Using a Journal Article as a Professional Development Experience
FoY 2009-2010 Connections
Title: Learning Our Way to One Million
Author: David J. Whitin
Journal: Teaching Children Mathematics
Issue: April 2008, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp. 448-453
Rationale/Purpose for Use
This article describes how to use children’s literature to help students make connections between mathematical concepts and real-world contexts. This investigation models how to provide opportunities for students to solve problems that emerge from a literature selection. It also demonstrates how to use a rich mathematical experience to make connections to other mathematical ideas.
A copy of How Much is a Million by David Schwartz
A copy of the article for each participant
Chart paper and markers
- Read aloud the book: How Much is a Million?
- Determine the mathematical concept that is addressed in the book. Generate a group list of the examples of how the author connected this concept to the real world.
- Using private think time, establish which example resonated best with you and why. Pair and share.
- When you think of the magnitude of a million, what real world context do you connect it to? (Think about a personal experience) Are there other connections that come to mind? Share.
- Read the article. How did reading the book, How Much Is a Million?, make the concept of a million accessible to children? How did the students’ investigation afford them the opportunity to build on their conceptual understanding of a million and further develop their mathematical skills? What role did the teacher play in supporting the children in their investigation?
- Conclusion. Have participants find another children’s literature selection they might use in their mathematics classroom.
- Create a list of core mathematical ideas related to the literature selection.
- Develop a plan to use the book in their mathematics classroom making sure to allow students opportunities to pose and to solve their own problems.
- Ask teachers to use the lesson based on their children’s literature selection.
- Bring the group back or provide an alternative means of sharing.
- Ask participants to share their experiences including samples of student work and lesson plans.
Connections to Other NCTM Publications
- Basile, C. G. (1999, September). Collecting data outdoors: Making connections to the real world. Teaching Children Mathematics, 6, 8-12.
- Clement, L. (2004, September). A model for understanding, using, and connecting representations. Teaching Children Mathematics, 11, 97-102.
- Fernández, E. (2008, October). Early childhood corner: Taking advantage of everyday activities to practice math every day. Teaching Children Mathematics, 15, 174-177.
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000). Principles and Standards of School Mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.
- Reynolds, A., Cassel, D., & Lillard, E. (2006, March). A mathematical exploration or grandpa’s quilt. Teaching Children Mathematics, 12, 340-345.
- Roth McDuffie, A. M., & Young, T. A. (2003, March). Promoting mathematical discourse through children’s literature. Teaching Children Mathematics, 9, 385-389.
- Tzur, R. & Clark, M. R. (2006, April). Riding the mathematical merry-go-round to foster conceptual understanding of angle. Teaching Children Mathematics, 12, 388-393.
- Whitin, D. J. (1995). Connecting literature and mathematics. In P. A. House & A. F. Coxford (Eds.), Connecting mathematics across the curriculum, 1995 Yearbook of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (pp. 134-141). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
- Whitin, P., & Whitin, D. J. (2006, November). Making connections through math-related book pairs. Teaching Children Mathematics, 13, 196-202.