Math Literature: Creating a Math Library at Home
It is so easy to forget the importance of reading books when it comes to math. Creating a "math library" isn't really the first choice for many families when visiting a bookstore or the library. However, there are many terrific math books out there that will stimulate your child's thinking and reasoning of mathematics.
Children aren't learning the same way we did 20 years ago. The days of doing 30 problems for homework are out the window. Students in math class are now keeping math journals and spending more time explaining their thinking rather than rote memorization. As the Common Core Standards are being implemented into our school systems, we need to support this rigorous thinking at home. It is imperative as parents, that we are supporting this new style of learning for our own children's success.
The Common Core is asking for students to relate their math thinking and understanding to real world situations. It is not enough to be able to calculate and answer simple word problems anymore. Students are being asked to apply new concepts to real life problems and use reasoning to respond to different situations. Picture books are a great way to encourage this thinking and develop these strong conversations, as well as help your children make a connection to what they are learning in the classroom and their everyday environment.
When I taught middle school, my students loved when we did math read alouds! Every year, I would start the school year by reading The Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka. It is such a fun and engaging book that follows a day in the life of a young girl who is given a math curse by her teacher and now looks at everything as a math problem. Together we would chart the different ways we used math in our everyday lives. My students were amazed at how important math is and how much we rely on it to be successful. Consider creating this "curse" with your child(ren) and spend a day noting all the different problems you come across and create your own family math curse.
Below are some great books to build your child's math library:
How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz (K-2nd)
The Icky Bug by Jerry Pallotta (K-2nd)
The 100-Pound Problem by Jennifer A. Dussling (K-2nd)
Clocks and More Clocks by Pat Hutchins (K-2nd)
The Long Wait by Annie Cobb (K-2nd)
Subtraction Action by Loreen Leedy (K-2nd)
Midnight Math by Peter Ledwon (1st-5th)
Adding It Up by Rosemary Wells (3rd-7th)
Math Potatoes by Greg Tang (3rd-5th)
7 x 9 = Trouble by Claudia Mills (3rd-5th)
Piece = Part = Portion by Scott Gifford (3rd-6th)
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander (3rd-7th)
The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (6th-8th)
Secrets, Lies and Algebra by Wendy Lichtman (6th-8th)
The Writing on the Wall by Wendy Lichtman (6th-8th)