Have you ever wanted a new-and-improved version of yourself? Well, I know a triangle who once did, too. He thought that by adding angles to his shape, he would be better off than he originally was! But what did he learn by doing so? Maybe being a triangle isn’t all that bad.
Today’s picture book, The Greedy Triangle, written by Marilyn Burns and illustrated by Gordon Silveria, is great for primary teachers (K-1) who are introducing shapes and their physical characteristics. What makes a triangle different from a quadrilateral? A pentagon? What about hexagons and so on? Also, where do we see these shapes? As The Greedy Triangle sets off on his journey to become more than he is meant to be, the reader begins to see shapes form everywhere..from sails on a sailboat to supports on a bridge.
This book is great for two reasons. First, it is a fun story that teaches young readers about two-dimensional geometry. Secondly, it can be used to teach kiddos a lesson about self-esteem. Do you really want to be “new-and-improved” if it changes your shape and your character? What are the consequences of changing your shape? And, most importantly, what makes your shape awesome as it is?
One of the reasons I love picture books is because, unlike instructional texts and novels, text can float freely around a page and still have meaning. And it is only in a picture book that mathematical diagrams and charts become illustrations and illustrations become diagrams and charts. Fractions, Decimals, and Percents by David A. Adler, illustrated by Edward Miller, has a unique combination of narrative, instructional and illustrative text on every page, ensuring that the reader learns in a variety of ways.
Adler and Miller’s picture book creatively ties a real-world scenario (a county fair) with the math concepts of fractions, decimals, and percents. The reader is taken through the fair – from our favorite, the pie-eating contest, to the prize-winning booth – and shown how fractions, decimals, and percents are all easily converted!
This book is so amazing, that it is listed on That Math Lady’s “Terrific Books on Math” (http://thatmathlady.com/math_resources/blogs_and_books). I highly recommend this picture book for students who need just one more demonstration of how to convert these abstract quantities or for anyone who wants a cute and enjoyable book to read!
Adler, David A. Fractions, Decimals, and Percents. Illustrated by Edward Miller. Holiday House, 2010.
The second math book that I am celebrating during Picture Book Month must be in the Top 5 of all math books…and it’s definitely in my Top 3.
One of my favorite childhood author/illustrator teams was Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Funnily enough, to this day, they are still one of my favorites. You may be familiar with some of their other books, such as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs or The Stinky Cheese Man. (If you haven’t read them, finish reading this blog and then go get them. You and your kids are missing out!) Well, Math Curse is no exception to their witty and ridiculously smart story-telling.
Everything is a math problem in Math Curse. It is in this great picture book that we realize, along with the main character, that math is everywhere we look! From telling time, to choosing what to wear each morning…we are using math!
Although this book is written primarily for children, children of all ages (yes, including you!) will love it.
I just found out (less than an hour ago) that November is Picture Book Month! In honor of this month that celebrates picture books, I am going to dedicate one blog each day to a math picture book! Yes, this means that you may see more than one blog from me each day, but c’mon…it’s picture books…about math! It can’t get much better than that!
To start off this month-o-math picture books, I would like to celebrate G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book written by David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Marissa Moss. To be completely honest, I just checked this book out from my local library two days ago (I had NO idea I’d be reading it and blogging about it two days later!).
I’m sure many of you have read this book to your students ~ it is great because it talks about some of the lesser-known mathematical terms and names (ex: “F is for Fibonacci” and “R is for Rhombicosidodecahedron”) and gives background to some of the more familiar things, like “abacus”and “hundred.” This book is where the ABC’s and 123’s truly intertwine!
Do you want to increase literacy and exposure to informational texts in your middle school or high school math class? This book will do the job!G is for Googol is also a 1999 ALA Notable Children’s Book.
Happy November, everyone! Yes, it’s another student inquiry project/webQuest. This one is for middle school math (CCSS grades 5-7), but you could use it for younger advanced learners, or older learners who need some review.
I have come to the realization that we need more real-world learning in the classroom. Why?
1. It makes learning math content more relevant.
2. It makes math more interesting.
3. It requires higher-order thinking and, most times, student collaboration.