On Monday, I participated in the USF Inquiry Conference for the second year in a row. I presented my inquiry, which is about creating and writing a children’s book that incorporates both mathematics and reading strategies. I am also excited about my inquiry because it was the basis for my Honors College Thesis about what strategies, research, and resources I can use to write a children’s book. I presented in a roundtable format in which guests listened to me present and had the opportunity to ask me questions about my work. I am so happy for this experience because I am really proud of all of my hard work and I was so happy to share it with everyone. I was also excited to see other interns in the Residency and Cohort programs present with posters or in roundtable sessions.
For my presentation, I discussed the children’s book that I wrote and read to my students. I collected data to discover their interests and mathematical needs. I wanted my book to reflect their characteristics and experiences as well so the book would be relatable so they could make connections between the text and themselves. I found a lot of research that revealed the benefits of using mathematic literature for lessons; read alouds are already engaging and mathematical literature helps students make connections, learn vocabulary, and see real world problems.
My students really enjoyed all of the elements of the book, from the title to the main character and the plot. They were able to explicitly name the math strategies that they learned about and they even tried to solve the problems as I read the book to them.
I would love to get my book published in the near future; however, I would love to see what other teachers think about my book first so I can make improvements to it. I see my book as a resource for teachers to use as a read aloud to engage students before a math lesson. I created an example lesson plan for my book so teachers could get an idea of how to use it in their classrooms. There are also many phonics skills incorporated into my book such as long and short vowel sounds, contractions, possessives, and compound words. I created a page for parents and teachers to help their students learn and practice these skills using my book.
I was so happy to have a second opportunity to present research in the USF Inquiry Conference. I have definitely grown a lot over the past year. I am excited for what the future holds for me and I hope to take my book to a publishing company some day and see it in a store.