Thomassie, T. (1998). Felicicana meets d’Loup Garou. City: Little, Brown & Co. Grade ___ Summary
The story is of a little Cajun girl who has been sooooo bad that her mother makes her stay home from the fais do-do (a big party.) Her brother who has to stay home and take care of her starts telling her stories of the swamp werewolf, Loup Garou who eats bad little children from the tip of their heads down to their toenails.
How we mathematized the story
___ read the story for her read-aloud process, and the children enjoyed it. We struggled to find ways to mathematize it, and found a few possibilities spaced throughout the book. We deliberately made a few of the problems easy enough for children with weak mathematical skills to get involved. The children quickly figured out what we were doing. They found variations on the things we’d spotted, and found a number of possibilities we hadn’t seen. Even the quietist kid joined in.
What we found:
If Feliciana gets up at 7:30 in the morning, and goes to bed at 8:00 in the evening, how many hours was she awake?
If ti-Jacques catches 12 crabs and ti-Jean catches 2, how many more did ti-Jacques catch?
If Feliciana had 2 pigtails, and she cut of ½ of one, how many pigtails would she have left?
Count how many brothers Feliciana has. Count her sisters. How many siblings does she have?
What the children found:
Albert says Loup Garou is 7 feet tall. Octave says he’s 7 ½ feet tall. How many inches taller does Octave think he is?
How many concentric circles are in the spider web?
How could we figure out how far she went from the cabin? (One student suggested that we figure out how many steps she took, and was excited by the idea of measuring a classmate’s stride and multiplying that by a number of steps. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, and didn’t get around to doing that.)
I think the most charming part of the experience was having a student tell ____ that he’d never realized that the book had so much mathematics in it. He said this during a math interview, and ____ agreed, and said that she had just learned that this was something a person could do with any book.
Butler, J. (1996). While You Were Sleeping. New York: Scholastic. Grade: Kindergarten Description of book
While You Were Sleeping naturally lent itself to mathematizing in my kindergarten class. The book is about the many animals in the world who are active while we’re sleeping. It starts with one tiger hunting in the jungle, and progresses to ten penguins jumping out of the icy sea.
Mathematizing the book
On each page, I asked the children to count the animals on the page, then point to the number word (“one,” “two,” etc.). For each page, I called on one child to count the animals and find the number word. Several times we had to recount if the number the child counted was different than the number word on the page. Each time we had a discrepancy, the child found his or her mistake (double-counting or missing an animal) during the recount. They enjoyed matching up the pictures with the words on the page.
After we read several pages with increasing numbers of animals, I asked them to predict the number of animals on the next page. The first prediction didn’t take the pattern into account (they thought the next page should have the same number of animals), but subsequent predictions were correct. If I were to do this again, I’d provide more scaffolding for the first prediction, so that they can recognize the pattern more easily. (“First there was one animal, then two animals, then three animals, so the next page should have how many animals? One, two three…?”) The children loved this part of it; by the end of the book, they were telling me the “next number” even before I asked.
The last bit of mathematizing I did was on the last page of the book, which has a picture of a bedroom with many stuffed animals. We spent a few minutes on this page counting the various animals, recounting when needed, and confirming each other’s counts. The children were quite enthusiastic by this point, challenging themselves with even more counts (how many eyes, wings, legs, etc.).
Munson, D. (year). Enemy Pie. City: Publisher Grade Level: 1st/2nd grade split
Summary of Book
Include summary here
For mathematizing literacy, we sat together on the rug in a small circle with four students, J, R, T and V. To begin the activity ___ asked if the students remembered any math in the book she read the day before, Enemy Pie. The children initially looked confused until she said, “Let’s look at the pictures on each page to see if we can find things that are about math.” They then exclaimed, “Oh, math!” All eyes were on the pages as they were turned. As we preceded five major math activities unfolded during a twenty-five minute time frame.
Immediately on page one and two, R mentioned baseball but could not explain the relation to math. T mentioned the red and blue team. ___ wrote red and blue team on a small dry erase board and then said, “What can we do with that?” J replied, “Oh, like a word problem! There are 5 on the blue team and 4 on the red team, how many players are there?” ___ wrote 5 and 4 by the respective teams on the grease board and then ___ asked, “Is this an add or a take away problem?” Together they said add. All students then raised their hand saying, “I know the answer.” We asked each of the children to describe how they solved it. During their explanations we encouraged each child to listen to each other to learn. Of note, each child used a different strategy to solve the problem. Approaches included counting on from five, taking away one from 10, counting with fingers and knowing in one’s head that 5 + 4 = 9.
Before turning the page, we returned to R’s comment about the baseball and asked if the students noticed any math. They brainstormed the speed it is thrown, the distance hit and height.
All students leaned over to gaze as we turned to pages three and four. Immediately hands were raised and eager to share. The children chose to count the number of eggs and leaves in the pictures. They also noticed the number 13 on a shirt. The erase board was helpful again to practice adding the numbers together and to review ones and tens place.
Page six provided a real life opportunity for the students to use math to make a recipe. Although they did not identify math on this page we posed the following question, “What would be on a recipe?” This resulted in a myriad of suggestions for ingredients, including strawberries, cherries, sugar, flour, water, salt and egg. The students were unfamiliar with how to measure these ingredients, yet they persisted in trying to identify ways. Guesses included teaspoon, spoon and cup. Specific amounts of each ingredient were proposed. As we applauded their creation of their first recipe, wide smiles filled the circle.
The final activity was based on a picture of ½ of a pie on pages eleven and twelve. Students immediately pointed to the edges of the pie. We asked two students to first count the edges of the pie, which equaled 21. Then we pondered, “If this is a half of a pie, how many more would make a whole pie?” Hands were raised and three students said 21 and explained their reasoning. For the student having difficulty comprehending, ____ added, “If Mrs. P and Ms. J share ½, do I get more and Mrs. P gets less? Or do we get the same?” All chanted “The same!”
What worked well
Joining together in a circle on the rug created a conducive environment for mathematizing literacy. The use of a dry erase board proved to be a helpful tool. Establishing behavioral rules for voice level, taking turns and listening, assisted the process. Using a small group of four students enabled all children to actively participate, be engaged and to permit time for each student to explain their strategies for solving problems. Working with students (two boys, two girls) who understood concepts or who were on the brink of understanding also made it possible for children to extend or to solidify their knowledge within this new experience. Finally it was an empowering experience for the children for we encouraged them to identify the math in the book and then based the exploration of math on their discoveries. As described throughout the description of the activities, the students were enthusiastically engaged and actively participating in this mathematizing literacy exercise. At the end of our time together, J. asked “Can we do this again after lunch?” Perhaps this question best sums up the engagement and delight that we witnessed throughout this experience.
Upon reflection we believe that it would have been valuable to have manipulatives available for the students to assist them in adding double digits in activities three and five. Additional modifications to activity four include bringing in a recipe card and specifically using the word tablespoon as a unit of measurement. In reviewing our interactions, we also became aware that we primarily used IRE discourse. Although we incorporated a variety of pressing questions with the children, several questions could have been posed to encourage dialogue among the students or to promote learning from each other. For example, when V described how she arrived at an answer it may have been to ask another student to restate how V solved the problem. Additional opportunities to work with children regarding math will give us practice to strengthen our skills in pressing students to learn and to interact and learn from each other.