Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Math Literacy and Casual Learning

Wandering though the newest SmartBrief on EdTech, I found an article about digital textbooks in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Following up on the social studies/history texts used by the school highlighted in the article, I found my way to McGraw-Hill digital texts.  EveryDay math's digital support site caught my eye.  Here I found a list of Free Family Resources to support the text.  The Algorithms supports are fabulous for Flipping and Reviewing, but I want to highlight here the Literature Lists

Teachers can bring these lists to the librarian or the literacy specialist and quickly gather reading texts to support math lessons in grades preK-6.  Titles are fiction, picture book, and informational.  Most are dated after 1995.

The listing is alphabetical, but it references the exact Everyday Math lesson that is supported.

This is a terrific resource for teachers using the series - and even for those using a different math text who want to add a literacy layer to math instruction.

It is also another reason for continued growth and expansion of school libraries. 

Macmillan/McGraw-Hill online shopping list link
in-text link from article
A comment on this search:  In order to learn something new quickly and effectively, I had to do a lot of reading, ask relevant questions (Specifically what digital books are being used?),  ask curious questions (What could possibly be at the end of this link?), respond to a link as a text feature (and know how to do this in a new tab), persevere through a poorly designed site (no search function on the multi-page Macmillan/McGraw-Hill online shopping list, no quick-link to online texts), and make decisions based on my prior knowledge.  My initial search (for the digital text called American Journey) resulted in nothing more than a price per user.  It was the casually connected information - the Everyday Math link above - that yielded useful learning. 

Teaching students to be alert to this casual information is one way to encourage independent learning.  Recognize useful and cool information found as a result of a reading or research task!  Create a classroom blog space for reporting it.

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