The Common Core ELA Standards link reading and writing with ALL content areas. To me, this seems like a no-brainer; after all, how can you learn about history and economics and science and technology if you can’t read about them?
But math is different, isn’t it? Mathematics deals with numbers; English language arts deals with words. It seems to me that these are two parallel roads, never to cross.
Shannon Mersand explains that Math and ELA do intersect in the area of “Math Practice” standards, most notably in the use of word problems. In a post on the Teachers Engage website, she lists the standards side by side, color-coding how they align in reading , writing, and comprehending word problems. She explains how the use of word problems in the math curriculum addresses not only the Math Practice standards, but also incorporates eleven ELA standards!
Shannon also recommends using Shooloo, a math website. Teachers can set up each of their classes on this site and use it for homework. Students learn how to write their own word problems, or they can solve existing word problems—or critique a word problem that is not written clearly or that is missing information. (Students are also coached on how to create positive feedback.) If you already use Shooloo, how do your students like it?
Check out Shannon’s post for a more complete explanation of aligning Math and ELA standards.
Do you have any other practical ideas for using reading and writing in math classes?