The Integration of Literature and Mathematics in the Classroom

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Since the 1800s, students have gone to school with the thought of learning reading, writing, and arithmetic individually, but recently have been able to learn them concurrently. How is this so? By combining changes in the classroom environment, instructional methods, technology, and methods of assessment, teachers are beginning to find more and more ways of integrating literature and mathematics together in the classroom. Prior to integrating literature in mathematics class, the traditional math lesson involved the teacher explaining math examples in the classroom with students taking notes and regurgitating the same procedure on homework problems (Shults, 2008). By using this method, students never had to read the textbook, so long as they paid attention in class. Also, some teachers make exams exactly like their practice / homework problems. If I am challenged very little in my class and am earning good grades, what is my incentive to do anymore than is required? To increase a student’s interest in becoming more familiar with the mathematical content being taught, teachers can develop a classroom environment conducive to an increased interest in learning more about the content. One method in which this can be done is through ‘word walls’ (Shults, 2008). A word wall is created by posting vocabulary words on the classroom walls and can be helpful in improving a student’s knowledge and pronunciation of the words. If a student is not reading the textbook provided for a mathematics class, these word walls can help to give the student inadvertent knowledge of the content being learned. Another method of changing a classroom environment to encourage reading can be achieved by developing a classroom library (Shults,... ... middle of paper ... their classmates. An example of a real-life story may include saving for college tuition, total payment for a house/car at a certain leasing/mortgage rate, or calculating a life insurance premium rate based on a given mortality table. For all of these examples, exponential functions, order of operations, and/or summation could be taught. Developments in technology have also created many more opportunities of integrating literature in the mathematics classroom. The Internet, SmartBoards, and computers allow for documents, articles, newspapers, videos, audios, and other multimedia sources to be broadcast in a classroom. This allows teachers to use multiple resources in a lesson (Shults, 2008). Works Cited
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