Literacy and Math – Using Leveled Books

Here are some ideas for integrating math and literacy using leveled books

Look at the page numbers –

  • Can students identify the page numbers?
  • Can they say what number will be on the page before/after a page they are looking at?

Open the book to a page and ask the student to find another page.  

  • Do they know which way to turn the pages to look for the new page?

Is there anything in the illustration that students can count?

  • How many will there be if there is one more?  One less?
  • If there are 3 but you want 5, how many more will you need?

Ask students to count the words on the page.

  • Where is the first word?  Where is the last word?
  • What is the word before ______?  What is the word after ______?

Use the book as a context for writing a word problem. Use words and situations from the book.

All of these ideas can be done during math or literacy time to connect math and literacy instruction.


Writing for Math

Writing is an important component of Language Arts instruction.The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) says that students should be able to –

  • Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication
  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
  • Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others;
  • Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.

NCTM Process Standards

Why not incorporate writing into mathematics instruction? Here are some suggestions –

  1. Make sure students know the vocabulary.

                A Maths Dictionary for Kids

  1. Have students restate a problem and/or write it in their own words.
  1. Write about simple problems and activities.
  1. Use sentence starters.
  1. Let students talk about their answer before they write.
  1. Use shared problem solving and writing.

             a)     Brainstorm possible strategies and/or solutions.

             b)    Write possible strategies and solutions on the board.

             c)     Allow students to work in teams.

             d)    Pair strong/weak writers.

             e)     Use interactive writing as a group.

Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers are two sites that sell educational materials made by teachers.  I’m not creative enough to make things for these sites and I’m too cheap to purchase them, but I have found a lot of good games and activities for free.  Both sites have links to find free items, and when you register, each site will send you a weekly newsletter with links to free materials.  A person could use lots of colored ink printing everything!  Before you start downloading and printing, think about how you want to organize your materials.  Here are some of the categories I have used for my Pinterest boards:

  • Number Words and Numerals
  • Counting
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Structuring Numbers
  • Place Value
  • Multiplication and Division
  • Money
  • Telling Time
  • Geometry
  • Fractions

Fractions and Decimals

The National Science Foundation has funded The Rational Number Project since 1979.  Researchers have developed a series of lessons for students developing initial fraction ideas and to extend those ideas to fraction operations and decimals.

Rational Number Project: Initial Fraction Ideas can be downloaded here

Rational Number Project: Fractional Operations and Initial Decimal Ideas can be downloaded here