Math is Lit!!!

It's back to school for many students which means you have to get up on time, on a certain day and log in using a specific code and participate in a lesson from a given amount of time. Sounds like math to me!!!!

Too often we forget that literature can be used in math to reinforce, introduce and even solve real world math problems. So let's take a look at a few books. By clicking the books below you can purchase. A synopsis of each book has been given along with ways to use it with children.

1.Sophie loved math even waking in the middle of the night to study. She grew up in a time when women were not welcomed in the field of math especially as a mathematician. So her parents tried to shelter her from the “no’s” until they could no longer. Sophie’s love of numbers was like a poet loving words. She knew that math was a part of everything. When no one valued her skills, she attended school by sending in her homework and using a fake name. One day her professor visited her home only to discover the genius behind the work was a ….WOMAN! THEN?????Use this book to talk about students’ love of math and all of the things they can do with math no matter their gender.

2. Let’s cook up numbers with the monkeys at the Banana Cafe. What a creative way to use positioning of letters to explain the positioning of digits in numbers or place value. The book can be used K-4 or even 5 especially since it ventures into decimals. The Hindu Arabic numbers systems are also discussed. Teachers could have students add up the value of their name and then identify the places and values of their sum. For upper grades students can play around with letters and numbers by searching for $100 words.

3. Written with a poetic form, this book will help students not only review shapes and colors but learn more about communities like cities! Example: Some shapes in the cities are ….Stars! This is a great book for primary students learning shapes. Teachers can follow-up by asking students walk through their community or home and list objects that are shapes. The illustrator used collages throughout the book, so art teachers could use this book to discuss this technique.

4. Whether you are teaching data, text features or how to compare numbers, this book has something useful for everyone. For starters it is bright and engaging and full of infographics that are high interest. For example, how many people text, download apps? Maybe you want to know details about which bear would win in bear match. How about which animals went to space and in which year.While this is not your traditional math book, it shows how math can be used. Educators could have students compare percentages or identify the fractional part, ratio, decimal or simply read numbers correctly. It is also easily accessible and as read aloud on audible.

5. Students are transported to a safari in Tanzania and learn about the language and animals. The book is poetic and repeats the phrase, “we all went on a safari.” As they enter each new area of the safari the characters meets new animals and count them. This book could be used with primary learners to reinforce animal names, and counting. For students who can add, they could be challenged to find the sum of all of the animals in the Safari or compare values. Students could also be given a number and asked how many more animals would be needed to arrive at that number. For example, if I wanted to see 12 warthogs how many more would need to join the group of 8?This book is also available on Epic Books.

6. This book follows Raye Montague as she faces challenges in her pursuit of a career in engineering. It is an engaging book written in prose. She did not let racism or gender bias stop her from achieving success. Every door that closed presented a new ANGLE for her to take. When she got a job to type where they built submarines she was not allowed to do more because she wasn’t an engineer. Instead she observed and listened and eventually did her job and theirs too. Would they respect her then, read to find out. This book would be a great way to open up a discussion on careers in STEM or to identify women in STEM. As a class, students could discuss that math is something in which everyone can excel. For schools having conversations on equity, inclusion and diversity, this book serves multiple purposes.

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