Saturday, June 30, 2012

When Math and Literature Collide, A Guest Post by Michelle Lundy

I am super excited to be here on The Diary of a Not-So-Wimpy Teacher today for my blogging buddy, Kathie!

You know, and I know, that Kathie loves reading and writing and all things literature.  I also happen to know her all-time favorite book for her students is Goosebumps:  Phantom of the Auditorium by R. L. Stine.

So when I found out I'd be hosting Kathie's blog today, I knew I needed to talk about books...that book in particular!

I'm a proud math nerd so you may think this would pose a problem.  Never fear.  I happen to love to read as well.

My name is Michelle from Making It As A Middle School Teacher.  I'm certified to teach all content areas, but we've already established that math is my favorite and it's what I've taught for most of my teaching career.  However, I did teach Science last year.  I also teach one class of Social Studies.  All of this fun happens with my 7th graders in the sunny state of Georgia!

Very early in my college course work, I realized I truly enjoyed pulling math and reading together.  Teaching a concept, doing practice problems, or review from a passage in a book students have just read is a powerful tool!

We always want students to see that what we teach during each class period or block is not an island unto itself.  What better way to prove that than by combining two or more content areas from time-to-time?

It's not as hard as you might think either!  I sat down with my book and very quickly came up with 20 math problems based on what I read.  Sometimes the entire basis of the problem may be presented in the text.  Sometimes the text merely provides a jumping off point for you to embellish and create an interesting problem for your students.

You can really pull math from almost any book your students are reading.  Think outside the box!

I wanted to share a freebie with you today so I sat down to created a nice, finished product for you to download and print for use in your classrooms.  Then I thought about the audience for the Goosebumps books.  It spans from about 3rd - 8th grade.  Coincidentally, so do the audiences for this blog and my own.

What I decided to do instead was provide you with a list of sample questions, some you could pick and choose from to fit the needs and abilities of your students.  Plus, I'd love for you to give this a shot as well.  Grab a copy of this book and see if you can add more questions to the list.  I promise you'll be a superstar!

I even think I might just start a new line of products called Teaching Math through Literature!  How cool would that be?  There will be more information about that on my blog in the upcoming stay tuned there for all the details!

Here's a little snippet from the freebie...

Click on the image below to go to Google Docs and download your freebie right now!  Oh, did I mention the answers with a quick work-out of the problem are included, too?  I've got you covered!!!

Thanks again for letting me guest blog for you today, Kathie!  Such a sweetie!  It's been an honor to be here.

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},

Michelle Lundy has been a Middle School Teacher for 6 years, teaching all 3 grade levels, but most of her time has been spent with 7th graders.  She is the author of Making It As A Middle School Teacher and Map Your Thinking.  She also contributes to several collaborative teaching blogs.

Michelle is married with 3 sons, ages 18, 19, and 21.  She also has 4 dogs, a cat, and a classroom pet turtle.

Thanks again Michelle for guest posting today!! I hope you all enjoyed it. Don't forget to head on over to Teaching in Room 6 to read my guest post on Preventing the Summer Slide! In addition, don't forget to hop on over to all of the great blogs linked up below to read other guest posts and download some great freebies!


  1. Love how you are combining math with reading! Thanks for the freebie- it looks great!
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. I love your blog and I'm so glad that I found it! I've selected your blog as one of my top 15 "One Lovely Blog" awards. If you have not already received this award, please check out my blog to see what you need to do to claim your award. :)

    Victoria Wise
    The Wise & Witty Teacher