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Math Literacy


Building Stronger Number Sense ......... Strategies for Literacy in  Math


The Components of Number Sense

Article provides a framework for teachers to think of math as a set of connected principles and to present the math to students in this fashion.  Includes how using this framework affected one middle school teacher.



Number Sense and Algebraic Thinking Routines

Packet of number routines, mental math strategies, number translations, silent board game,and "diamond" problems designed to build number sense in secondary students.


Number Sense and Algebraic Reasoning

Tutorials for students on 

  • Operations with whole numbers
  • Powers and exponents
  • Order of operations
  • Solving equations with mental math
  • Variables and expressions
  • The Distributive Property
  • Sequences and patterns
  • A problem solving plan


Student Workbook for Building Number Sense

A workbook written to provide students practice with the Number Sense strand on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), this 130-page text includes information and practice on

  • Integers and fractions
  • Exponents
  • Word problems
  • Percents
  • Interest


Boosting Number Sense:  Strategies and Activities

Provided by the Yale National Initiative, this site includes number sense strategies, activities, and sample problem sets.


Estimation 180

Estimation challenges for each day of the school year designed as a 10- to 15-minute warm-up that will build students' number sense.


Number Sense tests

Sets of items requiring students to use their number sense to calculate answers rather than resorting to a calculator to do the work for them.





Inspiring Middle School Literacy

Free source, but requires sign up for viewing more than three lessons. These online self-paced lessons for blended learning are designed to enhance the literacy skills of struggling readers in grades 5–8.  Each uses videos, interactive activities, note taking, reading, and writing to present students with an engaging science, social studies, mathematics, or English language arts topic. Each lesson addresses a range of literacy strategies, which are listed in the accompanying teacher's guide.


Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction

Reading strategies and examples specific to the mathematics classroom are shared in this chapter from the book published by ASCD.


Teaching Math and Literacy Seamlessly

PBS and NCTM sponsored webinar which discusses resources supporting literacy and mathematics and how to better support students' and teacher's needs. Experiences of implementing the Inspiring Middle School Literacy lessons with 8th grade mathematics students are shared.


Literacy Strategies for the Math Classroom

15 literacy strategies that can be implemented in the middle school mathematics classroom organized according to when they should be used in the classroom setting: “Introducing Concepts,” “Through Concepts,” “Beyond Concepts,” and “Vocabulary.”  Each literacy strategy page contains the definition of the strategy as well as a strategy procedure plan.  Many of the pages also contain any necessary worksheets or student examples.


Ten Ways Literacy Can Promote a Deeper Understanding of Math

The author shares ten ways to incorporate reading, writing, and speaking into mathematics instruction to help students develop deeper mathematical understanding.


Adolescent Literacy in Mathematics

Math texts present special literacy problems and challenges for adolescents.  The article presents reading practicesthat can be incorporated in an inquiry-oriented math classroom.


One Grain of Rice

A lesson from NCTM connecting literature by using the book One Grain of Rice by Demi.  In the lesson, students take on the role of a villager in a third-world country trying to feed her village. Students work collaboratively to come up with a bargaining plan to trick the raja into feeding the village using algebra, exponential growth, and estimation.