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NumberFix: Creative Math Equations inspired by Mathematickles
 

A Writing Across the Curriculum Lesson from NumberFix
Math Topic: equation structure Students Write: creative equations about any topic

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Writing for Math Class:
Creative Math
Equations

This writing across the curriculum write-up was inspired by ideas sent to us by two wonderful Nevada educators: Terry Stelle, a second grade teacher (at left), and Holly Young, a high school teacher (at right).

Terry's write-up comes first on the page below; Holly's is right beneath it.

Lesson Overview & Objective:

Students apply mathematic language with the structure of equations to show knowledge of topics. Younger writers, inspired by Betsy Franco's Mathematickles, can write about topics that are important to them. Older students, inspired by a Powerpoint from MoreNewMath.com, can be challenged to write equations that tap into their sense of humor.

These creative equations make a great bulletin board display at school! This is an interesting technique to use differentiated principles in the traditional math classroom.


Terry Stelle's Creative Equation Lesson Write-Up:

Standard Tie-Ins:

  • Trait focus: Word choice and idea development
  • Writing across the Curriculum possibilities: any topic, but especially science, art, and language arts
  • Can enriches instruction on: similes and comparisons

Talking before Writing:

Ask, "How can we look at a topic and think about it in a mathematickle way? Let’s start with a brainstorm for our topics. When you think of the desert what are some words that come to mind?"

Terry's students came up with dry, hot, cactus, coyotes, snakes, water, sand, sun, quiet, etc.

"Next, using those ideas can we imagine something added or taken away from them? If so, what would be left? What would happen next? Or what would it look like or feel like?"

Reading before Writing:

Read Mathematickles by Betsy Franco out loud. Notice and talk about how the author and illustrator used the structures of math sentences to describe and record observations about seasons. Notice how the authors wrote simple number sentences and used font size for emphasis and they used symbols (such as +, -, and = ) to describe seasons in a new and unique way.

Writing:

Using stencils for art and a word bank to draw from we focused our mathematickles on butterflies, the desert and horses. The students had fun with both the art and the words and the results were some fun ideas.

Samples from second grade students:


Natalia's equation:
Horse + wings = unicorn


Manuel's equation:
horse + cactus = ouch!


Angel's equation:
Soccer + a kick = a goal


James' equation:
Flower + kid = achoo!


Ashley's equation:
butterflies + flying = flowers in the sky

Do you have student samples to share?

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

We're currently looking for student samples for all grade levels for this writing across the curriculum lesson!  Help us obtain some from your students, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Samples for the lesson on this page can be posted for review at this posting site.

 

Holly Young's Creative Equation
Lesson Write-Up:

Show students some wacky equations found at the More New Math website. Below are some examples that show a variety of mathematical functions. If you visit the website, you can find loads more; they post a new one weekly. From Holly: "Remember, not all the equations on the website are appropriate for all students, so use good judgement."

For fun, have students create their own wacky equations for vocabulary/concepts from their lives. Some starting ideas are below:

Prom =

Final Exams =

First car =

Then, have students write their own wacky equation on the math topic that you just taught.

Some examples from Holly's classroom:

Adding Fractions = common denominators – multiplying mistakes + headache

Leave Your Answer as an Integer = (Do the Work) x (Whew, I won’t have to worry about fractions)

Conjecture = Guess + Equation + Vocabulary You Don’t Know
................................... Make it all sound really smart

Proportion = A fraction to cross multiply and solve – (Words you don’t know how to put into a fraction)

Do you have student samples to share?

WritingFix Safely Publishes Students from Around the World! In 2008, we first began accepting students samples from teachers anywhere who use this lesson. Hundreds of new published students now go up at our site annually!

We're currently looking for student samples for all grade levels for this writing across the curriculum lesson!  Help us obtain some from your students, and we'll send you a free resource for your classroom!  Samples for the lesson on this page can be posted for review at this posting site.


 


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