Using picture books is a great approach to consider when thinking about how to teach multiplication to struggling students. The following are examples of great math read alouds for supporting you with this:
We hope this math picture book list will be helpful as you plan your upcoming math lessons and would love for you to try these math resources with your students. They offer students opportunities to practice grade level concepts and skills in fun and engaging ways. You can download worksheets specific to your grade level (along with lots of other math freebies) in our free printable math resources bundle using this link: free printable math activities for elementary teachers.
This piece discusses general principles of reading and analyzing storybooks, and offers brief descriptions of picture books. It describes how to use the Math Picture Book Analysis Guide with pre-service or in-service teachers.
If you ask your participants to think about resources for teaching math to young children, they may not suggest picture books. However, just as picture books provide opportunities to develop literacy, they can also be used to promote children's mathematical thinking.
When discussing how to use picture books to teach math, it is important to make a distinction between three types of books: those in which math is explicit, those in which math is implicit, and everything else.
Explicit math books are written for the express purpose of teaching children math. These may even contain a reference to mathematical concepts in their titles, as in the case of books such as Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh. But other books that also explicitly teach math concepts do not have such titles. For example, Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boyton, is actually a counting book, but you would not know that from the title.
Other picture books do not explicitly address math, yet the text and illustrations do afford students opportunities to learn about math concepts. A well-known example is Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which the story involves size comparisons. For example, Papa Bear is the biggest, Mama Bear is medium-sized, and Baby Bear is the smallest. While your participants may not think of Goldilocks as a math story, significant math ideas are implicit in it and important to the plot. Your participants can learn how to use both implicit and explicit math picture books to help children discuss and investigate math ideas.
An effective way to analyze picture books with participants is to read a picture book together as a whole-group activity. Although they will ultimately be presented with a guide to help them analyze books on their own, this first introduction can be less structured. In this example, we focus on counting.
After participants have analyzed a picture book together, introduce the Math Picture Book Analysis Guide (download below). This guide will help participants analyze any book and determine its suitability and usefulness for teaching math to children.
Next, break the participants into small groups to analyze some picture books using the Math Picture Book Analysis Guide as you did as a whole group. Encourage them to check off boxes for each question and write comments.
Have participants annotate the picture books using sticky notes. On the first page, make general notes about the book and its usefulness. Annotations for individual pages may include notes about the specific math found on the page, vocabulary (math or otherwise), general reactions or feelings about the book, as well as questions that a teacher might ask a child while reading. Here are some possible annotations for the Balancing Act spread.
Picture books afford many opportunities to explore children's mathematical thinking. This is true of explicit math books as well as books in which significant math is implicit. The Math Analysis Picture Guide and the other picture book resources mentioned across our modules can help participants analyze and select picture books effectively and use them to teach math concepts.
Sara Schmitt, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, is the co-principal investigator on the project. She said picture books and the interaction between parent and child can lay the foundation for academic success later in school. Schmitt has read the books to her 3-year-old and was excited about the math interest that was generated.
The use of a narrative supports problem solving as students have a reason within the story to solve and to figure. A picture book can be used as an introduction to a concept, as a launch pad to further explore an idea, or as a prompt for a discussion and debate.
It is important to select books that are of high quality from both a literary and a mathematical perspective. Evaluate the mathematics within the book prior to sharing it with your students and decide on some directions you are interested in following with questions or response activities.
Select a cell from the table below to see a list of books with mathematical content suitable for a particular level AND strand. Selecting a row or column heading will provide a list of books with mathematical content at that level OR strand. Some books appear at more than one level or strand.
The Deductive Detective by Brian Rock, illustrated by Sherry Rogers This entertaining picture book incorporates math with the mystery genre. Detective Duck needs to use his deductive reasoning to figure out which of the twelve animal bakers stole the cake from the cake contest. He follows the clues, subtracting each suspect as he rules them out. Until only one animal is left! Can you use your thinking skills to figure out the culprit before Detective Duck?
A Topological Picturebook is a visual feast for anyone concerned with mathematical images. Francis provides exquisite examples to build one's "visualization muscles". At the same time, he explains the underlying principles and design techniques for readers to create their own lucid drawings.
In this collection of narrative gems and intriguing hand-drawn pictures, George Francis demonstrates the chicken-and-egg relationship, in mathematics, of image and text. Since the book was first published, the case for pictures in mathematics has been won, and now it is time to reflect on their meaning. A Topological Picturebook remains indispensable.
This page lists fun, clever books on math for kids. Mathcan be challenging, so when theusual explanations and strategies don't work, what's a teacher to do? Use math picture books! A funny and/or interesting story pulls the kids in, and then thedifferent approach (vs. traditional math direct instruction) means eventhefrustrated kids are more receptive to learning math. Children who claim to not likemath can find an engaging, 'friendly' entry into the subject via clevermath picture books.
Clever, funny, well-illustrated, interesting math kids books can make teaching real world math somuch easier for teachers and more fun for kids. Truthfully, we work on this section of the website more than any other section because we know how important differentiating math lessons can be. Some kids really struggle with thinking mathematically and need the material presented in a number of different ways. Math story books and picture books do this beautifully! Adding a few math picture books might seem like a 'nice extra' to your math lessons, but chances are there are a few students for whom this extra little step will make ALL the difference in the world.
The STORYTELLING MATH project, based at TERC, Inc., is working to change the landscape of math picture books. With our partner Charlesbridge Publishing, we are producing a dozen English and Spanish books that:
With these books, we aim to broaden popular conceptions of content, contexts, and characters in math picture books; and with our stellar authors and illustrators of color, we hope to expand views of who can create math picture books for young children.
Infusing math into picture books offers an unparalleled opportunity to promote learning among young children in the years before they enter school. The benefits of reading to and with children are well known; when math and literacy are combined, children experience synergistic impacts in both domains, with growth in complexity of language, vocabulary, mathematical understandings, and enthusiasm for learning (Ginsburg et al., 2016; van den Heuvel-Panhuizen and Elia, 2012; Anderson et al., 2005). Opportunities for early math learning are essential: early math skills are one of the best predictors of overall academic success in the years to come (Morgan, 2016; Mongeau, 2013; Sonnenschine et al., 2012).
Our first books will be released in Fall 2020. We hope they make an impact on several levels: sparking mathematical thinking, learning, and conversation among readers; giving the public a broader vision of math picture books; and perhaps even prompting other publishers to follow the Charlesbridge lead, offering picture books that are mathematically rich as well as beautiful, lyrical, broadly appealing, racially diverse, and written by authors of color.Join our mailing list and be the first to know when the books will be available! firstname.lastname@example.org
Heartfelt thanks to the Heising-Simons Foundation for their vision, their deep commitment to racial equity, and their enthusiastic and generous support; to Alyssa Mito Pusey and her colleagues at Charlesbridge for their collaborative spirit and for ensuring that these books are joyful, resonant, and beautiful as well as mathematical; and to Star Bright Books for the stellar math board books developed with Ellen Mayer and Ying-Hwa Hu as part of our pilot effort, also funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation.
Some of my favorite picture books to use are those that help reinforce basic math concepts, like multiplication and division. With this in mind, I have two engaging multiplication picture books to share with you. 2b1af7f3a8