Thursday, August 2, 2012

Using Literature in Math & Book Boxes

Howdy folks!

As I have mentioned before, I LOVE using literature as part of my math (and science) lessons.  I will eventually get to talking about science, I promise.  Math is most recent for me, so it is freshest in my thoughts.

Anyway, here is a great list of math-related literature:

Love 2 Learn 2 Day

I have personally used almost ALL of the Stuart J. Murphy books.  I was lucky to work at a school that owned almost the whole complete set; it was so great the have these books at my disposal.  There were a few titles I needed to get from the library, but the majority sat on my desk.

I also was the proud owner of the NumberTales series from Scholastic.  These two were a great series, if you have ever used AlphaTales you know what I mean.  The set came with a Teachers Guide with worksheets, mini books and other activities.  I loved the mini-books; the students could have their own copy of the story to put in their book boxes for free reading.

What is a book box?  Basically, it's a small shoe box that the students use to collect the books they make throughout the school year.  During quiet times, free read times, or as a center, the students get their box off a shelf and read over books they have created.  These books come from all the subjects; when I taught science I think I provided more books for the box than the literacy teacher. :)

I will admit that the boxes took up a lot of space, but it was well worth it.  Since my students were still young, the boxes were on the smaller side.  Not sure you can do this with older children who have giant feet.  I wish I had a picture to show you! I have no pictures from my first four years of teaching, and during my last three years they stopped using the boxes.  Much to my dismay.  But I continued to make the books....hee hee.

Another option to shoe boxes would be to use file folders; you can buy ones like these that expand on the sides and are already sealed on three of the sides.

The kids can "check out" their folders to bring home and share with their families, or they can be wonderful things to have out for waiting parents during conferences or back to school nights.

 One of the things I love the most about the book boxes is how proud the kids are of their work when they go back and to read and re-read their books.   I have had students proudly show me books they made at the beginning of the year, comparing to what they just made, and they can see their own growth.  They can see how much better they write, or color, or even cut & fold.  The students notice their own progress!


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