Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Transformation Tuesday- Math Picture Books to Love

Did you know there are many picture books centered around math content and skills? For the month of February, Transformation Tuesday will be all about math picture books and how to use them in the classroom. Using picture books in the math classroom is an excellent way to engage students and to teach or reinforce grade level content and skills through literature. 

Picture books can be used to enhance the mathematics you teach in a variety of ways. I have included a few ways and an example of each below: 
  • Lesson Launch- Picture books can be great lesson openers. Choosing a picture book that is related to the content you are about to teach gives students a context for their learning, helps activate prior knowledge, illustrates another way to connect the learning, and develops curiosity about the skill. Examples- If You Hopped Like a Frog and The Greedy Triangle
  • Explore a Concept- Picture books can be a great way to explore a concept too. Often times, picture books are designed so that students can work through the problem of the story with the characters of the book. For this type of learning experience, a well-crafted activity sheet can be used to give students an opportunity to experience the skill with the characters. Examples- Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland, A Remainder of One, and Spaghetti and Meatballs for All
  • Explain- Picture books can also support student understanding of a skill after an initial learning experience. Many books actually explain how or why to use a skill or procedure and then gives students an opportunity to apply it through the context of the story. Examples- A Fly on the Ceiling, Cut Down to Size at High Noon, and What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?
  • Station Work- Picture books make great tasks for math stations. Series such as the Pig books by Amy Axelrod and books by Stuart Murphy can be used with an accompanying activity sheet. Read an example of how to do this here
Amazon has a fabulous selection of math picture books-- many of which you can peruse via their website. Below, you will find a list of the books that I wrote about in last year's Math Picture Books to Love Series. This month, I will add a few more titles to this list. Click the book title to read more about the book and how it can be used to enhance your students' learning. 

A Fly on the Ceiling

A Remainder of One

Cut Down to Size at High Noon

If You Hopped Like a Frog

How Much is a Million

Math Curse

Multiplying Menace- The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin

Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All

The Greedy Triangle

What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?

Sound Off! What's your favorite math picture book?

Want more? My month newsletter, Teaching Tidbits, includes a regular feature article highlighting a math picture book and ways to use it in the classroom. In addition, I often include an activity sheet to accompany the reading. 
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