Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Part C

Defining Connections
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Connecting with Children's Literature

As students enter preschool or kindergarten, a great deal of focus is on learning to read. The use of children's literature is paramount to the early-grades experience. After all, who doesn't like a good story? Children's literature can set the context for the development of mathematical concepts and can be an integral part of that development.

For example, The Warlord's Puzzle by Virginia Walton Pilegard is a wonderful story to use with tangram activities. The story takes place in ancient China. An artist is about to give a gift of a beautiful blue tile to a warlord, but he drops the tile, breaking it into seven pieces. The warlord prepares to deal out the worst possible punishment, but the artist delays his fate by suggesting a contest: Whoever can put the tile back together will receive a valuable treasure. Many attempt the task, but no one is successful until the son of a poor peasant shows his cleverness by solving the puzzle.

A wide variety of excellent children's books can be used in teaching mathematics. A trip to the local library will yield many examples of good literature that can become part of your mathematics lessons. There are also many good resources available that provide specific titles and lesson ideas. Some suggestions are included in the references at the end of this session.

Watch the video segment (duration 0:25) in the viewer box on the upper left to hear a reflection from Leland Clarke, a teacher in Massachusetts.

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