“I’ve never known any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.”
Go read some math
Math Storybooks. Sounds a bit weird? As parents we’re used to reading to our young children as often as we can, and telling our older kids to “Go and read a book!” and who doesn’t yearn for just a few minutes in the day to catch up with our own reading. We all know the importance of books and reading, however I have just one plea when it comes to your family’s reading:
Try to read some math!
- For adults, the Freakonomics books are a fun way to look at how statistics are not always how they appear.
- Teens and preteens usually love the Murderous Maths books, with their comic book treatment of math.
- My kids love Spaghetti and Meatballs For All, which explores perimeter, area and multiplication in this slap-stick tale. There’s even a parent’s guide at the end.
The best thing about math story books is that kids can enjoy them even if they cover topics which are mathematically advanced for them. Julie Brennan who runs the Living Math Yahoo E-list explains
- “kids do NOT have be developmentally ready to master a concept to benefit from being exposed to more advanced concepts in them. We don’t sanitize our daily conversations with our kids of every word or grammatical construction we don’t think they are ready to understand; we use vocabulary and ideas above their heads all the time in language which, when they are ready, they will understand. Most of our language skills are not learned from direct teaching; they are learned from immersion – frequent exposure in many different contexts.”
How can I find cool math story books for my kids?
You can find math stories in many bookstores; try looking in the kid’s science section. For help in choosing the best math storybooks for your children, try the following websites:
- Search “math stories” on Amazon featuring customer reviews and the “Look Inside” so you can get a feel for the tone and style of the books.
- Click the Maths Insider Amazon Store where you’ll find my personal recommendations, many from my own bookshelf.
- Check out the Living Math Reader Lists, an extensive list of categorized Math Readers, great if you’re looking for a story that supports a particular math topic.
- Browse Beth’s Bookshelf, and read math storybook detailed reviews and tips on how to take the discussion of the main points from the story further.
Banish the fear of fractions and the perils of place value by exposing yourself and your children to some math stories this week.
Go read some math!