I'm preparing to teach another session on "Linking Math and Literature." If you're up for a little discussion, I'm curious to know your thoughts. Feel free to answer as much or as little as you choose! :)

1. How do you go about choosing children's books to teach math concepts? What, to you, makes a good book for teaching math?

2. How do you use children's books with math?

3. Do you think there are "good ways" and "bad ways" (probably not PC, but you get the point) to use children's books in teaching math?

4. What do you wish you knew about using children's books to teach math?

P.S. I realize my posting has been lax this past week. My work schedule has increased AND I'm taking an on-line class--on math, what else?--so I've been a little lacking in time. But I managed a stop at the used bookstore today to buy another pile of children's books for teaching math! :) Getting excited about this class.

1. How do you go about choosing children's books to teach math concepts? What, to you, makes a good book for teaching math?

ReplyDeleteI like a book with a sense of humor - like the Stuart J Murphy Mathstart books. Some books have too much ponderous "now we are going to do math." attitude. A touch of beauty, like in Anno's counting book is important, and a connection between the illustrations and the concepts, like in Greg Tang's puzzles.

I mostly check out whatever the library system has that is on the Living Math lists, and see what flies with my kids, not every book enchants at the same stage.

2. How do you use children's books with math?

I just read the book. If they get enthused, we might try something that is a suggested activity, or one that just presents itself to the child.

3. Do you think there are "good ways" and "bad ways" (probably not PC, but you get the point) to use children's books in teaching math?

Don't beat a dead horse. If the ideas aren't flowing, return it to the library and do something else.

4. What do you wish you knew about using children's books to teach math?

HOw to go as deep as the interested children want to go once the others are bored.

1. How do you go about choosing children's books to teach math concepts? What, to you, makes a good book for teaching math?

ReplyDeleteI pick books that our daughter enjoys reading. She loves books that leaves room for imagination or has characters that she loves like the 365 Penguins. Any book that captures and holds a child's attention is good.

2. How do you use children's books with math?

I own math books that I used for teaching concepts in the classroom. For example, The Doorbell Rang was wonderful for introducing division. But now that I'm homeschooling, we take pretty much any book that has an interesting concept (not necessarily math-related) and use it to play around with math. The Story of Ping lent itself to using cuisenaire rods to represent the number of ducks. Penguin books were used as a jumping point of playing around with penguin toys which lent itself to math play. Our daughter loves to make up math games with whatever she can find. We're very open.

3. Do you think there are "good ways" and "bad ways" (probably not PC, but you get the point) to use children's books in teaching math?

I'm not quite sure what the question is asking but I'm guessing that our open way can be considered "bad" if you are looking for straight math concepts being taught.

4. What do you wish you knew about using children's books to teach math?

I wished I had known about all the wonderful books that teach math concepts! There's so many more books now than when I was teaching many years ago. I think it would have been more fun for the children and more "holistic" than the segmented way we introduced math in school.

For me good book has to have a good story. I don't like the books that are clearly a word problem or a concept with a very thin story on top. I also prefer when the book doesn't try to boil an ocean dealing with too many concepts at once, but weaves one concept into the story line. We enjoyed books from Math Matters and MathStart series, but MathStart was more hit-and-miss here.

ReplyDeleteWe recently discovered "The Life of Fred" series of maths books, which follow the story of a 5 year old Maths Professor, Fred, who teaches Maths at Kittens University. The antics he gets up to keep the children asking for more!

ReplyDeleteI'm very interested in this area but this is our second term homeschooling, and I still have much to learn. I'm not answering any of your questions because I haven't approached this method due of my lack of experience, but it would help much if you make suggestions. I have the list of math story books you have posted, but I feel numb as I have no idea where to begin. Could you please give suggestions on good judgement on the many books available?

ReplyDeleteSara