# Middle School Math

## Let's Finish Strong!

The smell of summer is in the air!!! ASPIRE testing will come and go this month, but that does not mean our job is over. Our kids rely on us to give them our very best, and our very best does not stop when testing is complete. Take a moment to read through these resources and ideas. Perhaps you will find something to implement in your classroom between now and the end of the year!

Send in pictures of learning in your classroom and they may be featured in next month's newsletter!

## Lesson Ideas!

Arbor Day is Friday, April 29! On this holiday, people are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Why not integrate a little science in with your math? In this lesson from the Illuminations website, students measure the circumference of trees in order to find the diameter and calculate the age of local trees using a growth rate table. The lesson is differentiated for 3-5, and 6-8 grades.

## Integrating Math and Literature

Recent trends in education have focused on an integrated curriculum. Children learn best when subject matter is meaningful and useful, and literature brings meaning to math. David Whitin says, "Using math related children's literature can help children realize the variety of situations in which people use mathematics for real purposes" (1994). Thus, children can recognize how math will be helpful to them in the "real world."

At the Resource Center we have various books and lesson plan ideas to integrate literature into math. You do not have to read the entire book, only excerpts or perhaps a poem. Better yet, team up with an ELA teacher and plan a unit together with a piece of literature. On the pictures below is a list of literature available at the RC and what math domains they address. Each has a corresponding lesson idea in the book Math and Literature: Grades 6-8 (Bay-Williams & Martinie, 2004).

## Number Talks

In February, many Blount County teachers participated in professional development led by Dr. Sherry Parrish, author of Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math And Computation Strategies. We learned great strategies to help students gain conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts. While this book is geared toward elementary classrooms, the concepts can be applied at any level. Making Number Talks Matter: Developing Mathematical Practices and Deepening Understanding by Cathy Humphreys and Ruth Parker is written for grades 4-10.

Want to see it in action? Check out this video from Dr. Parrish. It is long, but informative.

Sherry Parrish: Number Talks: Building Numerical Reasoning

## buzzMath

FREE for students, premium version for teachers.

This free iPad app offers thousands of Common Core-aligned math problems that cover 6th, 7th, and 8th grade curriculum. Students can play with the app for free, and teachers can use it with an entire class. The app tracks studentsâ€™ mastery of problems and offers a reporting tool for teachers (with subscription). The app is also enabled for SmartBoards.

## Meagan Holt

Math Instructional Coach

Blount County Schools

As always, let me know how I can be of assistance to you. Let's make math enriching and meaningful for all Blount County Students!