Supporting Math Through Literacy

Shared reading presents a great opportunity to reinforce concepts covered during other times of day. Whether you’re practicing the counting sequence, using stories to solve simple addition and subtraction problems, looking for familiar shapes in unfamiliar orientations, or predicting what comes next, math-focused texts can be engaging, challenging, and fun!

Herb Ginsberg, an author of the Early Mathematics Assessment System (EMAS), in a blog post with Colleen Uscianowski share some strategies for choosing high-quality math picture books. Their blog got us thinking about some of our favorite books with math themes – check these out!

The Secret Birthday Message, by Eric Carle. Tim’s coded note requires him to think about the shapes he sees around him to find his birthday surprise. As you read, students can brainstorm and make predictions about where Tim is going next, based on the shape clues he has been given. This book is also available in Spanish. [Geometry]

The Napping House, by Audrey Wood. While the text itself is fairly simple, this book gets students thinking about growing patterns. We love the activity using this text highlighted by the Erikson Institute Early Math Collaborative. (Plus, it’s available in Spanish.) [Patterning]

The Game of Patterns, by Hervé Tullet. This book is an activity in itself! Rather than reading this aloud to a large group, place it in a math center for students to use independently or in pairs. Looking for the small differences between patterns will help students think critically and conceptually about patterning. [Patterning]

What Comes in 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s? by Suzanne Aker. This book helps students practice their subitizing (judging the number of items in a group without explicitly counting). The book shows everyday objects that come in sets of different numbers. It’s a great jumping-off point for subitizing practice and activities. In fact, VKRP provides an activity to go along with this book in the Instructional Resources. [Numeracy]

One Leaf Rides the Wind, by Celeste Davidson Mannis.  A counting book…with haikus? That’s right! There are numerous classroom applications for this book – reinforcing the counting sequence and one-to-one counting, counting syllables within each line of the haiku, inspiration for creative artwork…and more! [Numeracy]

12 Ways to Get to 11, by Eve Merriam. We counted to 12, but where’s 11? This book goes through a dozen different part-part-whole combinations to make groups of 11. It’s a fun breakdown of how to put together quantities to make a larger group, and it’s an excellent starting point for more computation activities in the classroom. [Computation]

What math picture books do you enjoy reading with your kindergartners? Share with us at vkrp@virginia.edu – we’d love to learn about the teaching tools you’re using!

VKRP provides support via the online chat feature when you are in the system, via email vkrp@virginia.edu, and via toll free 866-301-8278 ext. 1