We are educators, readers, writers, and mathematicians.

We seek to unite the two worlds of math and literacy.

Too often, math and literacy are separate. Teachers typically feel more confident and receive more professional development in literacy instruction, while they may feel less confident and knowledgeable in math. Our goal is to build a bridge between literacy and math – to connect what teachers know and do in literacy to what is effective in math.

We began our journey together as second grade teachers collaborating to plan units, field trips, and family-school events.

Our paths have taken many directions as we seek to explore the puzzles of teaching.

Kateri taught in an inclusive, early childhood classroom and served as a mathematics specialist for a PreK-4 elementary school. Each year of teaching and coaching, her questions grew in number and size, so Kateri earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at the University of Virginia and served as Site Director for the Central Virginia Writing Project (a National Writing Project site at the University of Virginia). Kateri was an assistant professor at James Madison University, where she taught early childhood, elementary, and special education math methods courses as well as math content and math specialist courses.

Currently, Kateri has followed her passion back to the PreK classroom. When she’s not in her classroom with her amazing four-year-olds, Kateri is still asking questions and seeking answers by learning from and with elementary teachers and students in their math classrooms.

Alisha received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  After teaching for several years, she earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education from the University of Virginia. Alisha’s previous experiences include teaching in early childhood, single and multi-age  classrooms, working at McGuffey Reading Center (a reading diagnostic center at the University of Virginia), and serving as an elementary reading specialist.

Alisha is currently an instructional coach for a PreK-4 elementary school. She also serves on the district literacy team as the PreK-1 lead teacher.  

Wherever our paths take us,

wherever our questions lead,

we always come back to math and literacy,

to the power and promise of cohesive instruction and professional development.

We both love the schools where we teach, but the ideas we share on this website and blog are our own and are not meant to represent the philosophies or practices of our employers.

Contact us at mathplusliteracy@gmail.com

 

Presentations:

Thunder, K. & Demchak, A. (2017, March). Differentiated Math Instruction. Presentation at the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, Harrisonburg, VA.

Thunder, K. & Demchak, A. (2017, March). The Math Diet: An Instructional Framework to Grow Mathematicians. Presentation at the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, Harrisonburg, VA.

Demchak, A. & Thunder, K. (2017, March). Integrating Math and Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom. Presentation at the Virginia State Reading Association Annual Conference, Roanoke, VA.

Thunder, K. & Demchak, A. (2016, September). The Math Diet: An Instructional Framework to Grow Mathematicians. Presentation at the Virginia Council of Mathematics Specialists Annual Conference, Culpeper, VA.

Thunder, K., Schultz, K.T. & Imbrescia, E. (2015, April). Student-Centered Assessment: Letting Students Set Their Own Goals. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, Boston, MA.

Thunder, K. & Schultz, K.T. (2015, February). Making Mathematics Teaching and Learning Visible: A Framework for Shifting Prospective Teachers’ Beliefs and Attitudes. Presentation at the Association of Mathematics Teachers Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.

Demchak, A. (2014, November). Math Literacy Skills. Presentation at Monticello Reading Council’s New and Noteworthy In Nonfiction Conference, Charlottesville, VA.

Thunder, K. (2014, November). Preschool Mathematics and the Virginia Foundation Blocks. Presentation at Region 5 T/TAC’s Twinkling Stars Fall Conference, Waynesboro, VA.

Thunder, K. (2014, October). Differentiating Elementary Mathematics Instruction. Presentation at the Valley of Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Fall Conference, Harrisonburg, VA.

Thunder, K. & Moore, R. (2014, March). STEM in the Elementary Math Classroom. Presentation at the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, Harrisonburg, VA.

Dunlap, K., Schultz, K., & Thunder, K. (2012, December). Making Literacy Relevant to Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers: Perspectives and Beginning Solutions for Elementary and Secondary Levels.  Presentation at the Literacy Research Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Thunder, K., Cromer, J.J., Hale, A., & Hall, C. (2012, November). Craft Across the Curriculum: Authentic Writing Processes and Products. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV.

Lewinski, K. & Thunder, K. (2011, November). Multigenre Research Leads to Multigenre Teaching. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Hansen, J., Gaffney, M., & Thunder, K.  (2011, November). We Can Write Too: Growing Confident Writers in PreK-1. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Thunder, K. (2011, April). The Geometry of Letters: Preschoolers and Geometric Reasoning.  Selected as Professional Development Focus of the Year Learn↔Reflect Strand Session. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Buchholz, B. & Thunder, K. (2011, April). Differentiating Through Problem Solving: Creating a Community of Diverse Learners. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Thunder, K., Rickert, L., & Hansen, J. (2010, April). When Mathematicians Write: Making Meaning of Mathematics. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Walkowiak, T. A., Thunder, K., & Buchholz, B. (2010, April). You’re Doing Algebra: Making Algebraic Reasoning Explicit for Young Learners. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Bowles, P. H., Buchholz, B., & Thunder, K. (2009, November). Student Interests Driving Differentiation and Content Integration in Writing: At the Intersection of Literacy and Mathematics. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Hansen, J., Korab, E., & Thunder, K. (2009, May). Writing Across the Curriculum: Writing Brings Young Children into Reading and Other Curricular Areas. Presentation at the International Reading Association Annual Convention, Minneapolis, MN.

Thunder, K., & Buchholz, B. (2009, March). Mathematicians Write and Revise. Presentation at the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, Virginia Beach, VA.

Demchak, A. (November, 2007). ABC to Writing Fluently: Implementing a Primary Writer’s Workshop. Presentation at VATE Conference. Albemarle, VA

Lawrence, J. K., Hansen, J., & Thunder, K. (2006, November). Examining the Role of One Teacher’s Oral Language Within a Second Grade Writers’ Workshop. Presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, Nashville, TN.

 

Publications:

Berry, III, R.Q. & Thunder, K. (in press). Concrete, Representational, and Abstract: Building Fluency from Conceptual Understanding. Virginia Mathematics Teacher.

Thunder, K. & Demchak, A.N. (2016). The math diet: An instructional framework to grow mathematicians. Teaching Children Mathematics, 22(7), 389-392.

Hansen, J. & Thunder, K. (2014). Spanish, mathematics, and English: The Languages of Success in a Grade 8 Class. Voices from the Middle, 21(3), 18-23.

Kissel, B., Thunder, K., Tassell, L.R., & Hansen, J. (2014). Transformative professional development: A professional development team learns from students who write across the curriculum. In D. Polly, T. Heafner, M. Chapman, & M. Spooner (Eds.), Professional Development Schools and Transformative Partnerships. Charlotte, NC: University of North Carolina.

Suskind, D., Hansen, J., & Thunder, K. (Eds.). (2015, May). Creativity: Writing as Creative Construction. Language Arts, 92(5).