Brandi J. Clark

Writer and Educator

Help! I Have to Teach Language Arts: A Language Arts Survival Mini-Course Part 10

 

Welcome

If you need to catch up here are the links to the other lessons 1, 2,34 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 and 9.

I have a SECRET…although I am passionate about Language Arts….I am also a Math-lete!

keep-calm-and-love-math-654

So it should come as no surprise that I enjoy Logic puzzles and embedding formulas in excel spreadsheets.

Well maybe that is a surprise….anyway…

I do want to bring to your attention the possibilities of connecting math to English Language Arts.

Today’s Lesson: Know how to Connect ELA to Math Content

There are several ways to connect to the math curriculum. Here are some connections that I have found. All of the specific outcomes in today’s post are from the English Language Arts program of Studies.

Connecting to Math through Talking, Reading, Writing and Representing

Here are some articles to support the outcomes below.

Creating Math Talk Communities

Why Use Talk in Mathematics Classrooms

Kindergarten

  • share personal experiences prompted by oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • talk about ideas, experiences and familiar events (1.1)

Grade 1

  • share personal experiences that are clearly related to oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • talk with others about something recently learned (1.1)
  • make observations about activities, experiences with oral, print and other media texts (1.1)

Grade 2

  • contribute relevant ideas and information from personal experiences to group language activities (1.1)
  • talk about how new ideas and information have changed previous understanding (1.1)
  • express or represent ideas and feelings resulting from activities or experiences with oral, print and other media texts (1.1)

Grade 3

  • connect prior knowledge and personal experiences with new ideas and information in oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • explain understanding of new concepts in own words (1.1)
  • explore ideas and feelings by asking questions, talking to others and referring to oral, print and other media texts (1.1)

Grade 4

  • compare new ideas, information and experiences to prior knowledge and experiences (1.1)
  • ask questions, paraphrase and discuss to explore ideas and understand new concepts (1.1)
  • share personal responses to explore and develop understanding of oral, print and other media texts (1.1)

Grade 5

  • use appropriate prior knowledge and experiences to make sense of new ideas and information (1.1)
  • read, write, represent and talk to explore personal understandings of new ideas and information (1.1)
  • use own experiences as a basis for exploring and expressing opinions and understanding (1.1)

Grade 6

  • use prior experiences with oral, print and other media texts to choose new texts that meet learning needs and interests (1.1)
  • read, write, represent and talk to explore and explain connections between prior knowledge and new information in oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • engage in exploratory communication to share personal responses and develop own interpretations (1.1)

Connecting to Math – Recording Mathematical Ideas

Writing in Math Class…Absolutely

Integrating Writing and Mathematics

Math Journaling

Math Journals K-8

Math Journals

Kindergarten

  • connect related ideas and information (1.2)

One

  • group ideas and information into categories determined by an adult (1.2)

Two

  • record ideas and information in ways that make sense (1.2)

Three

  • experiment with arranging and recording ideas and information in a variety of ways (1.2)

Four 

  • use talk, notes, personal writing and representing to record and reflect on ideas, information and experiences (1.2)

Five 

  • use talk, notes, personal writing and representing to explore relationships among own ideas and experiences, those of others and those encountered in oral, print and other media texts (1.2)

Six

  • use talk, notes, personal writing and representing, together with texts and the ideas of others, to clarify and shape understanding (1.2)

Connecting to Math Vocabulary

Word Wall Ideas for Math

Math Word Wall

Kindergarten

  • explore and experiment with new words and terms associated with topics of interest (4.1)

One

  • identify and use an increasing number of words and phrases related to personal interests and topics of study (4.1)

Two

  • develop categories of words associated with experiences and topics of interest (4.1)

Three

  • explain relationships among words and concepts associated with topics of study (4.1)

Four

  • use an increasing variety of words to express and extend understanding of concepts related to personal interests and topics of study (4.1)

Five

  • extend word choice through knowledge of synonyms, antonyms and homonyms and the use of a thesaurus (4.1)
  • distinguish different meanings for the same word, depending on the context in which it is used (4.1)

Six

  • show the relationships among key words associated with topics of study, using a variety of strategies such as thought webs, outlines and lists (4.1)

Connecting to – Making Books About Math – Fiction and Nonfiction

Students can make their own books about Math topics.  Showing students published books about Math can help them to find ideas for their own. I have included a  book list below.

Student Made Math Book

Make Math Books

Booklist for Math Books (Students can use these books as a structure to write their own.)

Structuring a Student Made Math Book

Kindergarten

  • talk and represent to explore, express and share stories, ideas and experiences (1.1)

One

  • experiment with different ways of exploring and developing stories, ideas and experiences (1.1)

Two 

  • use a variety of forms of oral, print and other media texts to organize and give meaning to experiences, ideas and information (1.1)

Three

  • choose appropriate forms of oral, print and other media texts for communicating and sharing ideas with others (1.1)

Four 

  • discuss and compare the ways similar topics are developed in different forms of oral, print and other media texts (1.1)

Five

  • select from provided forms of oral, print and other media texts those that best organize ideas and information and develop understanding of topics (1.1)

Six

  • experiment with a variety of forms of oral, print and other media texts to discover those best suited for exploring, organizing and sharing ideas, information and experiences (1.1)

Planning  a Student Made Math Book

(These are the same outcomes used for “Connecting to Math” earlier in the post)

Kindergarten

  • connect related ideas and information (1.2)

One

  • group ideas and information into categories determined by an adult (1.2)

Two

  • record ideas and information in ways that make sense (1.2)

Three

  • experiment with arranging and recording ideas and information in a variety of ways (1.2)

Four 

  • use talk, notes, personal writing and representing to record and reflect on ideas, information and experiences (1.2)

Five

  • use talk, notes, personal writing and representing to explore relationships among own ideas and experiences, those of others and those encountered in oral, print and other media texts (1.2)

Six

  • use talk, notes, personal writing and representing, together with texts and the ideas of others, to clarify and shape understanding (1.2)

Writing a Student Made Math Book

Kindergarten

  • draw, record or tell about ideas and experiences (2.4)

One

  • write, represent and tell brief narratives about own ideas and experience (2.4)

Two

  • create narratives that have beginnings, middles and ends; settings; and main characters that perform actions (2.4)
  • use traditional story beginnings, patterns and stock characters in own oral, print and other media texts (2.4)

Three

  • experiment with a variety of story beginnings to choose ones that best introduce particular stories (2.4)
  • add sufficient detail to oral, print and other media texts to tell about setting and character, and to sustain plot (2.4)

Four

  • produce oral, print and other media texts that follow a logical sequence, and demonstrate clear relationships between character and plot (2.4)
  • produce narratives that describe experiences and reflect personal responses (2.4)

Five 

  • use structures encountered in texts to organize and present ideas in own oral, print and other media texts (2.4)
  • use own experience as a starting point and source of information for fictional oral, print and other media texts (2.4)

Six

  • determine purpose and audience needs to choose forms, and organize ideas and details in oral, print and other media texts (2.4)
  • express the same ideas in different forms and genres; compare and explain the effectiveness of each for audience and purpose (2.4)

Connecting to Math – Sharing Mathematical Ideas

Kindergarten

  • share ideas and information about topics of interest (3.4)

One

  • share ideas and information from oral, print and other media texts with familiar audiences (3.4)

Two

  • share, with familiar audiences, ideas and information on topics (3.4)

Three

  • organize and share ideas and information on topics to engage familiar audience (3.4)

Four

  • communicate ideas and information in a variety of oral, print and other media texts, such as short reports, talks and posters (3.4)

Five

  • communicate ideas and information in a variety of oral, print and other media texts, such as illustrated reports, charts, graphic displays and travelogues (3.4)

Six

  • communicate ideas and information in a variety of oral, print and other media texts, such as multiparagraph reports, question and answer formats and graphs (3.4)

This marks the end of today’s lesson.

I know.

You want me to keep going.

But I want you to digest today’s learning.

Know how to Connect ELA to Math Content

How do you plan to connect Math to ELA outcomes?

Can you think of ways to match up math literature with a student writing project?

Trust me…everything else makes sense if you know how to connect Math to ELA.

Until Next Time,

Coach Brandi!

 

Help! I Have to Teach Language Arts: A Language Arts Survival Mini-Course Part 9

 

Welcome back

If you need to catch up here are the links to the other lessons 1, 2, 34 , 5 , 6 , 7 and 8.

At this point we have covered design of the program of studies.

6 Language Arts and 5 General Outcomes and many specific outcomes.

outin

The program of studies (in all subject areas) should be front and center as you plan your school year. In all subject areas look at the other grade levels and not just your own.

It is important to see what students have learned and where they are going.

When I started my teaching career, all teachers were given a hard copy of ALL the Programs of Study.  Curriculum changes were inserted into the binder and old ones were removed.

The binder was HUGE, OBVIOUS…it screamed…LOOK AT ME!

I think we lost this important physical presence when the Program of Studies binder ceased to be handed out and the online documents were made available.

Because if you don’t know to look online…YOU DON’T LOOK ONLINE!

At this point, you have been polite.

I know you are thinking….

Coach Brandi…you know how all the subject areas have units?

We like this because it helps to structure our year.

We like this because we can check things off as DONE.

We like this cause we can choose reporting outcomes.

But Coach Brandi…ELA …what is THAT thing?

There are five general outcomes…Can you just teach one general outcome over two months?

No!

Then what can you do?

Such great questions!

The best answer I can give is group the outcomes. In order to group the outcomes, you need to figure out what can bind them together?

Today’s Lesson: Know how to group your specific outcomes.

Grouping means, to find something to glue/bind/connect to the outcomes.

Here are some examples.

Is it a writing form? (Description)

Is it a writing product? (Poetry)

Is it a theme? (Identity)

Is it a reading strategy? (Making Connections)

Is it content area project? (Small Crawling and Flying Animals Zine)

Is it a maker project? (Create a life cycle and attach Maki Maki)

Is it a web 2.0 tool? (Blogging)

Is it an author study? (David Shannon)

Is it historical fiction? (Alberta – grade 4)

Is it memoir?  (When I Was Five)

Is it a biography? (Terry Fox)

Is it a “How to…”? (How to make a circuit  – grade 5)

EXAMPLE –

I will give you an example. Back in 2009 I was blessed with the task of creating a planning binder in all the subject areas.

It was a committee and so I took the English Language Arts  lead.

First I choose a reading strategy, a writing trait and product that could be connected.

It makes sense to start September with making connections as the reading strategy.

September is the month that you are getting to know students and the students are getting to know you.

Most of the reading strategy resources are organized with a  breakdown of reading strategies by units/chapters or months.

For example, check out the following resources.

Reading Power and Nonfiction Reading Power

Strategies that Work

Reading with Meaning

This resources and many others can provide the actual lessons and books to use.

Next attach the outcomes.

Grade 1 – September-Making Connections

  • Ÿshare personal experiences that are clearly related to oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • Ÿuse previous experience and knowledge of oral language to make connections to the meaning of oral, print and other media texts (2.1)
  • Ÿshare personal experiences and family traditions related to oral, print and other media texts (5.1)

Grade 2 -September -Making Connections

  • connect own ideas and experiences with those shared by others (1.2)
  • Ÿuse knowledge of how oral and written language is used in a variety of contexts to construct and confirm meaning (2.1)
  • Ÿconnect personal experiences and knowledge of words, sentences and story patterns from previous reading experiences to construct and confirm meaning (2.1)
  • Ÿuse knowledge of the organizational structures of print and stories, such as book covers, titles, pictures and typical beginnings, to construct and confirm meaning (2.1)
  • Ÿconnect situations portrayed in oral, print and other media texts to personal and classroom experiences (2.2)

Grade 3 – September – Making Connections

  • Ÿconnect prior knowledge and personal experiences with new ideas and information in oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • Ÿconnect own experiences with the experiences of individuals portrayed in oral, print and other media texts, using textual references (2.2)
  • Ÿconnect portrayals of characters or situations in oral, print and other media texts to personal and classroom experiences (2.2)
  • Ÿdiscuss, represent or write about ideas in oral, print and other media texts, and relate them to own ideas and experiences and to other texts (2.2)*
  • Ÿdescribe similarities between experiences and traditions encountered in daily life and those portrayed in oral, print and other media texts (5.1)

Next match a writing trait

Most schools are familiar with the 6 plus 1 writing traits. Ruth Culham would be the guru in his area.

Check out the resources here.

What matches well with making connections?

Ideas

Next I went and gathered up outcomes that matched ideas.

But I didn’t just want an idea focus so also attached a writing product/form – the Writer’s Notebook.

A writer’s notebook can be used all year long.

Here is a video on setting up a notebook.

Ralph Fletcher is a notebook guru. Here are his resource links.

Aimee Buckner is also a notebook guru. Here are her resource links.

Here is Aimee’s video – Why…notebooks?

This video shows the variety of notebook entries.

This is an excellent video for junior high. You can modify it for younger grades.

Penny Kittle is a guru for grades 6-12.  Here is the link to her book. She provides handouts for teachers.

Here are the outcomes I attached to writing.

Grade 1 – Writer’s Notebook

  • add details such as labels, captions and pictures to oral, print and other media texts (4.3)
  • generate and contribute ideas for individual or group oral, print and other media texts (2.4)
  • Ÿtake turns sharing ideas and information (5.2)
  • Ÿillustrate and enact stories, rhymes and songs (2.2)

Conventions/Mechanics Focus 

  • use a displayed alphabet as an aid when writing (2.1)
  • capitalize the first letter of names and the pronoun “I” in own writing (4.2)

Grade 2-Writer’s Notebook

  • Ÿtalk about how new ideas and information have changed previous understanding (1.1)
  • Ÿexpress or represent ideas and feelings resulting from activities or experiences with oral, print and other media texts (1.1)
  • Ÿexpress thoughts or feelings related to the events and characters in oral, print and other media texts (2.2)

Conventions/Mechanics Focus:

  • Ÿprint legibly and efficiently, forming letters of consistent size and shape, and spacing words appropriately (4.1)

Grade 3 – Writer’s Notebook

  • Ÿexperiment with ways of generating and organizing ideas prior to creating oral, print and other media texts (2.4)
  • Ÿcontribute ideas and information on topics to develop a common knowledge base in the group (5.2)
  • Ÿtell or write about favourite parts of oral, print and other media texts (2.2)

Conventions/Mechanics Focus:

  • Ÿspace words and sentences consistently on a line and page (4.1)
  • Ÿuse capital letters appropriately in titles of books and stories (4.2)

Coach Brandi…do you have grades 4 -6?

Yes! Please contact me for those!

This marks the end of today’s lesson.

I know.

You want me to keep going.

But I want you to digest today’s learning.

Know how to group the specific outcomes

How do you plan to group your outcomes?

Can you think of ways to match up a reading strategy with a writing form? Another subject area?

Please contact me if you are struggling with this.

I don’t mind…seriously!

Trust me…everything else makes sense if you know how to group the specific outcomes.

Until Next Time,

Coach Brandi!

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