Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Using Math Cartoons to Support Critical Reading Skills

Incorporating literacy skills into math instruction is becoming a necessity with the increasing expectations for student achievement presented in the CCSS. Almost 10 years ago, a school district in Florida looked at how to use math cartoons to support critical reading skills. To download their handout, click here:

Their thoughts were to have students create questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy about the cartoons. Students share their cartoons and questions with their peers. Students then explain the cartoons and their thoughts. 

Another possibility is to have students break into groups and then address the following questions:

1. What is the cartoonist’s purpose, i.e. inform, persuade entertain?
2. What is the main idea or message of the cartoon?

Here is a link to a collection of Math Cartoons:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Terry Kawas’ website,, is definitely the place to go if you’ve got some free time (yes I said it) and a passion for exploration. The site dates back to 2005 and is filled with activities which can bring an extra kick to your lessons and absolutely raise student achievement. Her site appears to be targeted more to the elementary classroom; however, there are ample activities linked to NCTM standards which could be easily transferred up to our older learners.

My recommendation is to create a bookmark folder in your browser, start at the A-Z list on her home page and do a brief scan of the resources. Any page that needs further attention, bookmark, and then move on. This strategy will be useful if you are like most educators and free time means 10 minutes of solitude. Going alphabetically will help to keep track of where you are so you won’t have to view resources you already saw. When lesson and unit planning time comes, you will be able to quickly review any resources you found without needing to go through pages of bookmarks or the site itself.