Nov. 24 – 27: Sir Cumference Series

If holidays were siblings, Thanksgiving would be the “forgotten child” in the family. You know, the kiddo who sails under the radar, year after year; sitting in between the more exciting holidays, Halloween and Christmas. Then, once a year, for a very minimal amount of time, he is hyped up…and just when he starts to relish all the attention, he is dropped like a bad habit as the focus is shifted to the baby, Black Friday. (Don’t even get me started….)

I won’t lie, Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays. That being stated, I feel that Thanksgiving is not celebrated in our hearts in the way it should. How do we give thanks each year? We make cards for our parents. We post thankful comments on Facebook each day. We say a blessing before we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner. These are nice gestures, but they are very mild in comparison to why this holiday was created in the first place.

The reason I bring this up is because it is less than a week since Thanksgiving Day and I have noticed that people have already fallen off the gratitude train. For some, it takes a mere couple of hours to forget as they trample over their neighbors at the local Wal-Mart. For others, they develop that Christmas-tunnel vision by Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving is out the window.

Not me. Not this year. I continue to be thankful for all that I have, especially the gift of education, the ability to communicate, and a passion for teaching. Without these things, I would not be where I am today. I am so thankful that I have a passion for teaching and that I am able to share that passion with others. And I am so thankful for you for allowing me to share it with you. 🙂

OK, I bet you are probably wondering where my Picture Book Month books are! Well, seeing as though I am running out of days this month, I am going to combine the rest of the Sir Cumference books series into one post. So far this month, we have already celebrated Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens as well as Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland. Now, it is time to celebrate the rest of Cindy Neuschwander’s medieval math adventures!

The rest of Cindy Neuschwander’s Sir Cumference books are just as wonderful and thrilling to read. My favorite is Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi. This book is perfect to read to your students when you begin to introduce circles and circle-measurements!

Only a few Picture Book Month posts left. I have enjoyed sharing these amazing books with you and I hope that you’ll expand your math picture book library with a few of these titles during the holiday season!


Nov. 13: “Mummy Math”

What do you get when you add an adventurous family vacation plus the ancient pyramids of Egypt plus three-dimensional shapes? That’s right, it all equals Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry!

Today’s celebrated picture book, written by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Bryan Langdo, uncovers some of the many geometrical mysteries of the ancient Egyptian culture, including their hieroglyphics and stone structures built during those times. While reading this text the first time, students will probably be so lost in the adventure of the main characters, Bibi and Matt, that they overlook the fact that this is a book is actually about math! So, I definitely recommend reading this book more than once!

Teachers will quickly find out that this book does a great job of introducing basic three-dimensional shapes such as cones, cubes, cylinders and pyramids. After using Mummy Math to introduce these shapes, you can then expand your lessons to other facets of three-dimensional geometry, such as vertices, faces, edges, and other shapes, too! If you need help, just go to the back of the book where Neuschwander includes “A Note to Teachers and Parents” with suggestions for using this book as an instructional tool. (I love it when the author includes resources for teachers!)

Neuschwander, Cindy. Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry. Illustrated by Bryan Langdo. Square Fish. 2009.




November 7: “Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland”

“Can you turn the page, please?” – Phoebe Fishwhiskers

If you have read any of Cindy Neuschwander’s “Sir Cumference” books series, then I’m sure you were expecting at least one of her titles to show up in my November blogs! Today, we are learning about angles as we read Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland.First and foremost, I love the characters names in the “Sir Cumference” book series: Sir Cumference (Did you catch that already?), Lady Di of Ameter, Radius, and Sir D’Grees.

In this particular book, Radius, son of Sir Cumference, is sent on a quest to find the missing neighbor, King Lell. Before Radius departs, he is given a medallion (coincidentally shaped like a protractor) to help him find his way. On his journey to King Lell’s castle, Radius passes through a “cute” village of steep-angled rooftops and heads through the Mountains of Obtuse. Radius solves a few clues, all involving the use of his new protractor medallion, and eventually reaches the castle.

Does young Radius find King Lell with time to spare? Well I guess you and your students will just have to read the book to find out!

In the book reviews that I read, I learned that this book is popular in grades as early as 2nd all the way through high school!

Neuschwander, Cindy. Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland. Illustrated by Wayne Geehan. Charlesbridge Publishing: Massachusetts. 2001.