Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Fly on the Ceiling ~~ Math Mentor Text

 (I know...not one word!)
 The theme for this week is math. Stacia and Amanda over at Collaboration Cuties host this great linky each week. I get so many great ideas and books from this linky that sometimes it's overwhelming. In a good way! Pinterest, is my best friend, for keeping all these ideas and books organized in a central location.

 It was hard to pick just one math mentor text! I finally decided on, The Fly on the Ceiling.

Amazon~ "Recognized as the father of analytic geometry, René Descartes was a French mathematician and philosopher. Kids will love this funny and very accessible tale - based on one of math's greatest myths - about the man who popularized the Cartesian system of coordinates.  
This is a story about how the very messy French philosopher, Renâe Descartes, invented an ingenious way to keep track of his possessions"

This is a great book to introduce the attributes of the coordinate plane and graphing ordered pairs. 
It is a cute story about the messy philosopher and how he solves his messy problem.
(At the end of the book, the author does say that the story is more than likely not true, but Renae did solve a problem and create the Cartesian system of coordinates.)

After I read the book and we talk vocabulary. We start our treasure hunt. I give students a map of an island. We work through the PowerPoint reading scenarios and finding various treasures located in specific coordinates. Sometimes, there is not a treasure! Students use a compass rose to help navigate.  
The whole slideshow is set up as a story of intrigue and adventure.

Then, I have students get in groups of about 3. Their job is to create a story of adventure and a map using a coordinate grid. I have huge rolls of grid paper! Love it!!!
Students create a story and then a map of the setting. Students have the option to create a multimedia presentation or just a handwritten one.
Here is a part of an adventure my students created. 
This was a large group due to the fact that several students left during this time.

Check back to see the other fabulous math mentor texts. I did some serious pinning!


  1. Love the idea behind this book! I don't currently have any math literature books about the Cartesian Coordinate system. Thanks for sharing:)

    The Math Maniac

  2. That book looks really neat! I think I'll have to add it to my bookshelf : )
    Kids Math Teacher

  3. What a creative book. The illustrations look really fun.
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Have a nice week.

    School Is a Happy Place

  4. I would love to have a copy of that PPT! It looks like a great tool.