Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Power of Picture Books in Teaching Math (angles!)
Lately, I've been so consumed with curriculum and content that I forgot some of my own advice...
USE PICTURE BOOKS WHEN TEACHING MATH!
The last couple sessions, I've made a concerted effort to include them. I've been reminded of how students new to the books...and the concepts...delight in learning math through stories.
In a specific example, I recently noticed that several students didn't know the meanings of "acute" and "obtuse" angles. I could have had them fill out a worksheet. [Yawn.] Then I remembered Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland. In the book, Radius goes on a quest to earn his knighthood. He passes a village with "cute" rooftops, and continues through the "mountains of obtuse." In the end, he gives names to acute/obtuse angles, based on places in his journey.
My fifth graders were captivated.
After the read aloud, students easily wrote their own definitions of acute, obtuse, right, and straight angles on a Math Vocabulary Sheet. As a reader suggested, I'm now copying these with 2 pages on each side, so as to get all four definitions on a single sheet of paper. For a little 3D action I gave them toothpicks to glue on their "example" of the angles.
None of us are likely to forget acute and obtuse after this knightly adventure!
For more book suggestions, visit the Gigantic List of Math-Related Children's Books.
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