There are a lot of great unit studies out there, and many topics from history, science, and literature are often used as the backbone of
those studies. A few years ago I wanted to
do a math unit study with my kids and was
disappointed to find that I could not find
one. Math is sometimes included as a small
part of a unit study on another subject, but
more often ignored completely.
Why can’t math be as cool as the other
subjects and get to sit at the center as the
star of a unit study? The truth is, math is
awesome and makes a great unit study.
Math needs to come out of the textbook
box where we tend to keep it locked away
from the fun and exploration that take
place with a unit study. We need to uncover
and inspire our students with the wonder
I decided to put my own math unit study
together, and let the subject shine. I divided
my unit study into eight weeks, with a dif-
ferent theme each week.
Week 1: Measurement
8: 15 a.m. - Music Theory,
Week 2: Patterns
Week 3: Money
Week 4: Geometry
Week 5: Fractions
Week 6: Decimals
Week 7: Probability
Week 8: Exponents and Radicals
Then I crafted a daily schedule. I have in-
cluded resource ideas and links within this
schedule to give you ideas and inspire you
to tackle a math unit study in your home-
Memorization, and Math Song
For music theory, I used Music Theory by
Anne Crosby Gaudet, available for free on
You Tube ( bit.ly/2zViyvZ)
For memory work, we used number
families written on triangles, similar to
these three-corner flash cards (amzn
We did some work to visualize the card in
the air, and then draw it on a paper without
looking, and write out the four arithmetic
problems that went with each card.
We also used YouTube for our math
songs; some of my favorites were by Schoolhouse Rock!
8: 30 a.m. - Math History Read-
• Mathematicians Are People Too, by
Luetta and Wilbert Reimar (amzn
We used this book and volume two of
the same title as our history read aloud.
After each reading, I would have my kids
write the name and time period of the
mathematician on one side of a blank
Unit Studies: Math!
How and Why To Do
a Math Unit Study
By Marla Szwast
Why can’t math be as cool as the other subjects
and get to sit at the center as the star of a unit study?