Sunday, September 18, 2011

Books That Teach Math!

Sylvan Dell Publishing has a wonderful line of fiction books that teach science, social science and math skills through a great fiction story. You'll find rhyme, a great story, some seek & finds and lots of activities to expand the knowledge your children learn from the book.
by Barbara Mariconda
Illustrated by: Sherry Rogers
Age 3-8, Grade level P-3
Includes 4 pages of activities & more online!
Available on Amazon for $8:95

Ten For Me is a fun fiction story perfect for introducing younger readers to addition and using rhythm and repetition for all ages to help them learn basic math facts.

Rose & Ed (two adorable kids your kids will identify with) decide to go out and catch butterflies, armed with their butterfly nets, little cages and Rose's handy little book about butterflies. Each day each child catches a different amount of butterflies and they add them up to see who has the most. As each day goes on Rose gets more and more down until suddenly she starts to catch more than Ed!

Using Rose's book about butterflies they learn about the lifecycle of butterflies, what they eat and they also keep a tally of the number of butterflies they catch and release (this is something YOUR kids can do too). The story is told in a fun little rhyming format and your kid's will quickly start repeating the addition part as you read it aloud.

That second day out still wasn't much fun
cause' Ed netted nine and I netted one!
How many in all? Let's add them again.
"Well, 9+1=10!" Ed said. "9+1=10!"

Each day the total number of butterflies adds up to 10 butterflies, so your kids will learn their addition from 1-10 very easily.  The only way I would of liked to see this done differently was to do: Well, "9+1=10"! Ed said, "1+9=10!" That way kids could see it done both ways - (there is nothing stopping you from reading it this way if you'd like) - and that it is the same both ways, it just looks different.

by Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by Erin E Hunter
Age 4-9, Grade Level P-4
Includes 4 pages of activities & more online!
Available from Amazon for $8.95

This fun book also uses insects to learn math. This time we learn about multiplying. Opening with fireflies and the rhyme:

Nine Brilliant Fireflies
Twinkle in the Dark
Glowing Lights Flash On and Off
How Many in the Park?

Your kids will count eyes, legs bubbles from a spittlebug, dots on ladybugs and even more. In this case your kids will count 9 fireflies for the answer to the problem. Full spread pictures, a fun rhyme on each page and a visual of how the math problem looks (9x1=9) enable your child to actually count with their eyes and fingers to visualize the problem.

There are many ways to use these books for kids - counting, seek and find, learning about bug parts, life cycles, comparing and for older kids - multiplying and graphing. Both of these books include activity pages in the back of the book. Most of the activities are for older preschool to elementary children, but you can also tweak them to use them with younger kids around 4+, and if you make them visual using manipulatives and full color flashcards w/ pictures I'd think 4-5 year olds would do find with some of the charting and graphing type exercises. Each book also has another 40 pages or so of activities online to look at too (everything from puzzles to discussion questions).

Both are great books for teaching basic math to your kids. Be sure to go to Sylvan Dell Publishing to see what else they can offer your family, classroom or homeschool program.

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