Sunday, April 14, 2013

Math Mentor Text & Freebie!

When I interviewed with my principal, I was actually interviewing for a 3rd grade position. She gave me a list of 3rd grade math standards and gave me 30 minutes to write a lesson plan on one of the standards. I selected the Geometric Standard regarding perimeter. I knew that I wanted to include some sort of read-aloud because I love combining math and reading together. I went on Amazon and found the book "Spaghetti and Meatballs for All" by Marilyn Burns.

ImageThis book follows Mr. and Mrs. Comfort as they throw a dinner party for all their nearest and dearest. They rearrange the tables and chairs multiple times and at the end, begin where they started.

This year, in my fourth grade classroom, I decided to use this book to introduce area and perimeter to my kiddos. However, that is not all I did. After I read the book aloud, I gave my students hands-on materials to model the different table arrangements. I didn't give them regular old math manipulatives though. I gave them... cheez-its! My kiddos are like may other children, they are incredibly motivated by snacks of any kind. We've used cereal for multiplication and division. We've used skittles for fractions. We've used Oreos for the phases of the moon.

This cheez-it activity has been the best activity I have done this year with food. I passed out cheez-its and then read through the book again. My students rearranged their cheez-its as the Comfort family did as well. When we finished this part, I passed out another sheet and had them work with a partner to complete the sheet. They recorded their findings on graph paper. I used this as a quick assessment.

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  1. I wrote about the same book! I like that you used cheez-its though!! How fun for them! We just used tiles! :O)

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. I saw you wrote about it too! But, I love that book so much and I forgot to write that my kiddos asked me to read it over and over and continue to ask if they can read it. (I keep it with my mentor texts) I think next year I'll pick up another copy and put it in the library after I read it aloud.

  3. I have to check to see if I have this book-I use Cheez-its for perimeter and area too, but I love incorporating literature! What a stressful interview!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching