Using novels and writing to teach students mathematical concepts
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Using Novels and Writing to Teach Students Mathematical Concepts . Rachel Colby Amanda Huffman. What did we do?. We created and implemented a mathematics enrichment unit using The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger .

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Using novels and writing to teach students mathematical concepts

Using Novels and Writing to Teach Students Mathematical Concepts

Rachel Colby

Amanda Huffman


What did we do
What did we do? Concepts

  • We created and implemented a mathematics enrichment unit using The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.

  • The Number Devil is about a boy who hates math and meets the Number Devil in his dreams where he learns to love math.


Where did the idea come from
Where did the idea come from? Concepts

  • Learning content area literacy in ED228: Content Area Literacy in Middle-Secondary Curriculum

  • Independent study course where we read an article titled “Integrating Literature to Support Mathematics Learning in Middle School” by Karen Koellner, Faith Wallace, and Lyn Swackhamer

  • Creating a resource guide and annotated bibliography


Mathematical literacy is
Mathematical literacy is… Concepts

  • Understanding vocabulary and structure

  • Solving mathematical problems

  • Reasoning and explaining

  • Applying math to the real world


How did we do it
How did we do it? Concepts

  • Connected with a local school in a sixth grade classroom

  • Had students read the book, journal about it, and we reinforced concepts introduced by the Number Devil

  • Assessed students with a pre and post assessment and an end of the unit project

  • Analyzed our data



1 it worked
(1) IT WORKED! Concepts

  • Led to student engagement

  • Helped students enjoy math more

  • Helped students better understand concepts

  • Created a context for math

  • Challenged the students in different ways

  • Differentiated instruction


2 fragmented learning
(2) Fragmented Learning Concepts

  • Fails!

  • Fragmented learning is learning concepts in isolation and lacks cohesiveness.


3 importance of content literacy
(3) Importance of Content Literacy Concepts

  • Leads to a better understanding

  • Helps put the content into context

  • Promotes deeper thinking and curiosity


What does this mean for the future
What does this mean for the future? Concepts

  • We are going to use books and writing in our classrooms!

  • Would this idea work with a different novel, like A Gebra Named Al by Wendy Isdell?

  • How would a classroom with continuous integration of literature and writing look?