Presentation on theme: "Contact Info Melissa Poremba is delighted to speak on the topic of numeracy skills support and development at school and public libraries. She can be."— Presentation transcript:
1 Contact InfoMelissa Poremba is delighted to speak on the topic of numeracy skills support and development at school and public libraries. She can be contacted viaIn addition, many of her lists live on the Oakville Public Library site ( ) and you may also send her a message via that platform. (Look for ‘math’ lists from ‘melissapowl’ and then click on ‘Send melissapowl a Message’.)
2 Numeracy Skills Development @ Your Library Melissa PorembaOLA Super ConferenceFebruary 26, 2010
3 What is Numeracy?The International Adult Literacy Survey defines numeracy as:“The knowledge and skills required to apply arithmetic operations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed material, such as balancing a cheque book, figuring out a tip, completing an order form or determining the amount of interest on a loan.”Numeracy, in other words,is largely about our ability todeal with the basic calculationsin our daily lives.**Note about terminology!
4 “Over 40% of the population has difficulty with everyday tasks such as reading prescription instructions or measuring volumes for household chores. This means that approximately four out of 10 Canadians are at a basic or low numeracy level.”~ABC Canada: Workplace Literacy – In Brief
5 Why should we be concerned? Libraries traditionally associated with literacy skills support and developmentReadingWriting
6 Canadian Council on Learning: Reading the Future ~Report Resources – Fact Sheet
7 Canadian Council on Learning: Reading the Future
8 To be considered “literate” today… Must haveTRADITIONAL LITERACYANDNUMERACY SKILLS
9 Conference Board of Canada: Employability Skills 2000+
10 As a library professional, do you use numeracy skills? Everyday!Budgets, circulation stats, staffing, acquisitions, programming, …“E-Library Economics” (Feb 10, 2010)Library Value Calculator
11 Numeracy skills development It’s not just for “mathies”!Everyone needs these skillsBut don’t forget the “mathies”!We don’t have to teach the math!We don’t teach reading and writing in the library, we facilitate them; we don’t have to teach the math eitherLibraries provide the resources and a rich supportive environment for numeracy skills development just as for traditional literacy skills
12 As a library professional, do you promote numeracy skills development? Absolutely!Dewey Decimal SystemEvery time you train a page…Every time you help a patron locate a book in the stacks…Story time“Count Us In” (Jan 1, 2009)Database/Internet searching“Search Engine Math”Boolean operators (Venn Diagrams)
13 How else can we support numeracy skills development in our libraries? What I want to share todayWhat I won’t be doing
14 What symbol is this?!Exclamation markWhat else?
15 What symbol is this?!In mathematics, the factorial of a non-negative integer n, denoted by n!, is the product of all positive integers less than or equal to n. (~In other wordsn! = n (n-1) (n-2) (n-3) … (3) (2) (1)6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1= 720
16 My point?It is the same symbol, just viewed from different perspectiveYou don’t have to know the definition, just be aware that others may see the same thing differentlyYou already have the resources,programs, and promotional tools—just need to view them througha new lens
17 My goals:Increase awareness of the potential of the library to support numeracy educationYou have the skills, resources, programs and promotional tools necessary to be an advocate for numeracy in your libraryYou might simply need to see them from a different perspectiveFor “mathies”For everyoneTake the ideas presented here and adapt them to your particular situationInspire you to come up with more ways to integrate numeracy into your library’s collections and programsEstablish your library as a destination for numeracy support and resources
18 We would never dream of saying that about reading! Please…Whether in your capacity as a library professional, parent, teacher, or anyone with influence on children, please stop saying that you…Don’t like mathCan’t do mathSee no need for mathDon’t understand the new mathEtc., etc., etc.Don’t pass along your “math anxiety”!We would never dream of saying that about reading!
19 What can libraries do to further promote numeracy skills development? Depends on:Type of libraryDemographics of patron populationCollectionsResourcesPromotional tools
20 A mishmash of ideas and resources School libraryPublic libraryAdultsStudentsPre-schoolersParentsTeachers/HomeschoolersThere is always something that can be done!
21 Let’s start with the obvious Where do you expect to find the “math” resources in your library?
22 In the 510s:510 Mathematics 511 General principles of mathematics 512 Algebra 513 Arithmetic 514 Topology 515 Analysis 516 Geometry 517 [Unassigned] 518 Numerical analysis 519 Probabilities & applied mathematicsAnd also in:372 Elementary education373 Secondary education793 Indoor games & amusements 795 Games of chance
23 What is the first resource that comes to mind when thinking about numeracy skills development? Mathematics instruction, even at the post-secondary level is text book driven.Students and parents come in looking for text-like materials (lessons, drill, practice, problems)
24 Variety is crucial There are many different formats to support different learning stylesPrintMulti-media: CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMsSubscription databaseseLibrary, CPI.Q, Gale Virtual Reference LibraryLearning ExpresseBooksInternet
26 Internet sites Portals: No point re-inventing the wheel Canadian Mathematical Society: Mathematics for Students and TeachersOntario Association for Mathematics Education: Math LinksDiscovery EducationKidsClick!BJ Pinchbeck’s Homework HelperMath CentralKathy Schrock
27 For visual learners Free online resources: (N.B. This collection of online videos can be accessed through the Discovering Collection database by clicking on the Streaming Video icon.)Obviously need to warn patrons about exercising caution when using web resources
28 Issues “Math Wars” – be aware! Discovery Rote/”Drill & Kill” Strive for balance (examples)Local preferences/needsBeware of traditional focus onEuropean malesWatch for “contrived” stories; that is,just because they say “math”…Consider level of mathematical rigour requiredWatch for inconsistencies in seriesInclude Canadian content whenever possible
29 Canada, eh! Some very inspiring stories: John Charles Fields Donald CoxeterJohn MightonEric DemaineRavi VakilA. K. DewdneyKim RossmoDon’t forget thedatabases!
30 You never know who you will inspire! “When I was quite young, I believe no older than 11, I came across two books that would determine how I thought about mathematics for the next 20 years, until, at the age of 31, I found the confidence to return to school and start a degree in the subject. One book was a collection of science fiction from the local library. It contained a story about two children who construct a Mobius strip that enables them, by a process I unfortunately can’t recall, to travel in time….Though I haven’t reread the short story since I was a child, I would be surprised if it was well written, and even more surprised if the mathematics behind it was sound. But the story awoke a greater sense of wonder than I have felt reading anything since: from it I gained the conviction that mathematics was a magical subject that would allow me, once I had mastered it, to transcend the everyday.” (9)~ Mighton, John. The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child. Toronto: Anansi, 2003.John Mighton, a Canadian, is a mathematician, author (The Myth of Ability, The End of Ignorance), playwright (Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama), actor (Good Will Hunting), and educator (JUMP)~
31 Weeding A frequently neglected area Sunlink Weed of the Month “Math publishing has changed significantly in the scant years since the first edition was released . Back then, I’d draw the graphs and illustrations on paper and hope that a graphic artist could understand what I was trying to communicate. Now, however, I can electronically create the illustrations myself, ensuring that they are accurate and reliable.”~Kelley, Michael, W. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Calculus. 2nd ed. New York: Alpha Books, 2006.
32 Where else might you find resources to support numeracy skills development? We all use math everyday, no matter what we doThat is the key message: that the “math” materials are throughout the collection!
35 And here… Geometrics: A New Way to Crochet By Ruthie Marks Product Description Mathematical craftwork has become extremely popular, and mathematicians and crafters alike are fascinated by the relationship between their crafts. The focus of this book, written for mathematicians, needleworkers, and teachers of mathematics, is on the relationship between mathematics and the fiber arts (including knitting, crocheting, tatting, and quilting). Each chapter starts with an overview of the mathematics and the needlework at a level understandable to both mathematicians and needleworkers, followed by more technical sections discussing the mathematics, how to introduce the mathematics in the classroom through needlework, and how to make the needlework project, including patterns and instructions.Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten ProjectsBy Sarah-Marie Belcastro, Carolyn Yackel
36 And still here… Crocheting Adventures With Hyperbolic Planes By Daina TaiminaWith more than 200 full color photographs, this non-traditional, tactile introduction to non-Euclidean geometries also covers early development of geometry and connections between geometry, art, nature, and sciences. For the crafter or would-be crafter, there are detailed instructions for how to crochet various geometric models and how to use them in explorations.Short-listed for the Diagram Prize (oddest book title of the year).
37 Mobius stripA Mobius strip, an object with only one surface and one edge; such shapes are an object of study in topology. ~
38 And even here! Group Theory in the Bedroom and Other Mathematical DiversionsBy Brian Hayes
39 Not sure where to start? Textbooks: chapter introductions, sidebars Authors of popular math books: Theoni Pappas, Ian Stewart, Martin Gardner, Calvin C. Clawson, Clifford A. Pickover, Keith Devlin, A.K. DewedneyZiauddin SardarJohnny Ball
40 Word Problems (Story Problems) Where else?What was one of the most challenging type of math problem in school?Word Problems(Story Problems)
41 Math in context Mathematics in FICTION Plot Characters Central IncidentalCharactersEveryday peopleMath teachersMathematicians
48 Safety in Numbers Ooops… Ooops…“I belong to the 8% of the world population who calm their apprehension by drowning it in numbers.” (p. 301)Sometimes you think they will have something to do with math and they don’t!
49 Don’t forget the databases Novelist PlusWhat Do I Read Next?mathematic*AdultsTeensOlder KidsYounger KidsTotalFiction275316678450Nonfiction353272253944Combined628973383311394
50 “Mathematical Fiction” The best web site!“Mathematical Fiction”maintained byAlex KasmanCollege of Charleston
56 What promotional tools do you have? BiblioCommons (patron input)Bookmarks/listsPrintElectronicPathfindersBlogSite of the WeekDatabase or WikiPamphletsPresentation/OutreachParent’s NightFamily Literacy eventsSummer Reading promosAdd a Trip to the Library and Your Skills Will Multiply
57 Reading Programs DEAR, DIRT, SSR Get the math teachers on board Read-alouds for older studentsDon’t forget the Mathematical Fiction site!
60 “Take Your Chances @ the Library!” Games day – learn about probability, statistics, game theory, logic puzzles
61 World Math Day http://www.worldmathday.com/ World Math Day Video Challenge (Teacher Tube)Be the driving, coordinating force just as for Family Literacy DayIn Australia, the government sponsors a combined National Literacy and Numeracy WeekReal World Math Contest (Teacher Tube + Texas Instruments)
62 Pi Day (March 14 = 3.14) Books Sites Also Einstein’s birthday! Also Einstein’s birthday!
63 “Math is Beautiful” Tesselations (Escher) Origami Quilting Fractals Read about Eric Demaine (Canadian now at MIT)QuiltingFractalsDoodlingGolden Ratio/Divine Proportion (nature, art, architecture)
64 Sidebar for library professionals Merchandisingshape, patterns, symmetryThe Library at Night by Alberto ManguelChapter on “The Library as Shape”(p 129 – 161)Discussion of the geometric patterns of the Laurentian Library’s tile floor designed by Michelangelo:
65 “Double the Fun” Dress up as twins Books about the number 2 and/or multiplying by 2Books with “two” in the title
66 Make Connections Hot topics The Olympics are all about the numbers! Lewis Carroll =Charles Lutwidge Dodgson(mathematician)First Wikipedia logo included quote from Dodgson’s “Euclid and His Modern Rivals”.~
67 Googol/GoogleGoogle’s search algorithm—PageRank considers more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms.~
68 Combining Literacy and Numeracy Teachers/parents short on timeCombine lessons“Story Problems”Research supports theoryWhat If Your ABCs Were Your 123s?:Building Connections BetweenLiteracy and NumeracyBy Leslie Minton
69 More resourcesConnecting Math with Literature: Using Children's Literature as a Springboard for Teaching Math Concepts Grades 3-6By Lisa CrooksLiterature-Based Math Activities: An Integrated ApproachBy Alison AbrohmsMath Links: Teaching the NCTM 2000 Standards Through Children's LiteratureBy Evans, Leija, FalknerSome of these are dated but you may still have the referenced books in your collectionMath Through Children's LiteratureBy Braddon, Hall, Taylor
70 A few more to considerCheck out books by David J. Whitin, Phyllis Whitin and Sandra WildeHow to Use Children’s Literature toTeach MathematicsBy Rosamond Welchman-TischlerLiterature-based activities for integrating mathematics with other content areasBy Robin A. Ward
71 Marilyn Burns Math and Literature series Math and Nonficton seriesChart of children’s literature featured in Math Solutions Publications seriesEVERY SCHOOL BOARD SHOULD CONSIDER OWNING THIS SET!
73 Find lists online Booklist Online: Math in Fiction Library Booklists: Math in Children’s Fiction:The Math Drexel: Literature and MathematicsMath Books for ChildrenMathematics Council of Alberta’s Teachers’ Association: Mathematics and LiteratureInvestigations in Number, Data and SpaceChildren’s Picture Books that Teach Mathematics ConceptsMath and Children’s LiteratureMiddle and High School: Literature in Mathematics
74 Taking it to another level IssuesDiscussionCompare/contrastCharacter developmentCross-curricular connectionsProvide a positive, integrated experience with mathematics
75 There’s Nothing in the Library! Books about ‘zero’ and/or ‘nothing’
76 Book Lust by Nancy Pearl includes a chapter entitled: “Zero: This Will Mean Nothing to You”The Hole in the Universe by K. C. ColeThe Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas About the Origins of the Universe by John D. BarrowZero: The Biography of a Dangerous Number by Charles SeifeThe Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero by Robert Kaplan
77 #1 (One) By Vladimir Radunsk “The Power of One”Link to topic of “bullying”Link to discussion of“uniqueness”OneBy Kathryn Otoshi#1 (One) By Vladimir Radunsk
78 Self AcceptanceDissatisfied with its shape, a triangle keeps asking the local shapeshifter to add more lines and angles until it doesn't know which side is up.
80 Fiction vs Nonfiction Math Prodigy Savant How are mathematicians portrayed? Math teachers?
81 Putting mathematical skills to work Is it legal?Is it ethical?
82 Discussion topics for older students/adults Euro-centric approach to mathematics education, especially history of mathematicsConcept of infinity as presented in The Tortoise and the HareThe power of numbers in our contemporary, data-driven society
83 Dodecahedron or A Frame for Frames by Paul Glennon Regular dodecahedron: a polyhedron (solid with plane faces) with 12 faces, each of which is a regular pentagonFinalist, 2006 Governor General’s Award for FictionCan you construct the dodecahedron that links the characters in the stories?
84 Information Literacy Opportunities for incorporating numeracy + literacy + information literacy
85 What if there is an error in the math? Take advantage of a ‘teachable moment’Information literacy lessonWhat is the error?What correction is necessary?Why is it easy to overlook the error?Who should we inform?What are their credentials?How can we contact them?Can we write our own story?
86 Literal translation Reference to ‘Pi’ in the Bible Try ‘Google’ this topic for an excellent discussion on the objectivity, reliability, authority of web sites‘Pi’ in the Old Testament:“And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from theone brim to the other: it was round all about,and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirtycubits did compass it about.” (I Kings 7, 23)
87 Physical BooksHow many numbers can you find on/in a book? (ISBN, price, pages, chapters, reading level, date, Dewey number, edition, etc.)What did we gain by switching to ISBN-13? How many more items can we uniquely identify?Reference collection is excellent place to study concept of ‘relative size’ as ‘biggest books’ usually located there. What does ‘biggest book’ mean?Use duplicate copies and Big Books (read aloud size) to demonstrate ‘similar’ and ‘congruent’
88 Dewey Decimal System Base 10 number system: 10 then 10 then 10 … Arrange books in numerical order: place value, greater than, less thanEvery time you train a page or explain to a student how to locate a book using call numbers, you are teaching math!Evaluate expressions involving decimals and search for items with corresponding Dewey numbersTake several books and perform operations with their Dewey numbersOrganize scavenger hunt matching math question answers to call numbers“Dewey Decimal Sudoku” in School Library Media Activities Monthly
89 PatterningCollection can be categorized based on many ‘attributes’ (hardcover/soft-cover, fiction/nonfiction, reference/circulating, etc.)Arrange selection of books into various patterns based on attributesOverlap with Venn diagrams
90 Physical CollectionRatio problems: proportion of collection in various genres, formats, etc.; compare with number of shelves in various genresRate problems: if purchase books at rate x and weed at rate y . . .Estimation: number of items in collection – what information would you need?Problem solving: what information would you need to calculate the approximate value of the books in the collection?Have students graph findings of proportions
91 Sample application Activity: Book Drive Sort books: fiction, non-fiction, picture booksTally books in each categoryUse Excel to make chart and graphSubmit to newsletter
92 OPAC Learn to use OPAC features by answering questions such as How many books do we have by Robert Munsch?How many items that come up under a keyword search for ‘bears’ are fiction?What is the oldest book we have on the subject of mathematics?How could I find out the average age of a portion of the collection?Explain that all electronic resources are founded upon the binary number systemWhat other subject headings might be used when searching for ‘math’ books?
93 Databases Mathematics articles in the databases 30 journals in Academic OneFile on subject of mathematics including “Teaching Children Mathematics”, “Mathematics Education Research Journal” and “Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education”Don’t forget CBCA and Canadian Reference CentrePopularPedagogicalTechnicalA fantastic way to attract the attention of teachers!Alerts, RSS feedsSend to staff meetings/put in mailboxes
94 Research strategy parallels From OSLA’s Information StudiesZimmer, David, et al. Mathematics ofData Management. Scarborough, ON:Nelson, (page viii)
95 RememberSome of these activities may leave the shelves in a shambles, but they are well worth it if patrons/students gain exposure to the collection and find something that they would like to borrow
96 My goals:Increase awareness of the potential of the library to support numeracy educationYou have the skills, resources, programs and promotional tools necessary to be an advocate for numeracy in your libraryYou might simply need to see them from a different perspectiveFor “mathies”For everyoneTake the ideas presented here and adapt them to your particular situationInspire you to come up with more ways to integrate numeracy into your library’s collections and programsEstablish your library as a destination for numeracy support and resources
97 Eratosthenes—My hero!Describes the life and work of Eratosthenes, the Greek geographer and astronomer who accurately measured the circumference of the Earth. While he is also known for the Sieve of Eratosthenes, an algorithm for identifying the prime numbers, his main occupation was as the librarian at Alexandria.You might not be the librarian who measured the earth, but perhaps you will be the library professional who inspired a patron to make a mathematical discovery!
98 Divide and conquer! Go forth and multiply! Thanks for coming!Divide and conquer!Go forth and multiply!
99 Contact InfoMelissa Poremba is delighted to speak on the topic of numeracy skills support and development at school and public libraries. She can be contacted viaIn addition, many of her lists live on the Oakville Public Library site ( ) and you may send her a message via that platform. (Search for ‘math’ lists from ‘melissapowl’ and then click on ‘Send melissapowl a Message’.)