“Math in American History” Week 17 Fourth Grade
American History Adds Up: Learn how math can help you understand America’s past (Non-Fiction, Level 13, Stage 3) by Mark Gave
From Christopher Columbus to World War II and slavery to Hiroshima, American History Adds Up: Learn how math can help you understand America’s past is a book that combines reading, social studies, and believe it or not, even math. The 7 chapters across 30 pages each contain history content as well as “It’s a Fact” paragraphs and “Solve This!” problems to help students use their math skills to untangle some of history’s greatest highlights. The math problems are, admittedly, challenging, even for the most advanced fourth grader, but I suspect this is intentional to provide a platform for learning and conversation between student and teacher. This is truly a fantastic resource for facilitating learning in many content areas.
The activity I want to highlight this week is the vocabulary element of the Guided Lesson. While the student reads the book independently, he is encouraged to discuss vocabulary terms as he comes across unfamiliar words, but also, the Guided Lesson builds in other ways to discuss vocabulary both review and new. This, I believe, is a much more effective way to teach vocabulary skills for my fourth grader because it shows him how to look for context clues and to use what he already knows for interpreting new words. Also, as he completes other activities for responding to the reading in various ways, such as writing main ideas, facts found, and reasons why this book belongs in its particular genre, he is able to use his new knowledge of vocabulary right away, which seals the knowledge much better than memorization. This is just one of the many reasons we love AlphaSkills so much!
For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.