5 Ways to Develop Daily Oral Math: Part 3

› Daily Oral Math - pg. 3

This is page 3 of the 5 Ways to Develop Daily Oral Math.  You can go to page one here and page two here.

Our fifth and final idea is to introduce storytelling into your math lessons. 

Primary teachers have always known that using stories will foster a deeper connection to difficult material for many children.  And mathematics is the perfect opportunity for that.

the moving power of math imagination
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Too often educators take on merely the logical and analytical side of mathematics.  That's a pity because there is so much creativity and imagination in math. There is also wonder and amazement.

Take this story about Carl Gauss.  Nearly all students can relate to it.

Carl often was in trouble at school.  This was because he would always finish his lessons before the other students and became bored. 

One day he went a little too far and his teacher gave him a very difficult math problem to solve as punishment. 

Carl was to add the numbers 1 to 100 and it should have taken him most of the next hour.\

It didn't. 

Carl was finished within a few moments, long before the teacher ever completed writing it on the board.

How was he able to solve this?  Look up the Gaussian Pairing Method.  But don't tell your students.  Have them figure out how he did it. 

That is teaching mathematics through storytelling.

Story books for teaching math

If you are short on stories, there are hundreds of books out there you could use for teaching math.

If you are looking beyond the Scholastic book fair however, this book of stories will definitely intrigue and delight your students.

Oral Storytelling and Teaching Mathematics takes you into two case studies through enchanting stories: The Wizard's Tale (grades 2-4) and The Egypt Story (grades 5+).

These are epic stories, which means they take a number of days to finish.  Within each story math skills are taught and emphasized, but in a way that it doesn't even feel like math.  It's just a part of the story.

This is really a teacher book, because it has notations and discussions of how to use stories in the math classroom.  It goes into great detail about how oral storytelling helps students who struggle to learn math and problem solving. 

Teachers will also learn how to use physical manipulatives and imagery while telling a story to clarify and enhance teaching mathematics objectives.

Math From Many Cultures Poster

Love, love, love this!  

Even though it is geared towards middle school, the posters spark fascinating math conversations.

Teachers always have multicultural books that can be integrated with the poster topics:

  • How the Days Got Their Names
  • Where Our Numbers Came From
  • Rock Art

...and more.  With a little prep work, you can have hours of focused, in-depth conversations about a wide variety of math stories from around the world.

4 Fabulous Books for Daily Oral Math Stories

Improbable to impossible...a great story for teaching probability.

Did you know that ants use "dead reckoning" - the same type of navigation used by astronauts? That's math in every day life.

The 4 basic rules of problem solving combined with art history...Greg Tang's book can be used over and over again for math talk.

Another Greg Tang book - using epic fables to teach basic numeracy skills. Addition and subtraction work like magic!

Did you miss the other ideas for the 5 ways to develop daily oral math skills?  Click the arrow!

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