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Mathematical Literacy in the Middle and High School Grades: A Modern Approach to Sparking Student Interest, CourseSmart eTextbook

By Faith Wallace, Mary Anna Evans, Megan Stein

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 18, 2012

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For future middle and high school classroom teachers as a text

For in-service teachers as a hands-on guide to improving their classroom instruction

Also a valuable resource for middle and high school media centers


Using reading materials and real-life examples that capture and keep students’ attention, this book helps future and current educators enhance and enlighten students’ mathematics learning by incorporating a variety of texts into the math classroom and developing students’ literacy skills.


“Math is everywhere,” say the authors of this practical guide that gives busy teachers the means to enhance students’ mathematics learning by incorporating a variety of texts into the day-to-day life of the math classroom. From its opening overview of the theory behind new strategies for teaching math to its practical, day-to-day, concrete assistance, the book helps teachers find and use engrossing ways to introduce math concepts through stories, developing and using hands-on activities to reinforce the concepts. Included are ready-to-use activities busy teachers can incorporate “as is” or adapt to fit their particular classrooms and their students’ individual needs.


The book draws on the experience of two diverse authors, each with their own perspectives on the topics, to give educators unique and varied solutions to the challenges of getting the concepts of mathematics across to their students. The authors communicate the theory behind teaching many varied subjects in mathematics through using literature and other reading materials as a tool, helping in-service teachers come up with lesson plans that enhance and enlighten students’ mathematics learning.

Table of Contents


Why This Book and Why These Authors

How to Use this Book


Section I: Mathematical Literacy


Chapter 1.  Exploring the Porous Boundary Between Doing Mathematics and Understanding Text

Introduction to Mathematical Literacy

      Sidebar:  Notes on Standards of Practice Used in This Text

Tiny Children Love to Count—Where Do We Lose them?

One Text, Many Lessons in Math Literacy

      Co-teaching with Computer Educators to Enhance Word Analysis Assignments

      Ordinal Numbers, Cardinal Numbers, Numerals, and Other Words Expressing Quantity

      Geometry—The Shape of Things

      A Question of Time

      What’s the Likelihood of Finding Math in Your Pleasure Reading?

Looking for Mathematical Text in Your Student’s World

      Classroom Discussion Questions for Artifacts

      Helping Students Find Math in Unexpected Places

Lesson Plan 1-1:  Interested in Getting Rich? --An investigation of simple interest, compound interest, and exponential functions based on Artifacts



Chapter 2.  Reading Strategies: Making Meaning of Text


How Does Reading Mathematics Differ From Other Kinds of Reading?

How Can We Help Students Make Meaning From Mathematical Text?

      Prior Knowledge:  An Experiment

Using Reading Activities to Enhance Student Understanding

      Reading Guide:  Alice in Wonderland

Lesson Plan 2-1:  The Universal Book of Mathematics Vocabulary Squares

Lesson Plan 2-2:  Red Blazer Girls Multi-Column Journal



Section II: Exploring Mathematical Text


Chapter 3. Introduction—Fiction and Mathematical Literacy: Finding Universal Truths in Made-Up Stories

Mathematics Is Everywhere, Even in Fairy Tales

      Comments from the Classroom by Alyson Lischka

      Finding Math Where You Least Expect It by Mary Anna Evans

Annotated Bibliographies - Fiction

      Fiction Recommended for Middle Grade Classes

      Fiction Recommended for High School Classes

Lesson Plan 3-1:  The Wrong Ratio Can Be Deadly:  An Investigation of Ratios based on Effigies



Chapter 4. Nonfiction: The Place Where True Stories and Mathematics Intersect


Annotated Bibliography of Nonfiction Books Suitable for Middle and High School Classes

      Activity Books

      Reference Books

      Concept Books


      Using Technology to Explore Other Nonfiction Formats

      Textbox 1:  One Blogger’s Perception of the Beauty of Math by Brent Yorgey

Annotated Bibliography of Mathematical Blogs

      Nonfiction in the Math Classroom

Lesson Plan 4-1:  “Grappling Over Grades” Anticipation Guide

Lesson Plan 4-2:  Archimedes R.A.F.T.



Chapter 5. Picture Books: Where Math, Text, and Illustrations Collide


      Textbox 1:  Cindy Neuschwander and Sir Cumference

      Textbox 2:  Fibonacci in Nature by Sarah Campbell

      Activity:  Sketching (or Eating) Your Way Through the Text with The Lion’s Share

Annotated Bibliography of Picture Books for the Middle and High School Grades

Lesson Plan 5-1 - Anticipation Guide for Reflections in Nature by Jane Yolen



Section III: Literacy and Mathematics in the Culture


Chapter 6.  Poetry and Music:  A Most Mathematical Approach to Words


      Math and Meter


Math as a Springboard to Verbal Creativity

      “Midsummer” by Mary Anna Evans

      “the curvature of spacetime” by Johnny Masiulewicz

Poetry for Poetry’s Sake

      Loving Words the Way Zero Loves One by Lola Haskins

Activity 6-1:  Poetry Counts

Activity 6-2:  Fractions, Poetic Meter, and Spoken English

Activity 6-3:  Relating Vibrational Frequency to Pitch with Ratios

Activity 6-4:  Rhythm and Language—Bringing Poetry, Music, and Mathematics Together

Activity 6-5:  Catenaries, Large and Small—Visual Calculus



Chapter 7.  Environmental Print:  Math in Daily Life

Definition of Environmental Print

Where to Find Environmental Print

Ideas for Using Environmental Print in Class

      Level 1:  Practicing Problems

      Level 2:  Constructing Knowledge About Problem Solving

      Level 3:  Thinking Critically About Mathematics and Literacy

            A Level 1 Example—Checking the Fine Print for Ways to Practice Mathematical Skills

            A Level 1 Hands-On Activity:  Find the Math in this Simulated Frequent Buyer Program

            A Level 2 Example—Assembling Knowledge As It Pertains To Citizenship…The Impact of Polls on Elections

            A Level 2 Hands-On Activity:  A Poll Is Only As Good As The Questions Asked

            A Level 3 Example—Think Critically About Research Studies:  Do Statistics Lie?

                        A Level 3 Hands-On Activity:  How Can Two Contradictory Studies Be True?

So what?  Using math to make people care



Chapter 8.  Mathematics and the Electronic Culture:  Social Media, Gaming, and Reality Shows


A Word About Constant Change:  How Will You Deal With It Over the Course of Your Career?

Social media

Games and Their Relationship to Math

      Simulation Games:  The Algebra Connection


      Ratios and Rates

      Linear Equations

      Other opportunities to enhance literacy using computer gaming

      Geometry in computer gaming

Television Reality Shows


Lesson Plan 8-1:  Tweets that Go On Forever and Ever…

Lesson Plan 8-2:  What Can Reality Shows Teach Us About American Electoral Politics?



Chapter 9. Conclusion


Chapter 10. Appendices

Appendix A:  Selections from Artifacts

Appendix B:  A Concordance of the Words Used in the Opening Passages of Artifacts, by Mary Anna Evans

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Mathematical Literacy in the Middle and High School Grades: A Modern Approach to Sparking Student Interest, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book

$15.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-13-290968-6