Saturday, September 10, 2011

Eat Your Math Homework

My favorite new book for the math classroom is Eat Your Math Homework Recipes for Hungry Minds by Ann McCallum. Students won't report to class claiming their dog ate their homework with activities such as the ones McCallum has cooked up. These tasty recipes can be followed at home or at school for a tasty snack of milk and math.

The recipes begin with "Fibonacci Snack Sticks" where children learn about patterns and sequences with a side of math history as they skewer a variety of ingredients to create edible patterns. Other recipes including "Fraction Chips," "Tessellating Two-Color Brownies," and Probability Trail Mix" will have students coming back for seconds.

Teaching Tip
Invite parents to join the class and assist small groups of children as they cook up some math.

[NOTE: I've provided links to both the hardcover and paperback versions of this book. You may want the hardcover for you personal library. I suggest multiple copies of the paperbacks so you have at least one copy for each small group.]

Friday, September 9, 2011

Teddy Bear Math

While I was away for the summer break a new book found it's way to my desk Teddy Bear Math by Barbara Barbiere McGrath. This book can engage children in a delightful exploration of counting, estimation, sorting, addition and graphing. The rhyming verse encourages readers to grab handfuls of Teddy Bear Counters for a variety of activities. Even if you do not have a set of Teddy Bear Counters for children to use along with reading the book I think it is a great addition to your classroom library.

An earlier book by McGrath, Teddy Bear Counting is a perfect companion to the new title. Together children will build Number Sense and develop counting skills.

Teaching Tip
Substitute beans as an inexpensive substitute for the teddy bear manipulative. I suggest dried white beans that can easily be spray painted red, yellow, purple, blue, orange and green then used for all of the counting and sorting activities.