Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rounding and Literature

Teaching math is a HUGE deal for me...Like, I don't think you all really understand. I grew up HATING math, and my hate for math began in third grade and lasted until my senior year of high school. If ANYONE would have told me that I would be teaching three sections of fourth grade math, I probably would have walked away from my love of teaching. 

Anyway, my point is that math has come such a long way from when I was in elementary school. Conceptual learning has taken over my little math world, and each and every day I strive to make math fun and meaningful for my kiddies. One of my favorite ways to spice up math units is to incorporate literature. Sure, I love read alouds to begin a unit, but actually utilizing the text to enhance a math lesson is what I'm all about :)

Last week my kiddos finished the rounding unit. I know some of you are getting anxiety just thinking about rounding. It's ok...I've been there! I actually began the unit by reading Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest by Steve Jenkins. My fourth graders were fascinated by the nonfiction text in this book and were blown away by the wonders of the world that this book explored. Steve's book talks about the highest mountains, the coldest temperatures, and the deepest of oceans. Students are given actual measurements ranging from numbers in the hundreds place to numbers in the ten thousands place. After reading the text, we talked about the numbers and about how tall Mauna Kea reaches, about how far the Nile stretches, and about how hot the Sahara Desert can get at the day's peak. 

I explained to my students that as the week went on, I wanted them to flip through the book again and to pick a landmark and a number that they wanted to round to further explore. 

I had two original books but also had my fabulous parent volunteer copy the books so that students could flip through as needed.

Mid-week, I gave my students a rubric so that they were able to see the guidelines of the project. Students were to choose a landmark, identify the exact measurement, and round the number to two or more places using a number line. I had sentence strips available for students to create the number lines.

You can click HERE to grab the rubric, FREE!

By the end of the week, my classroom was filled with these gems :)

Who says math can't be exciting and colorful?!


  1. What an amazing idea!!!! Wow. Thanks for sharing. I definitely want to get that book and try this.
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. I love that book! I have used it when teaching comparing and ordering, but never thought about using it for rounding! I love your idea to use it for rounding an the pictures are cute!

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