Thursday, May 20, 2010

Math and Children's Literature

In a child's world, mathematics is seen as a set of rules - a collection of procedures, actually - they must first be memorized and then correctly applied to produce the answer. For example, look at this problem:

There are 125 sheep and 5 dogs in a flock. How old is the sheperd?

Children often believe that the must produce an answer from the numbers provided in the question, even though you and I both know that wouldn't make any sense. To help children make better sense of mathematics, relate it to their world, starting early on in their development. One way of doing this is through picture books. As I said in my previous posting, stories can serve as a great jumping off point for activities and can connect children with the world they engage in.

Here are some great books that explore mathematical concepts:

One Gray Mouse by Katherine Burton
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Jim and the Beanstock by Raymond Briggs
How Many Mice? By Michael Garland
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr.
Poor Puppy by Nick Bruel
Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
Quack and Count by Keith Baker
What Comes in 2s, 3s, and 4s? by Suzanne Aker
One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
Blue Sea by Robert Kalan
A Second is a Hiccup: A Child’s Book of Time by Hazel Hutchins
Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Big Week for Little Mouse by Eugenie Fernandes
Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? by Christine Schneider
The Cheerios Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward
The Crayola Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams
There Were 10 in the Bed by Karen Young
The Butterfly Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta
The Oreo Cookie Counting Book

Tall by Jez Allborough
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Over in the Meadow by Jane Cabrera
Hannah’s Collections by Marthe Jocelyn
Anno’s Counting Book by Anno
Building Shapes by Susan Canizares
12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam
Give Me Half! By Stuart J. Murphey
The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid
Benny’s Pennies by Pat Brisson
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Are there any suggestions for books or websites with booklists that can be used to promote a better understanding of mathematics?

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