Sunday, April 17, 2011

Children’s Literature in Mathematics

Why Use Children’s Literature in Mathematics?

¨To provide a context or model for an activity with mathematical content.
¨To introduce manipulatives that will be used in varied ways (not necessarily as in the story).
¨To inspire a creative mathematics experience for children.
¨To pose an interesting problem.
¨To prepare for a mathematics concept or skill.
¨To develop or explain a mathematics concept or skill.
¨To review a mathematics concept or skill.

A study done by Ward (2005) states “a growing body of research in the fields of mathematics education and literacy supports the inclusion of children’s literature into the teaching and learning of mathematics” (p. 132).  Using these books can grab the students’ attention while engaging them in a thoughtful story and math concept.  It is a valuable tool to that “holds much promise for enriching the teaching and learning of mathematics” (Ward, 2005, p. 141).

Where do I find children’s literature relating to mathematics?

Mathematics can be found in children’s literature if you look for it.  Your school board may have these resources for teachers to use already in their library.  If not, there are plenty of places to look including your local library, colleagues or online bookstores.

My other posts on Math Anxiety
Mathematics Anxiety in Preservice Teachers: An Overview 
Symptoms of Mathematics Anxiety
The Effects of Mathematics Anxiety
Why is Mathematics Anxiety in Preservice Teachers Worrisome? 
Where Does Mathematics Anxiety in Preservice Teachers Stem From?
What Strategies Can Be Provided to Preservice Teachers to Decrease Mathematics Anxiety?
The Power of Positivity 
Examining Learning Styles
Why Use Manipulatives? 
Mathematics in Children's Literature 


Bowen, Donna (n.d.). Math Picture Books and In Literature.  Retrieved June 19, 2009 from
Ward, R.A. (2005). Using Children’s Literature to Inspire K-8 Preservice Teachers’ Future Mathematics Pedagogy.  The Reading Teacher, 59(2), 132-143.  Retrieved May 26, 2009 from Platinum Periodicals database. (Document ID: 914815151).

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