Math Tools and Resources
Tips for using manipulatives:
- Careful consideration must be given to the type of manipulative and how it will be used in order for it to be a valuable tool which will enhance the learning of the math concept.
- A variety of math manipulatives or tools should be available to support the diverse learning and understanding of all students.
- Expectations for using the math manipulatives and tools, including how to retrieve and return materials, need to be clearly communicated. Manipulatives are not toys but are powerful learning tools which build conceptual understanding of mathematics.
- Store math manipulatives in an easily-accessible location which are available for students to use as needed.
There are many kinds of manipulatives that are commercially available in addition to manipulatives which can be made from common objects that are purchased inexpensively or found in one’s environment. Experiment and find manipulatives that work well for your students and are best suited for the mathematical concept.
Literature in the Mathematics Classroom:
Literature is an ideal way to help your students see the importance of math in their daily lives. Using age-appropriate, quality literature can allow students to conceptualize their mathematical thinking and enhance their learning of math concepts. When selecting literature to incorporate into your math instruction, consider these three questions:
- Is the book of high quality from a literary perspective?
- Does the book present content that is mathematically sound and grade-level appropriate?
- Is the book effective for helping students learn to think and reason mathematically?
“Combining math and literature in classroom activities is a way for teachers to invite children into the world of math. Reading books that weave mathematical ideas into engaging stories helps dispel the myth that math is dry, unimaginative, and inaccessible. Children’s books can not only generate interest in math but also provide contexts that help bring meaning to abstract concepts. Using children’s literature is a win-win — for children and for teachers.”
– Marilyn Burns
Tips for Using Literature in Math Instruction.1
- Allow time for students to enjoy the book. Savour the text and examine the illustrations.
- Provide the opportunity for class discussion.
- Now, during a re-read of the book, you can shift the students’ attention to make the math connection.
- After the lesson, make the book available for students to revisit on their own.
Picture Books for Math Instruction (Click for suggested examples of possible texts)2
A dozen, a gross, and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five time eleven
Is nine squared and not a bit more. 4
1Bafile, Cara. (Copyright 2001; Updated Feb. 2008) Math and Literature: A Match Made in the Classroom. Education World. https://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr249.shtml
2These are merely presented as examples, not recommendations by the SaskMATH Committee.
3Buehl, D. (2017). Developing readers in the academic disciplines (2nd ed.). Stenhouse Publishers.
4 Is there any similar math limerick? – Mathematics Stack Exchange