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Math Portfolio

Melanie L. Gaskins
The College of New Jersey
Math 596: Concepts and Methods of Teaching Mathematics in the Elementary Grades
Professor Niemis
November 24, 2015


Final Portfolio Rubric

1. Cover page
2. Portfolio rubric
3. Table of contents
4. Math Autobiography
5. Teaching Statement
6. Introductory Letter
7. Resume
8. Sample Math Lesson Plan Taught
a. Lesson Plan with activities
b. Assessment
c. Reflection
9. Sample Math Lesson Plan
a. Lesson Plan with activities
b. Assessment
10. Literature titles and explanations
11. Math Activities and explanations
12. Websites and explanations

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Table of Contents
Math Autobiography

p. 4-5

Teaching Statement

p. 6-8

Letter to the Reader

p. 9-10


p. 11-13

3rd Grade Fraction Lesson Plan

p. 14-17


2nd Grade Skip Counting Lesson Plan

p. 18-20

Skip Counting Lesson Reflection

p. 21-22

Literacy and Math

p. 23-26

Math Activities


Math Websites

p. 33-36

Math Autobiography
Growing up math was both comforting and unnerving as there was always a right answer.
A series of formulas and steps could lead you to the Promised Land or down the rabbit hole. In
elementary school, I regularly entered the Promised Land. Math made sense and the formulas
and reasoning behind addition, subtraction, fractions etc. were easy to follow. I enjoyed solving
the problem and as we learned more and began to get homework I felt more grown up. I
especially loved word problems that involved more than one factor and logic problems. As a
participant of the talented and gifted program, I had an opportunity to work on many tricky


math problems. A wonderful feeling of accomplishment followed the correct answer. I do not
remember needing extensive help to understand the process or execute the problems given.
I entered middle school feeling confident in most subjects. The act of writing began to be
an irritant but my encounters with math continued to be positive. I do not actually have any
concrete memories about math from that time. I dont particularly remember my teachers and I
do not have any intense feelings about middle school math one way or the other. I do know that I
did not require tutoring or extra help in class and was on the advanced track. Overall, school
until this point was fun and appropriately challenging.
The beginning of high school brought about the need to work harder. The need to study
and be a part of late night study groups at the local diner became a necessity. I do not remember
feeling anxious about the need to work harder. I suppose I assumed I could do the work or at
least was expected to do the work and therefore did so. My high school crush sat in the seat
directly in front of me during AP calculus. Needless to say, I eagerly attended that course and
have fond memories of calculus.
As a result of my SAT scores and high school math classes, I was only required to take
one online math course my freshman year of college at Temple University. Consequently,
experiencing math in a learning environment ended in the fall of 2000 and practical math ensued.
During my pregnancy, Sudoku became a fun game I could play with my father. We challenged
each other to be the first to complete the puzzle; I won exactly two times. Although there are
many numbers in this game it is probably more about strategy than actual math techniques and
learning. My feelings surrounding math continue to be positive but not overwhelming so. I still


enjoy problems with multiple components and remember basic math concepts. I hope the work I
have done in mathematics has prepared me to be an effective educator.

Teaching Statement
I began my professional career as a performer and developed a passion for teaching in an
indirect manner. After graduation from Temple University, I danced my way across the United
States and Canada for 12 years in Broadway national tours and regional theaters. I lived my
dream. While on this journey, I was able to teach master classes to children and young adults
across the country, and in the process gained a love of teaching children. More importantly, I


learned that a childs energy is a direct reflection of their teachers energy and commitment to a
successful learning experience. My professional career also taught me first hand that to be truly
successful one must fully commit to an idea by putting both positive and determined energy into
it. This statement reflects my personal philosophy and the way I approach all aspects of my life.
Two years ago I became Tuckers mom and my career aspirations changed. It is time to
pursue a new dream. I am ready and excited to travel the path of a teacher. Tuckers very
existence demands that I work hard and display "grit" as I move through this world and achieve
my goals. I hope to be an amazing example for him to follow his dreams, do work that truly
inspires him and work that allows him to directly impact the lives of others. As I was encouraged
by my parents, I will encourage him and my students. I will remind them that it is possible to
make a living doing what you love. [Im] not trying to mold them into what [I] believe they
should be. [Im] trying to open doors to show them alternatives for what they could be (Jose
Luis Vilson).
I come from a family of high achievers, positive thinkers and information seekers. My
family believes in education, and in encouraging dreams and ideas in youth. My 84-year-old
father, a man of color, became a lawyer at a time when men of his station were not able to do so
easily. My mother, a woman of color, was the first in her family to obtain an advanced degree in
Social Administration. She worked as a school social worker for the Deptford Board of
Education for 15 years before retiring. I was privileged to be surrounded by successful,
hardworking and compassionate people who looked like me. That is not true for all children of
color. Multiculturalism in schools is essential to the way students of color see themselves as
potential professionals. After all children cant be what they cant see (Jose Luis Vilson). It is


also important for students who are not of color to positively interact with different cultures. Our
world is quickly becoming more ethnically diverse. It is critical for children to begin to
appreciate and respect their wonderful differences while also recognizing the sameness in
humanity. In my classroom I will actively work to expand the cultural knowledge of my students
while celebrating their uniqueness.
My professional experience is not ordinary. In fact, it is extraordinary and has perfectly
prepared me for a career in elementary education. Essentially, I played pretend for 12 years! I am
able to relate to young minds. I am able to think outside of the box and use my creativity and
imagination to impart a solid education to students. I have helped students further develop the
ability to follow directions, listening skills, and confidence in social settings. I have promoted
spatial awareness and a desire to reach for ones personal best. Although my work with children
has primarily been in an artistic framework, I know that these are skills all children need - not
just dancers and singers. I have also had the opportunity to teach at the New Freedom Theater in
Philadelphia, PA. Working with students of varying economic backgrounds and social
experiences really tests your strength, patience and creativity. Finding a way to relate to each
student was a challenge I eagerly met. I strongly believe that movement is essential for schoolaged children and I will strive to integrate movement and physical activity daily in the classroom
while reinforcing core skills and concepts. I believe that my unique experience in dance and the
performing arts will set my classroom apart; stimulating all areas of learning
Nelson Mandela stated, Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to
change the world. My ultimate goals are to encourage every student that crosses my path to
reach for greatness and employ the use of their most powerful weapon. I want to prepare them


for their current and future success by providing them with a solid character education they can
rely on as they navigate the rest of their lives. I want to provide opportunities for children to
explore and develop ideas about their world with my support. I will be a teacher who makes
learning interesting and fun so that the desire to learn is eternal. Ultimately, I believe I can be a
teacher that can encourage students to see beyond their environments and reach their fullest
potential. I will teach to that potential.

Letter to the Reader

Dear Reader,
I love math! As I left undergraduate school and journeyed into the real world, math
became less important and opportunities to be challenged by problems involving math became
obsolete. I used math to pay bills or double check my change from a store employee therefore


my love of the challenge and feelings of comfort in finding the answer were long forgotten. Math
596 taught by Professor Niemis at The College of New Jersey has unearthed an excitement about
math and how to solve its problems. Discovering the why, embracing strategies, and finding
fun in the challenges are important concepts I learned while in class and also while teaching
math during my first internship.
As I sat surrounded by other graduate students, formulas and algorithms returned to the
forefront of my thinking. We played with and used many manipulatives and computer programs
to learn how to teach math. Math is being taught much differently than it was when I attended
elementary school. We remembered facts and equations, using various mnemonic devices to aid
our problem solving. Students today are encouraged to know the whys of math. If they
understand why something is so then when encountering a problem with similar features they
will know how to answer or solve the problem. Their ability to solve the problem will not depend
on how well they remember the Pythagorean Theorem. This is exciting because as stated
previously there are many whys that I had not learned before. I am a true student of math all
over again.
Secondly, students are encouraged to develop several strategies to help them find
solutions to problems. This is a positive skill to have in all academic subjects and in all walks of
life. There is more than one way to solve a problem. And those different ways of solving
problems speak to the specific strengths of individuals. Those strengths should be highlighted
and encouraged. Students also learn a great deal from their classmates. Highlighting an addition
strategy done by one student may influence another student to try and succeed, using that



I have an affinity towards math, as a result the challenges in math are fun to me. I enjoy
finding ways to solve the problem or plotting a box and whisker plot. Many students including
my classmates feel apprehensive when encountering math concepts. I believe it is important to
create a classroom environment that encourages students to persevere or display grit as they
approach challenges in math and beyond. And that this should be fun. We are in school because
there is much we need to learn. It is ok that on this day we do not know it all but we will have
fun as we find our way. And if our first attempts fall short, we will try again with perhaps a new
strategy or using a different manipulative.
As I move forward, I feel better prepared to tackle math class with future students. I feel
encouraged to support math strategies and to find the fun in the challenge. Most importantly I am
ready to use what I know, what I am learning and what I will discover to inform and prepare
young minds for a successful future in math and beyond.

2704 Cove Rd. Pennsauken, NJ 08109 | M: 609.332.3859

To provide a classroom that promotes positivity, while encouraging and challenging young minds
to reach for greatness and strive for success. To enable students to use the mind and body to
learn and grow, pushing individual boundaries to reach maximum potential.



Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education, Expected Graduation Date August 2016
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, August 2004


Graduated magna cum laude from Temple University

Promoted to dance captain for the Broadway National tour of The Color Purple,
which involves leading a team, training other employees and communicating within different
Taught Master Dance Classes for The Broadway National Tours of The Color
Purple and Rock of Ages demonstrating the ability to think creatively and customize a class
to meet specific needs

Internship 1, Carroll Robbins Elementary School, Trenton, NJ | Fall 2015
Student Teacher
Taught a 2nd grade class math, phonics, reading, writing, science, and social studies
Used whole brain techniques and class dojo to manage classroom
Led guided reading groups and encouraged comprehension by developing prediction skills,
questioning skills, the ability to use context clues, the ability to locate and identify text
features, and by using the pictures and context clues to inform the reader
Developed a science unit on matter that encouraged the concepts of the Nature of Science
and the Next Generation science standards
Used various mediums such as the apple TV, power point slides, picture sorts and games to
encourage the understanding of phonics lessons
Created many opportunities for students to have hands on experiences such as: boat building,
science labs, making butter, and math manipulatives
Aligned lesson plans to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

The Little Gym, Marlton, NJ | Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Gym Instructor
Created a positive and encouraging environment in which children age 4months-12years
explore their own potential using physical movement and gymnastics
Used physical movement to increase physical strength, fine and gross motor skill
development, coordination, balance and flexibility
Developed imagination using music, song and various props
Promoted listening skills, working with others and problem solving



Broadway Connections, New York, NY | 2012-2013

Master Class Dance Teacher
Adapted professional choreography from Broadway National Tours making it accessible to
students of all ages
Provided a creative environment in which students were encouraged to express themselves
through movement
Provided dancers with an understanding of dance techniques and skills in modern, jazz and
hip hop
Promote spatial awareness by encouraging students to move in groups and as a group
Created an environment for students to develop listening skills and the ability to follow
New Freedom Theatre, Philadelphia, PA | 2005-2006 and 2010
Dance Teacher
Jazz/Hip Hop/Movement class to students ages 5.5-11
Responsible for creating and setting movement on students
Responsible for rehearsing students
Audition workshops to students ages 6-17
Provides dancers and non-dancers with a basic understanding of dance technique and
promotes body awareness

Phoenix Entertainment, Frederick, MD | 2011-2014
Dance Supervisor/Dance Captain
Responsible for maintaining the integrity of the choreography and blocking
Taught the choreography and related blocking for new productions of the show and to
replacement cast members
Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up to date copy of the script that includes
blocking and choreography
Responsible for rehearsing cast
Responsible for altering choreography if necessary due to changes in theaters or changes in
Theatrical Concepts, Inc., New York, New York | 2007-Present
Artistic Assistant to the Director
Liaison between director, choreographer, performers, lighting design team, sound technicians
and other crew members
Responsible for maintaining the integrity of the choreography and blocking
Taught the choreography and related blocking for new productions of the show and to
replacement cast members
Responsible for maintaining an accurate and up to date copy of the script that includes
blocking and choreography
Responsible for rehearsing and managing students/cast


References available upon request

Melanie Gaskins
Professor Niemes
MATH 596
November 1, 2015
Title: How Many Wishes Make a Whole?
Grade: 3




Topic: Solve word problems involving parts of a whole.

Essential Question: How do we solve word problems using parts of a whole and fractions?
Learning Objectives and Assessments:
Learning Objectives


SWBAT describe parts of a whole as halves, thirds,

fourths and eighths.

Teacher will listen to students

responses during group discussion
and pair share.

SWBAT represent the equal parts of a whole as a unit

fraction and solve word problems using their
knowledge of parts and wholes and fractions.

Teacher will visually check dry

erase board for all pupil response
and final question.

The Wishing Club by Donna Jo Napoli
Wishing Club Bags (1 per pair of students; materials will be separated using zip lock
o 1 dollar, 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 10 nickels and 10 pennies
o counting chips
o circular pie pieces
1 whole
2 halves
3 thirds
rectangular pieces
1 whole
2 halves
4 fourths
6 eights
dry erase board, dry erase marker, eraser (1 each per student)
Pre-lesson assignments and/or prior knowledge: The students will have previously practiced
determining the quantity of coins and dollars. Additionally, they have partitioned circles and



rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, as stated by the NJCC. The students are also
familiar with the following vocabulary: halves, thirds and fourths.
Lesson Beginning: The teacher will instruct the students to put all materials in their desk. After
the students are seated and ready the teacher will explain to the students that she is going to read
them a new book called The Wishing Club. She will ask students if they have ever been a part of
a club. She will explain the purpose of the wishing club and invite students to be a part of the
club. As members of the club the students receive certain perks such as wishing club bags. The
teacher will first show the class the wishing club bags and the contents of the bags. Next, she will
explain the procedure for the reading.
The teacher will hand out the materials.
The students are only to use the materials in the bag when asked to do so.
The students are to share the contents of the bag with the person seated next to them at
their desk clusters.
(5 minutes)
Instructional Plan:
Timetable & Transitions
The teacher will introduce the book and read the story aloud to the class from the front of
the classroom. She will remain standing and cross in front of the room as she reads.
The teacher will stop reading the book as the students learn what each child in the book
received as a result of their wish. The class will use what they know about fractions and
their manipulatives to determine how many parts of the whole or fraction each wisher
o Petey- 4 years old; receives of his wishes.
wishes for 1 dollar but receives 1 quarter
The teacher will ask the students what they could use from their
wishing bag to help them determine how many quarters are in 1
Students may use the money provided or drawings on their
dry erase boards to determine the answer. They will write
the answer on the dry erase boards and hold their boards up
when asked.
The teacher will put an enlarged illustration of how this is
modeled in the book on the document camera to enforce
this concept.
The teacher will ask the students if Petey has 1 quarter and
4 quarters make one whole dollar, then how many parts of a
dollar does he have.
Students will use manipulatives and their dry erase boards
to determine the answer. Students will write the answer on
their boards and hold their boards up when asked.
Joey- 2 years old; receives of his wishes



wishes for 1 cookie but receives of a cookie

The teacher will ask the students what they could use from
their wishing bag to use as a cookie.
Students will identify circular pie pieces.
Teacher will ask students to find of a whole cookie
Teacher will ask students how many halves make one
whole cookie
audible all pupil response
The teacher will put an enlarged illustration of how this is
modeled in the book on the document camera to enforce
this concept.
Sally - 8 years old; receives of her wishes
wishes for 1 bag of 80 marbles receives 10 marbles
The teacher will ask the students what they could use from
their wishing bag to represent the marbles.
students will identify the chips
The teacher will ask the group if Sally has 10 marbles but
there should be 80 marbles in the bag what part or fraction
of marbles does Sally have?
Students will work with partners to determine strategies to
determine the answer.
The teacher will illustrate the students strategies on the
board or the document camera. The group will discuss the
strategies and the answers they developed.
Age/Fraction relationship is revealed
Teacher will write this information on the board using a chart
Make a whole pig
If all the children in the book wished for a whole pig would they
get it? Lets find out. The students will use their dry erase boards
while the teacher uses the blackboard.
The teacher will ask students to find a rectangular whole
piece in their wishing club bags.
The teacher will ask the students to trace the whole
rectangular piece on their dry erase boards.
The class will add pig details as modeled by the teacher on
the rectangle
Ask students what part or fraction of a whole each child in
the story receives when they make a wish. Students and the
teacher can refer to the chart for clarity.
As each child is named find the corresponding rectangular
piece and place it on top of the outline of the rectangular
whole. All of the pieces when added together make a whole



Teacher will ask the class to notice what fractions other

than make up of the whole.

Students will be able to pair share or group share In order to get ideas and share ideas if
Students will have access to manipulatives and are able to use drawings to aid in their
problem solving.
Students will be able to see enlarged models of how the whole breaks into parts for every
Classroom Management:
The teacher will use whole brain teaching techniques.
She will circulate the room during pair/small group discussions.
She check for a thumb's to determine if students are ready to reveal their answers.
The teacher will preview the wishing club bags and how to use them before handing
out the materials.
The teacher will ask the students two questions related to the material but not directly
from the material to formatively assess the students comprehension of the content.
o If we added my 4 year-old little cousin, Sherman, to the wishing club what part of
the whole would he receive?
audible pupil response
If Sherman also wished for marbles and 80 marbles are supposed to come
in the bag how many marbles would he get? Write the answer on your dry
erase board. Give me a thumbs up when you have an answer?
The teacher will check individual students work.

Melanie Gaskins
Professor Niemes
MATH 596
2nd Grade Skip Counting Lesson
December 4. 2015



Title: Skip Count to Find the Total

Topic: Use skip counting to find the total number in equal groups
Essential Question: How can we use skip counting to solve math problems?
2.OA.B.2 Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.
2.NBT.A.2 Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.
CC.MP.1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
CC.MP.4 Model with mathematics
Learning Objectives and Assessments:
Learning Objectives
SWBAT model skip counting to find the
total in equal groups by completing at least
5 problems correctly.

Visual check of students counting chips,
classwork, and homework assignment.
Teacher will listen to students responses during
group discussion, group share and during the
closure of the lesson.

Everyday Math- student book and teachers edition
Easel whiteboard and dry erase markers
Counting chips
number lines
100s chart-classroom version and one for each student
number cards 1-100
Math journal
clip boards
document camera and or apple TV
Pre-lesson assignments and/or prior knowledge: The students will have previously had
lessons on solving word problems. Additionally, as part of the math meeting students have
practiced counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s using the 100 chart and identified patterns when skip
counting using the 100 chart.
Lesson Beginning: The teacher will instruct the students to take out their math books. They will
rip out pages 113-118. Students will immediately place the last page which is homework in their
homework folders. Next, the teacher will instruct the students to meet on the magic carpet
(reading rug). After the students are seated the teacher will proceed with the math meeting.
How many days the students have been in school -place value



skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, 100s using 100 chart

identify money and the different values -penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar

Instructional Plan:
Timetable & Transitions
The teacher will introduce skip counting as a strategy to solve addition problems. The teacher
will illustrate the problem on the board.
I have 3 lily pads and 2 frogs on each lily pad. How many frogs do I have?
o students will offer suggestions
use counters
o If I were to draw it what should I draw?
o How can I use skip counting to solve the problem?
o Because we have groups with an equal number in each group we can skip count to
find the answer instead of adding each frog one at time. Lets try another one.
(Use name of student in class) has 3 vases with 5 flowers in each? How many flowers
does she have?
o Turn and talk to your partner. Tell them how you would solve the problem.
o Now who would like to share with the group?
How would you solve the problem?
Why would you do it that way? Can you show us?(provide counters or
blocks if necessary)
How can you prove that your answer is correct?
Great Work! Ok lets break into smaller groups.
Group B please log onto Reflex Math. Group A please get clipboards and bring page 113,
page 115, and one pencil to the carpet.
Small Group Work with counters
The teacher will model the odd numbered problems on page 114 using counters.
o How many groups should I make?
o How many should be in each group?
o What should we skip count by to find the answer?
The students will use the counters to answer the even problems on page 115
o Who can tell me the answer?
o How do you know that?
o How many groups did you make? What did you skip count by?
The groups will switch.
Everyone please log off of Reflex Math and put your materials away. You have one
minute on the timer to do that and return to your desks.



I want us to practice skip counting a bit more. We are going to play Spin and Skip
Count. Please take out your math journals and one pencil (teacher will model journal
entry on the document camera).
o This is a game we will play often. Normally, I am going to give each of you a
different number card. But for today lets do one together to practice.
o You will write the number that I give you at the top of the next clean page in your
math journal. Please put a circle around that number.
o Below that number on the first line please write.
My number is________.
fill in your number
o Below that please write
I will skip count by_______.
o We will spin the spinner on the spinner app to see what number we will skip count
Show the spinner on the document camera.
fill in that number
o Below that write your number again followed by a comma. Next we will begin to
skip count. After every number we will add a comma. You will skip count for 1
minutes. Ill set the timer. Lets do it!
Great Work! Tomorrow you will try this on your own.

Students will be able to group share/pair share in order to check their results.
Students will have access to manipulatives, number lines and individual 100s charts.
Early finishers can do the remaining odd problems.
Classroom Management:
The teacher will use whole brain teaching techniques.
She will circulate the room while students are drawing shapes and sharing results.
She check for a thumbs up to verify that students are ready to move on to the next shape.
Closure: I want you to use what we practiced today to help you solve your homework problems.
Lets try one more as class to make sure we understand. If there are 5 glue sticks at every group
of desks how can we figure out how many glue sticks there are total?
What for students to think then ask for suggestions.
o Praise accurate suggestions and suggest counting the number of groups of desks if
o Next, draw the picture on the board.
o What should we skip count by?
Use think, get ready, release ( all pupil response)
o Skip count as a class to find the answer



Skip Count Lesson Reflection

This lesson was inspired by the Trenton Public School Curriculum and the Everyday Math
textbook. I was afforded an opportunity to teach this lesson to a second grade class at Carroll
Robins Elementary School. The students regularly practice skip counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s
during the Math Meeting. However they have never applied this skill to any other aspect of
Math. The students have practice solving addition and subtraction problems and also word
problems with multiple steps. The students practice math strategies regularly but the majority
still use their fingers and the number line regularly. They do not yet count on, use their doubles
facts or find a familiar anchor number such as 5 with any regularity. Therefore I was excited to
teach this strategy to the students as a way to help them more effectively add numbers together
and solve word problems.
When asked how to illustrate the math problems and to show the equal groups (we
circled the groups to distinguish one from another) the students were very successful. They could
quickly see how to separate the groups and how to illustrate the problem to aid in solving it.
They had difficulty when asked how skip counting could be used to help solve the problem at
hand. This was a relatively new concept to the students and appeared reasonable that they had
difficulty relating skip counting with solving math equations and word problems. After providing
basic prompts half of the class was able to grasp the concept being taught. After solving the
group example problem as a class the large majority appeared to understand the concept.
Problems arose when the class broke into small group instruction. I demonstrated how to
use counters to model equal groups and to illustrate a problem. The students add a difficult time
separating the counters into clearly visible equal groups and therefore had difficulty deciding



what to skip count by. A white work mat to contrast the colors would have been useful. Also a
worksheet similar to a 10-frame would have helped the students clearly organize the necessary
equal groups. Additionally the students had a difficult time staying on task while using the
manipulatives. I made an adjustment during the second small group session deciding to use the
individual white boards as opposed to the manipulatives. This worked well as the students were
able to focus and enjoyed drawing to illustrate the problem at hand.
I used the conclusion of the lesson and the students homework to assess whether the
students had an acceptable grasp of the material presented during the lesson. The majority of the
class appeared to understand how to use skip counting as a way to solve problems by the
conclusion of the lesson as demonstrated by their all pupil response However, only half of the
class used the new strategies learned to complete the homework. The other half used the
strategies they are most comfortable with and familiar using. It is important that the students
understand how to use various math strategies to aid them as their educational journey continues.
To encourage this, I would provide a new problem each day during the Math Minute and allow
the students the option to use one of two strategies listed on the board. The strategies listed
would change as we learned more ways to solve math equations and word problems. As a review,
older strategies would also be presented as one of the available strategies.

Literature Titles: Specific Math Concept Connections



Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton: In this book one lonely hippopotamus throws a party
and more hippos than anticipated arrive for the good time. The hippos party through the night
and leave in groups the following day. This story could be used to practice counting and relating
quantities to their number equivalent. This story could also be used to practice and develop
addition and subtraction strategies.

The Fuzzy Duckling by Jane Werner Watson: An adorable duckling goes for a walk one
morning and encounters different animals increasing in number, for example, 2 colts, 3 calves
and 4 turkeys. This story can be used to practice counting and also addition and subtraction. It
would be beneficial for younger students to count the animals on the page, predict how many
animals might be on the next page, or practice subitizing. Older students could discuss how
many total animals are on a page or how many lambs would remain if the black one ran away?
Also, if the duckling sees two colts, how many more colts would make five colts? This story is
great way for students to unknowingly create strategies.

Elevator Magic by Stuart J. Murphy: This is a story about an imaginative little boy riding an
elevator who uses math to figure out how to arrive on different floors. Each floor is filled with
exciting things for example, farm animals and a rock band. This book focuses on subtraction but
a teacher could also practice addition strategies. A teacher could ask students questions such as:
How many floors is 3 down from 10? What would be on that floor? A teacher could also create
worksheets and ask the students to fill them in using information the book. Providing students
with a number line would be very beneficial when using this book and practicing subtraction.



One Inch Tall by Shel Silverstein: This poem asks the reader to consider what would happen if
you were one inch tall. How big would you be? What would your life be like? This is a great
way to experiment with measurement and to practice estimation skills. If you were one inch tall
what, in the classroom, would be the same height as you? What might be double your size?
Students could also be introduced to ratio. If you are one third as tall as me, what is something
that would be my height if you were only 1 inch tall?

Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy: Lisa, the main character of the story, has an important
homework assignment: to measure something in several different ways. She begins to measure
different aspects of her dog, Penny at home and at the park. Lisa uses estimation, as well as
several different units of measurement standard, non-standard, area, volume, and time. This
book is a great way to help students begin to think about the large concept of measurement.
There are a variety of activities students can do as relates to this story: students can be given the
same assignment as Lisa or given a non-standard unit of measure, such as their hand, and ask
them to find several things with that measurement.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss: Young readers will love this book as it depicts various and
sometimes outrageous kinds of feet using rhyme, color and texture. A teacher could introduce the
concept of measurement; direct student attention to different foot sizes, and shapes, and lead
them towards comparing the sizes against each other. A teacher could also practice grouping
feet together and using skip counting to find the total.



Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan: This is a fractions concept book that displays two
children eating through different fractions such as halves, thirds and fourths. This book would be
a great way to introduce fraction concepts as it is easy to follow and all students are able to make
connections to food. A teacher could discuss parts of a whole and sharing tasks.

The Wishing Club: A Story about Fractions by Donna Jo Napoli: This book is about a
charming group of kids who make very kid like wishes on a shooting star and those wishes are
granted. The kids are only given a fraction of their wish and this fraction is based on their
different ages. This story can be used to inforce concepts about fractions using ordinary relatable
objects such as a quarter, a cookie and marbles. Students would have a wonderful time following
along with the story, creating fractions using manipulatives, and answering related questions.

Full House: An invitation to fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds: Full house: An Invitation to
Fractions is a delightful story in which Ms. Bloom, an innkeeper, keeps track of her guests and
desserts using fractions. When one guest arrives 1/6 of the inn is full. A student could be given a
cutout of an inn or a measurement stick and told to color it in using different colors as the inn
becomes filled. Additionally, the students could decide how to split up the cake in the story
within their own group or class or decide how many cakes they would need based on the
information received from reading the story.

Shapes by Shel Silverstein: This is a short whimsical, nonsensical poem, where a triangle falls
onto a square, and a circle brings him to the hospital. This poem could be used to introduce
geometric terms. Early elementary students could draw the shapes as they hear them and discuss



the similarities and differences between them. Students could also create their own poems using
shapes as a fun way to build familiarity with the terms.

Math Activities: To Teach Various Math Concepts



Scavenger Hunt: This is an introductory activity wherein students are asked to locate specific
material from the text book. Students work in groups and are given a time limit. This activity is
great as it allows students to work together without having to know one another intimately.
Conversation not related to the topic is limited allowing students who are less outgoing to
actively participate in a group. In this way, students were able to become acquainted with each
other in a non-threatening manner. Also this was a wonderful way to introduce students to the
format of a particular text book. Students are able to locate various text features to practice
finding key useful information within the text. Lower elementary students unfamiliar with text
features would benefit from this activity as a way to practice being good readers by using good
reader strategies such as identifying text features. This is also a way to present information much
different than a lecture. Allowing students to locate and write down information found makes
them active participants in their learning experience.

Jigsaw Activity: The jigsaw activity is a class favorite as it allows the student to become the
teacher. Students will be put into groups and given a topic that they must master using notes,
worksheets or text. For example, the different properties of addition: commutative, associative
and zero property. Together, the group must review their topic and be prepared to teach another
group about their specific topic. They must be able to answer questions and provide examples.
After a previously established amount of time has passed the teacher organizes the groups into
new groups with one person from each original group. Students take turns teaching other
students what they learned about the topic. This activity is beneficial because as students are
asked to explain a topic their knowledge of that topic increases and deepens. Additionally, as
their peers ask questions all of the students are deepening their understanding of the topic.



Subitizing Activities: Subitizing is the ability to look at an amount of objects and to just see
how many there are in total without really counting. This is a critical skill to master when
developing a students number sense. Instant recognition of amounts must be practiced as
students begin to associate specific quantities with objects as opposed to larger, smaller, greater
or less than. A way to introduce students to subitizing is to show them pictures and ask them to
tell you how they see or organize the groups. You can also flash pictures of dots in small
numbers to students and ask the following: How many dots did you see? What did the pattern
look like? Another way to practice subitizing is to introduce the 5 or 10 frame allowing students
an opportunity to begin to see quantity in relationship to an anchor number such as 5 or 10.
Students can also work in pairs with one student creating a pattern in the frame while the other
student covers his own eyes. The student looks at the frame quickly and then again covers his
eyes while his partner removes the pattern from the frame. The student then opens his eyes and
recreates the pattern on the frame.

Part-Part Whole Activities: There are several ways students can be introduced to part-part
whole concepts that are both engaging and interactive. Students, for example, can be given
connecting blocks of two different colors, squares of paper that are different colors or counters.
Students usually focus on one number and explore all of the different combinations of numbers
that are the same as that one number. Students can either build or deconstruct a whole to practice
part-part whole relationships. These activities connect subtraction and addition concepts. They
allow students access to these concepts using information they already know or can see
physically. Students should write down or say aloud these combinations in order to reflect upon



the part-part whole relationships. They should also be asked to create number sentences to go
with their combinations. This activity can be done as a group, in small groups or individually.

Mystery Addends: This is a missing-part activity which is a variation of the part-part whole
activities. Students are encouraged to use what they know about numbers and parts of a whole to
find the missing addend. Two students put one number card each on their foreheads without first
seeing what their numbers are. The class tells the students the sum of their two numbers and the
students use that information as well as the number displayed on their classmates forehead to
guess what their own number is. This game can also be played with groups of three and with
large numbers for older or more advanced students. This activity can pave the way for addition
and subtraction algorithms and student invented strategies by asking students to informally add
and subtract numbers to find the addend. Students also use what they know about more than or
less than when making appropriate guesses and estimations.

Speed Dating: The purpose of this activity is for students to share independent research with the
rest of the class in a fast paced setting much like speed dating. Students will be divided into two
groups. One group will remain seated while the other group rotates around the room. Pairs will
sit together and share information for a predetermined time. When the time is up the moving
group will rotate to the next seat to begin the process again. Students must share the allotted time
fairly providing all students an equal opportunity to present their research or information. Speed
dating has many benefits. It provides an opportunity for students to get new ideas from their
classmates, to practice public speaking in an informal setting with a small audience, and to also
practice time management. As students continue to practice presenting their information they



become more conscious of the time restriction and as a result are more concise and clear when
relaying information. These things are beneficial to all aspects of education and are not limited to
math content.

Trashketball: This game is used as a fun and competitive way for students to review material in
preparation for a test or at the end of a unit. It can also be used to reinforce information learned
in class and as a formative assessment. To play the game students are divided into groups or
teams. Each team member is given a letter T, R, A, S, H. The teacher asks a question or
displays a question on the board. Each team is given an opportunity to answer the question
correctly. The teams that answer correctly are able to try to gain points. The teacher will call out
one letter. The winning team members with that letter try to get points for their team by throwing
a crumpled piece of paper into a trashcan. After every round the teacher will call a different letter
affording every student a possible opportunity to make a basket and gain points for their team. To
make the game more exciting the teacher could make a 1 point and a 3 point line on the floor
using tape. Students could choose to shoot from the 1 point line or the 3 point line based on their
comfort with the activity.

Hundreds Chart Activities: A hundreds chart is a valuable tool for a student to use when
developing connections between numbers, place-value concepts, and skip counting skills. It is
especially important for students between kindergarten and second grade. Students can be given
a hundreds chart with missing numbers and asked to fill in the numbers. They can be asked to
notice relationships between numbers and their placement on the hundreds chart. Students can
also be asked to notice patterns on the hundreds chart. Additionally students can be asked to



place one number on the chart and to also place all of its neighbors on the chart. As students get
older they can use the chart to determine how much is from one number to the next, reinforcing
subtraction and addition skills. Group discussion about this chart can be used to gain insight into
students ideas about numbers and their relationships.

Polygon Flipbook: The polygon flipbook is an excellent study guide and organizer for students
trying to distinguish between the properties of different shapes. There are many ways to use this
assignment but I believe it would be most beneficial to create this flipbook towards the
beginning of a geometry unit. This flip book could then be a resource for students to refer to,
avoiding any misconceptions. Students could also add more clarifying detail as it became
available during lessons. The flip book itself is made up of many pieces of colored construction
paper. The students should layer the paper one on top of one another leaving one half inch of
space between each color. Once this is complete, students can fold their papers in half and staple
along the fold or use a rubber band to hold the book together. If successfully done the flipbook
will have been created with the smallest flap on top, with each flap increasing in size as the folds
reach the bottom of the book. The teacher then leads the students in adding information to the
book regarding the properties of different shapes.

Area Cut Outs: Students are currently taught strategies and the whys of theorems and
formulas. As a result, it is important that they understand how those formulas were developed.
The idea being that if students understand why something is so than they will not have to
remember formulas. To understand is also a higher order thinking skill as opposed to
remembering. Students should have an opportunity to explore area formulas such as:



Area of a square = bh
Area of a triangle = bh
Area of a trapezoid = 1/2h(b1+b2)
Pythagorean Theorem
The above formulas can all be modeled using graph paper. For example to model the
Pythagorean Theorem students will first be asked to draw a right triangle using graph paper. The
students should label the legs a and b and the hypotenuse should be labeled c. Next, students
will create squares attached to legs a and b of the triangle using the dimensions of those legs. The
students will find the area of those two squares. Following that, students will then be asked to cut
out the squares they created and to cut them into the smaller squares of the graph paper. Next,
students will draw a square attached to the hypotenuse and fit the small graph paper squares
inside of it. Students will notice that all of the small squares from the larger squares fit into the
hypotenuse square. Therefore, the area of square a plus square b is the same as the area of square
c which when simplified is the Pythagorean Theorem. Activities such as this allow the students a
chance to learn through understanding and do not rely solely on memorization. Additionally,
students have an opportunity to work with their hands providing another entry point for this
information and a way to keep students engaged.

Websites for Math Practice



Calculation Nation: www.calculationnation.nctm.org. This website uses the power of the Web
to let students challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are
able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing
fundamental skills. The element of competition adds an extra layer of excitement.

Times Square Directions: Students use their knowledge of multiplication facts to get
four numbers in a row on the game board before their opponent. They must strategically
decide which numbers they need to make 4 in a row. The students must identify and tag
the factors of those numbers.

Illuminations: http://illuminations.nctm.org/Activity.aspx?id=3531. This site was developed by

NCTM to provide educational resources such as lesson plans and activities that highlight the
Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

Pan-Balance: Shapes: This activity encourages ideas about scale and how to balance the
scale by adding different shapes to each side based on what the student learns about the
properties of that shape. For example, a circle and a diamond weigh the same as a

triangle. This activity can begin or strengthen a discussion on less than and more than.
Fraction Models: This activity explores different representations of fractions including
improper fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, and percentages. Additionally, there are
length, area, region, and set models. Students can adjust numerators and denominators to
see how they alter the representations and models. There is also a table to keep track of
the material explored. Students can physically see what makes a fraction improper. They
can adjust the model to represent and identify equal fractions or find decimals and
percentile equivalents to fractions.

Melvins Make a Match: http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/math-games/melvis-make-match/



This site asks students to help Melvin organize and put away his potions by identifying
equal fractions. The activity uses various fraction models enabling students to become
more proficient with the concept of equivalency. The fractions become more complex as
students successfully completes each level.

Symmetry: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Flash.aspx?f=Symmetry

This is a basic game for students beginning to learn about the idea of symmetry in
Geometry. Students can choose to find the symmetry in shapes, pictures or patterns.
Additionally, students are able to sort shapes, pictures or patterns based on whether they
have a line of symmetry. Young students will enjoy this activity as it is very bright and

Rotational Symmetry: https://campus.mangahigh.com/en-us/px/437/0/0

This website is a more advanced site for students to practice using what they know about
symmetry. Students are asks increasingly difficult questions regarding rotational
symmetry using degrees of rotation of shapes, letters etc. to challenge students
understanding of this concept. This game is set to a timer and students can go up or down
in level based on how well they perform during the game. This game is exciting and fun.

Annenberg Learner: www.learner.org

This site has variety of uses and resources such as lesson plans and
interactives. It is also not geared solely towards mathematics and
tackles a wide range of grade levels. The interactives include but are
not limited to: area models to multiply and reduce fractions, building a
number line to explore how numbers and operations are related to
each other, and using the scale to practice equivalency concepts. This



site would be a valuable tool throughout the school year as the

students tackled new math concepts. It would provide a different visual
aid to solidify information being taught.
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives:

This site has its origins at Utah State University. It is organized by content area and grade
level. One of the best things about this particular site is its use of virtual manipulatives.
The site allows students to work with base ten blocks, counting chips, pie pieces, the
hundreds chart etc. This allows students to have a different experience with the
manipulatives and an opportunity to practice computer skills. Additionally, students with
mobility or fine motor skill disabilities would have an opportunity to more comfortably
use manipulatives on their own.

Zondle: www.zondle.com.

Zondle is a website that gives teachers an opportunity to create their own questions for
whole group teaching, homework, and assessments. Teachers are also able to access
questions other teachers have created. This website can be used across any content area or
grade level and is a wonderful tool to use for a whole class review.

Kahoot: www.getkahoot.com.

Kahoot is another website that allows teachers to create questions to be used as a fun
game, review, or assessment. The questions are multiple choice and teachers are able to
add videos, diagrams, and images to enhance the students engagement. The game is
viewed on a shared screen but students can respond to these questions using their own
devices such as a tablet, computer or phone. I would use this website to enhance review


sessions and as a formative assessment.