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!

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November 9: “Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving”

I think this is the first post that I have written for math and art teachers! So, welcome to all art teachers who are reading this blog!

I hope every elementary teacher reads today’s celebrated book, Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving, by Greg Tang. If you appreciate art and math education, then I promise you that this book will be a favorite of yours. Tang uses famous artwork by artists such as Picasso, Monet, Warhol, and Van Gogh, to pose problems that need to be solved. Then, in his poetic ways, Tang explains how to group numbers and find solutions to common addition math problems.

Teachers can use this book in multiple ways. Maybe you want to introduce famous works of art, or perhaps you want to reinforce commutative and associative number properties. Then again, you might just want to bring this book out while taking a quick mental break from all of the number crunching your students are doing in class! This masterpiece of children’s literature can be read cover-to-cover, or you can focus on one page at a time. And the best part? Solutions to all of the problem-solving questions are in the back of the book for parents and teachers!

I had not heard of Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving prior to writing about Picture Book Month, but I am so happy that I found this book so I can share it with my students and with you all.

Tang, Greg. Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving. Illustrated by Greg Paprocki. Scholastic Press, New York. 2003.

November 3: “Fractions, Decimals, and Percents”

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.

 

 

 

November 1: “G is for Googol”

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!

That Math Lady loves to read about math!

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.

To find out more about Picture Book Month, visit http://picturebookmonth.com/!

Schwartz, David M. G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book. Illustrated by Marissa Moss. Tricycle Press, Berkeley, CA. 1998.