Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

How to Teach Reading and Math Concepts in Second Grade

By Paula Dugger, M. Ed., Guest Blogger

When you use leveled books that prompt real-world applications of mathematics, students will recognize that math is a part of their daily lives. Integrating reading and math by using informational and narrative texts will help you create meaningful and fun opportunities for learning. In today's blog post, I'll explain how you can teach math concepts while kids practice reading in second grade.

Teaching Students About Money

Kids should learn about money because it's needed to buy items that have various prices. Money in the United States is a level K book from the Fables & the Real World collection, and it's an excellent book for teaching kids about American currency. This informational text explains the value and details of each coin and the dollar bill. As you're lesson planning, think about creating activities that involve fake money to give students a multisensory experience.

After reading Money in the United States, provide small groups of students with bags of plastic coins, dollar bills, and items that they can buy with their fake money. An activity like this will help kids use counting and problem-solving skills to determine how many things they can purchase.

You can enhance the activity by having students create word problems that explain how they used different combinations of currency to make purchases. Here's an example of an activity that incorporates real-world connections between reading, writing, and math.

Students will benefit from constructing their own math sentences and word problems because reading a math problem is much different from other types of reading. This will improve their abilities to interpret information found in math problems they read in the future.

Improve real-world connections and content-area literacy with E–K titles, which  are available in Fables & the Real World, by clicking here.

Teaching Students About Measurements

Using recipes is another way to help kids practice math skills as they read. Measuring ingredients and following directions using a recipe is something students may be able to relate to and enjoy practicing, especially if the result is a tasty treat! Gingerbread Kids, which is a level K book from the Story World Real World collection, offers an engaging way for kids to make real-world connections with a recipe for making gingerbread cookies.

After reading the nonfiction book for kids, you can create multisensory activities to make a lasting impression. To do this, you can bring teaspoons, tablespoons, and measuring cups to have kids measure dry ingredients, such as salt, rice, or sand, or wet ingredients, such as water. Then you can have students work together to follow the recipe to make gingerbread cookies. You can also have students create a graph to show the following:

  • How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon.
  • How many teaspoons are in a ¼ cup.
  • How many tablespoons are in a ¼ cup, etc.
The internet has an abundance of fun and kid-friendly recipes. You can find and print some for kids to practice with their families at home. Sending easy recipes for hot chocolate, trail mix, and playdough to make at home is a simple way to encourage students to practice measuring with their families.
      Help students effortlessly meet state standards with I–M titles, which are  available inStory World Real World, by clicking here.

      Teaching Students About Time

      Time plays a big part in children's lives because there's a time to get up each morning, a time to go to school, and a time for lunch just to name a few. What’s the Time?, which is a nonfiction level L book from the Story World Real World collection, explains how clocks have evolved and how time relates to our daily functioning. You can create activities that reinforce Common Core math standards for second grade, such as reading numbers on a clock or telling time in five-minute intervals.

      Creating schedules is an easy way to help students practice learning about time. You can start by modeling how to write time in the correct format and how to draw hands on the face of an analog clock. Afterward, students can show their understanding by completing their own schedules that incorporate events that take place in their homes. You can download this classroom activity worksheet for kids to practice telling time independently by clicking on the image.

      Explore more narrative and informational texts that are available as Paired  Texts by clicking here.

      Teaching kids about math concepts as they practice reading can be so much fun when you incorporate a range of practice during your guided reading lessons. This helps your readers make connections and develop an understanding of math in the world around them.

      Be sure to visit us soon to find more ideas to help your students!

      Paula is an educational consultant who has previously served as a Reading Recovery Teacher/Teacher Leader, first grade teacher, Title I and high school reading teacher, and a Reading Coordinator. If you like what you read here, you can enjoy more from Paula on our blog.