Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome ISI Participants

Today I enjoyed a delightful morning with the Illuminations Summer Institute participants talking about my favorite topics: children, mathematics and literature. Welcome to those of you who have found your way to my blog following the workshop.

During the session I mentioned that my favorite source for guidance and inspiration about the integration of math and literature are David and Phyllis Whitin. They co-authored New Visions for Linking Literature and Mathematics. It and the two titles David co-authored with Sandra Wilde (Read Any Good Math Lately?: Children's Books for Mathematical Learning. K-6 and It's the Story that Counts:More Children's Books for Mathematical Learning) are fantastic resources. In my humble opinion the books are "must-haves" for every teacher's resource library.

In New Visions, the Whitins lay out a 4-part criteria that serve as a guide when selecting good math-related books. They believe the literature should demonstrate:

1. Mathematical integrity
2. Potential for Varied Response
3. An Aesthetic Dimension and
4. Ethnic, Gender and Cultural Inclusiveness

There are literally thousands of pieces of children's literature to sift through before you find the gems that make good resources for the elementary math classroom. This simple criteria serves as a great tool for identifying great books.

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