Bringing other subjects into math teaching and learning.
Integration with Math
Math is often a stand alone subject, where integration is not as actively at the forefront of the lesson. However, math integration with other subjects can be a wonderful way encourage math teaching and learning, especially for students who are trying to find a place within the field of math.
Art, Math, & Reading
As a way to look into math integration, I have provided a lesson that I planned and executed for my Teacher's Education practicum between 2019-20. This lesson focused on creating patterns using the attributes that can be used to create them, which include colour, direction, shape, and size.
The lesson used a book, The Boy & The Sari that I had created for an art and math course with Dr. Saba Alvi based on Vivek Shreya's, The Boy & The Bindi. In my own extension of the book, I focus on a boy learning how to wear a sari with his mother, as he looks at the different patterns. The sari patterns include all of the attributes, in addition to repeating patters, shrinking patterns, and so on.
Accordingly, the lesson started with a recap of The Boy & The Bindi, which the students had read two days prior to this lesson. Then, we looked at different saris and the patterns on them, as a hook to the lesson. Thereafter, I read the book, having students think about three questions: Who are the characters? What is happening in the story? What patterns do we see? As we went through the read aloud, we saw a number of patterns in the story. More importantly, we touched upon challenging the notion of gender stereotypes by reading about a boy who wears a sari -- something that is traditionally seen as 'women's clothing' in India.
After the think aloud, I explained the activity (or rather formative assessment) that students have to work on. More specifically, students had to create their own sari patterns, using the different attributes (i.e. colour, direction, shape, and size). I included an anchor chart and a sample formative assessment (see below) to provide an example for students to follow.
In the independent practice, students came up with their own patterns in the Grade 3/4 classroom. These are two examples of those patterns:
While this is the activity that I did with my Grade 3/4 students in practicum, I included several other activities when I submitted the assignment for Dr. Saba Alvi's course. For example, students could create their own sari print on a fabric as seen in Activity 1. Alternatively, students can use manipulatives to show concrete examples of different patterns, using the attributes.
I also included a pattern walk activity for guided math practice, as a way for students to walk around the classroom to complete tasks related to patterning. Finally, the Comic Book Zine is an idea to integrate math with writing to create their own work, as I did with the book, The Boy & The Bindi.