Counting on Katherine (Part 1: The Book and The Math)

Written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Tiemdow Phumiruk Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Saved Apollo 13 tells the story of Katherine Johnson, the mathematical genius who made sure that Apollo 13 returned home safely.  Counting on Katherine was published in Henry Holt and Co. in 2019 and is recommended for children in kindergarten through 4th.

Trapping Math Magic in Spider Web Shapes

Written and illustrated by Tim Hopgood Walter's Wonderful Web is a story about a spider trying to build a perfect web to withstand the wind. Walter forms webs containing sets of  similar shapes inside each other. Hopgoods lyrical lines pair perfectly with his adorable images of Walter and his web-making struggles.

Everyone Can Learn Math (Part 2)

In the world of math, nothing matters more than how we’ve been taught to feel about math. Math is beautiful and magical. It informs so much of our world, which is what makes a student’s belief that they cannot do math all the more heartbreaking. In her book Everyone Can Learn Math, Alice Aspinall seeks to dispel the myth that some people are just not math people.

Everyone Can Learn Math (Part 1)

Here's the first line of post about Alice Aspinall's book Everyone Can Learn Math writer by Julie Homenuik: "In the world of math, nothing matters more than how we’ve been taught to feel about math."  I have such strong feelings about this sentence that I was unable to contain them in a short introduction to Julie's post.  So this POST 1 is a LONG introduction to her post which I will share next Monday as Part 2.

Do your Math Books Spark Joy?

With her new Netflix special premiering in the resolution filled frenzy of January, Marie Kondo and her Life Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is everywhere. For those unfamiliar, one main piece of Kondo advice is too collect ALL of a particular item in your home (e.g, all clothes, all books, all papers),... Continue Reading →

Welcome to the World of Common Core Math

In this post, we share another magical math homework help book that really puts out the welcome mat for anyone entering the world of Common Core Math. Even though the Common Core standards were released in 2010, for parents with young children, this may be your first encounter with the standards. So step in parents and teachers.  Don’t be afraid. Even though this book has Common Core stamped on the cover, I promise you will find no horror when you flip the page.

Math Book Magic Revisited: Books that Invite Children to Join the Mathematical Story

Over the next year, in addition to sharing new magical math books,  I'd also like to revisit some of our older posts in an effort to clarify this definition by compiling and sharing a list of magical math book ingredients. There were books we read where the authors were clearly interested in what we, the readers, thought. In fact they prompted us to join in. These books had the first magical ingredient: invitation.  These books extended authentic invitations for us to join the conversation, to share, create, and explore mathematical ideas, to co-construct a mathematical story.

Using Beetles and Dance to Broaden Ideas about Math

Socks are like Pants, Cats are like Dogs was written by Gordon Hamilton and Malke Rosenfeld and published in 2016 by Delta Stream Media, an imprint of Natural Math. What I find refreshing about this book is the amount of noticing it affords. Children are invited to notice connections, similarity and differences throughout all the activities.

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