afternoon literacy block range in levels from I to R.  All of my students are participating in book clubs.  I have a student with severe cerebral palsey who has no verbal skills and is in a powerchair.  She uses electronic assistance to communicate and she loves book clubs! It is a challenge to differentiate for all of these learning styles, but it is a welcome challenge because it makes me rethink my strategies. It keeps my ideas fresh and makes my students feel like valued members of the class.

My level C reader uses skinny, pointed sticky note tabs to mark the pages he wants to talk about in book clubs. He can write basic three or word sentences, so sometimes he is overwhelmed by jotting.  He does make drawings to show what he envisions in the story, but his sketches are very rudimentary.  By simply marking the pages he wants to talk about he is able to have a discussion with his group.  His group is comprised of himself, an exceptional needs teacher, the student with cerebral palsey, and that student's educational assistant.
The two adults in the group are part of the book club. They have their own folders and books. They prepare their jottings and complete their checklists and self-assessment rubrics just like the students.

Nonfiction Jotting Success

We finished our study of nonfiction in December, but I was preparing for a presentation and I really want to share this student reflection. A student wrote this Stop and Jot in her Reading Notebook during a read aloud I did from a level O book about amphibians and reptiles. Incredible thoughts from a third grader who reads at a level K. It was complex text and she rose to the challenge!

Prepping for Biography Book Clubs

My students are currently in the middle of the Series Book Clubs.  I have noted the successes they have achieved and the mistakes I made in organizing and implementing book clubs.  Our next Reading Workshop unit is Biography Book Clubs and the study of narrative nonfiction.  This is a new genre for me. I have been teaching for 16 years and I am sad to say that I have not ever taught this genre before. I have done numerous lessons on biography and on nonfiction and on narrative writing, but I have never taught biography as narrative nonfiction.  Biography Book Clubs do not start until February 4, but I decided I needed to get a jump-start on my lesson plans since this is an unfamiliar genre.

I once again referenced my wonderful Teachers College Reading and Writing Project manual. I turned to Unit 6 and began highlighting and jotting away!

Here are the anchor charts I have made so far. 
The information is from pages 102-104.