Stories that integrate math enhance thinking and learning on so many fronts: they expand children’s problem solving skills, bring math into real-life situations, extend thinking, and expand vocabulary and literacy skills! Books that ask kids to think mathematically or to problem solve in new ways not only reinforce math and literacy skills, but also highlight creative problem solving! Give some of these great math reads a go:
- One Grain of Rice by Demi is a great story to help your child understand the power of doubling, as well as a lesson in creative thinking. To drive the lesson even farther home, offer to double a single penny for a week and have your child predict how much money he will get at the end. Make it a paper exercise for a month, lest you find yourself short more money than you can probably spare (see http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/pro/rich.html to see the math)! You can tie this notion in with the Free Rice website, where you child can answer math questions and collect bowls of rice for needy people.
- Zero by Kathryn Otoshi (or any in this series!): Zero makes friends with the other numbers and ultimately figures out what she's really worth. Use it to talk with your child not only about the value of numbers and counting by tens, but also about the synergistic momentum that supporting one another and working together as a team generates.
- The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns is a great way to get talking about geometry for first graders. Math Guru Marilyn Burns has so many wonderful ideas, books, and activities for learners across the ages.
- Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang has more riddles and ways of problem solving that stretch kids’ thinking and extend their learning! This fun book focuses on addition, asking readers to use the clues he provides to determine 'how many.'
- Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens: A Math Adventure by Cindy Schwinger. This whole series is a great way to bring math to a new dimension. The book will allow your child to apply grouping and adding to “real life” situations (because, how many King’s surprise parties will your child be going to?).
- A Place for Zero: A Math Adventure by Angeline Sparagna Lopresti and Phyllis Hornung. Nice book to read to talk about math vocabulary and place value.