Data comes in handy so easily for creating real-world math in the classroom. When you can combine it with literature, it becomes like virtual nirvana for a teacher.
This past week I read one of the many books by my favorite environmental writers, Jennifer Keats Curtis. With Eagle Cove School's annual Earth Week, we are fortunate enough to have had her visit with us every year for the last 5-6 years to share writing tips along with her eco-reads... and I have written about Jennifer Keats Curtis before.
The read this last week with my 3rd graders was Baby Owl Rescue. This story details the importance of how to take care of an owlet who has fallen from his nest. (Note to self--bring in the expert such as an animal rehabilitator so the animal gets the proper treatment it needs.)
With the help of the Sylvan Dell website and 38 pages of lesson plans, a great math lesson on adding three multi-digit numbers landed in my lap...and delighted my 3rd graders. With information from the Great Backyard Bird Count, one of the Sylvan Dell pages included the data per-state and Canadian territories for Great Horned Owls (the same owl friend as in Baby Owl Rescue). Here is a sample of what my troops were able to do in math to not only build their computational skills, but also to strengthen their environmental awareness simultaneously.
For more ideas and insights on how to use this remarkable book in your classroom, check out the following resources:
- Sylvan Dell's Baby Owl Rescue page
- The Great Backyard Bird Count (Educator and Kid info pages are among the resources--in addition to more real-world mathematical data)
- Jennifer Keats Curtis' Webpage
Baby Owl Rescue pic from http://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?tid=18213; Math sheet from my camera.
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