Ohio Resource Center
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The Mathematics Bookshelf features outstanding trade books that support mathematics instruction in K–12 classrooms. Mathematics Review Board members have selected books that will appeal to students and enrich the teaching and learning of mathematics. Each book review includes:
  • a brief summary of the story
  • the main mathematical ideas
  • suggestions for how to use the book
  • the value of the book in standards-based instruction
  • standards alignment
  • a list of related ORC resources
Most of these books will be available in your school library or local public library. If not, consider using the interlibrary loan program, OhioLink, or INFOhio to locate and borrow the books.


Number / Measurement / Geometry / Algebra / Data / Multiple Strands 

 
Number
 
 
 
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  Cardinal Numbers: An Ohio Counting Book
Author: Marcia Schonberg
Illustrator: Bruce Langton
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades K - 2


This counting book begins a journey through Ohio by counting 1 Goodyear blimp, 2 horses pulling a boat on the Erie Canal, and continuing up to 14 shiny whistles made in Columbus.  Not only do readers get to count the objects on each page, but the teacher can read aloud the paragraphs in the margins that are full of interesting facts about Ohio.  Students will also enjoy looking for the buckeyes hidden throughout the book.  In addition to the counting pages, at the end of the book are ten Ohio mathematical problems to solve or think about.   

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  Counting on the Woods
Author: George Ella Lyon
Illustrator: Ann W. Olson
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - K


This counting book uses nature as the theme.  Beautiful woodsy photographs illustrate each of the counting numbers, 1 through 10. The interdisciplinary theme of the book makes it especially worthwhile for the prekindergarten and kindergarten classroom. 

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  The Doorbell Rang
Author: Pat Hutchins
Illustrator: Pat Hutchins
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 1 - 4


Mom makes a dozen cookies for her two children to share.  Just as the children determine how to divide the 12 cookies evenly among themselves, they are visited by multiple friends multiple times throughout the book. The children repeatedly evenly re-divide the cookies among themselves and their friends. Just as they begin to run short on cookies, Grandma arrives with a huge platter of new cookies, and new problems to solve.

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  Equal Shmequal
Author: Virginia Kroll
Illustrator: Philomena O'Neill
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 1


A mouse sees some children playing tug-of-war and sets about recruiting other animals of various sizes to have a tug-of-war. In trying to play the game, the animals investigate what it means to be "equal." The animals experiment with various meanings of "equal": fair, same number, balance (equal weight), equal effort, and equal portions.  The ideas of "even" and "half" are also entertained. The last page of the book explains what it means to be equal in mathematics, in art, in law, and in team sports.

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  A Fair Bear Share
Author: Stuart J. Murphy
Illustrator: John Speirs
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 1 - 2


Mama Bear sends her cubs to gather the ingredients for a pie.  She tells them that if they get enough, they will each get their fair bear share of the pie.  As the cubs return from each gathering trip, Mama bear helps them count the contents of each basket and add to get the total.  Drawings show collections of up to 100 objects grouped by tens to reinforce place-value ideas for students in grades 1-2.  In addition to the mathematical ideas, the story also shows what happens when one member of a group does not do his/her fair share.

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  The Grapes of Math: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Harry Briggs
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 1 - 4


An important objective of The Grapes of Math is to prompt children to use counting strategies beyond merely counting one by one. Grouping objects in sets of 10, for example, and then adding all the 10s is a clever way to count a large number of objects. The illustrations, as well as the rhymes, challenge young learners to look for these strategies. 

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  How Much Is a Million?
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 8


Let Marvelosissimo, the Mathematical Magician, guide students into the world of large numbers. They will sail past one hundred thousand stars and see towers of children reaching toward Saturn's rings as the concepts of a million, billion, and trillion are made vivid in the mind-stretching scenes illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Elementary students will delight in the pictures, and middle grades students will enjoy checking the author's numerical claims. The assumptions underlying various estimates, for example, that it would take 95 years to count to a billion, are listed in the back of the book for easy reference. 

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  If You Hopped Like A Frog
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: James Warhola
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 8


Through illustrations as well as text, this book introduces the concepts of ratio and proportion by comparing what humans would be able to do if they had the capabilities of different animals. For example, if you ate like a shrew, you could devour more than 700 hamburgers in a day! The last pages of the book provide all the facts that validate the claims and explain how they translate into human terms. The measurements for each ratio are listed, along with questions that help students calculate the equivalent ratio for their own measurements.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  If You Made a Million
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 2 - 8


This children's picture book shows different forms of money, such as coins, paper money, and checks.  The author starts by showing equivalent forms of cash (10 dimes is worth the same as 20 nickels is worth the same as 100 pennies).  For large amounts of money, checks are more efficient, and the author explains to young readers how banks use checks to transfer money from one person to another. Savings and the earning and compounding of interest are discussed, along with borrowing and the paying of interest. This book is an engaging introduction to some fundamentals of personal finance.

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  Math Fables Too
Author: Greg Tang
Illustrator: Taia Morley
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 2


This is the second of two Math Fables books by Greg Tang that use verse to show how increasing numbers of objects -- animals in this case -- can be broken down and regrouped. The book is beautifully illustrated by Taia Morley, and students may enjoy drawing the same kinds of pictures to illustrate simple number combinations. The rhyming verse is easy enough for children to repeat and is laced with fascinating scientific facts. Some of the science vocabulary is beyond the level of the mathematics addressed. The author suggests the science vocabulary is worthwhile for young children to hear, though reading the book themselves would be difficult for the age range intended.


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  Math Fables: Lessons That Count
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Heather Cahoon
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 2


This is the first of two Math Fables books by Greg Tang that use verse to show how groups of objects (animals) can be broken down and regrouped. The simple verses should be easy enough for children to repeat, but some of the vocabulary (procrastinate, cooperate) may be a little beyond some children ages 3-6 for whom the book is intended. Still, they will enjoy encountering these big words in such an engaging context. Each verse concludes with a real-life "moral," such as, "They learned it's wise to plan ahead and always be prepared." At the end of the book, the author lists ideas for using and extending the mathematical decomposition of numbers.

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  Math For All Seasons: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Harry Briggs
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 2


This book teaches problem solving through the use of riddles, rhymes, and colorful illustrations of fanciful problems based on the four seasons.  Students aged 5-8 are encouraged to think intuitively about numbers and to apply various counting strategies. There are four problem-solving techniques suggested in the riddles.  The first is to be open-minded and consider many approaches.  The second is to think strategically by grouping numbers in ways that make adding easier.  A third approach that works for some problems is to add easy groups and then subtract off a few items to arrive at the total. A fourth technique is to look for patterns and symmetries. Suggestions for ways to solve each problem are provided at the end of the book.

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  Math Potatoes: Mind-Stretching Brain Food
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Harry Briggs
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 1 - 4


Another in a series of mathematically related rhyming books by Greg Tang, these counting riddles involve food and other visual items engagingly illustrated by Harry Briggs. The items to be counted are laid out in patterns that allow the reader to form numerical groupings that make counting larger numbers of objects easier for many students. Solutions are given in the back of the book, but students may come up with other ways to group and count the objects, leading to some lively discussions.  

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  Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem-Solving
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Greg Paprocki
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 1 - 4


Math-terpieces uses works of art from the Impressionists to Andy Warhol to provide settings for modeling the addition of numbers. The artwork and poems provide information about the artist and the painting.  Each poem ends with a challenge to the reader to find a specific number of different combinations that equal a distinct number, 7-10.  Each number can be represented in several ways, using two or more addends. This book provides an excellent opportunity for children to practice composition and decomposition of numbers.  The solutions are shown at the end of the book along with Art Notes about the styles of painting.  What a wonderful book to introduce art appreciation into the mathematics classroom! 

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: Paul Meisel
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 6 - 10


This book provides a context for exploring extremely large numbers, including googol and beyond. Students involved in popping popcorn for an assembly have a popcorn machine that is out of control, and they are curious to find out the number of kernels popped.  Since it is impossible to count fast enough, Professor X suggests “power counting” using powers of 10 to do the job.  Many interesting facts involving large quantities emerge along the way.

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  One Hundred Hungry Ants
Author: Elinor J. Pinczes
Illustrator: Bonnie MacKain
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 5


With "a hey and a hi dee ho," one hundred hungry ants scurry off to a picnic in search of yummies for their empty tummies.  As the 100 ants move in single file formation, the littlest ant suggests that they could get there much faster if they were in more columns with fewer ants per line.  The ants agree and form 2 lines of 50 and continue their journey.  The littlest ant continues to prod them to go faster by increasing the number of columns.  This story will prompt students to think about the various factor pairs for 100 as the ants move faster and faster toward their lunch.  At last they make it to the picnic site, only to find the food is all gone!  The 99 ants with "growling tummies" go off in pursuit of the littlest ant for using up too much time rearranging them!

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  Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun With Math and Money
Author: Amy Axelrod
Illustrator: Sharon McGinley-Nally
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 5


The members of the Pig family are hungry, but there is no food in the refrigerator. Mr. Pig suggests they go out to eat, but they need money to pay for their meal. They search all over the house finding bills and coins of varying denominations. Their search yields enough money for them to go to their favorite restaurant. How much money do they have left when they leave the restaurant?

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  Quack and Count
Author: Keith Baker
Illustrator: Keith Baker
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 1


The number 7 is broken down into all possible sums of two smaller whole numbers. Illustrations of seven baby ducks depict each sum and its reversal (2 + 5 and 5 + 2). Some of the pictures partially "hide" one or two of the ducks, and children will enjoy finding them all.

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  Spunky Monkeys on Parade
Author: Stuart J. Murphy
Illustrator: Lynne Cravath
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades K - 3


The Monkey Day Parade features cyclists riding in pairs, tumblers in groups of three, and band members marching in rows of four. Readers are encouraged to skip count by 2s, 3s, and 4s. The book is cleverly and colorfully illustrated and is written in rhyme. Suggestions for related activities and extensions are included. Other books that feature skip counting are listed at the end.



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  The Sundae Scoop
Author: Stuart J. Murphy
Illustrator: Cynthia Jabar
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 2 - 4


Children decide how many different sundaes can be made for the class picnic with a given number of ice cream flavors and a given number of toppings. They explore the possible combinations by charting the choices of ice cream and toppings in a tree diagram.  As toppings spill and ice cream melts, they investigate the effect on the number of original choices. At the end of the story, the author suggests extensions of the activity and lists other ideas, activities, and related literature for teachers.


See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  Ten, Nine, Eight
Author: Molly Bang
Illustrator: Molly Bang
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - K


In this Caldecott Honor book, a father gets his daughter ready for bed. As they go through their nighttime ritual, they find objects to count, starting at 10 and moving backwards to 1. Identifying the numerals 1-10, counting forward and backward, and beginning subtraction ideas can be taught or reinforced by reading one-on-one with a student or with a small group. Students will delight in finding and counting the objects pictured.

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Measurement
 
 
 
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  Great Estimations
Author: Bruce Goldstone
Illustrator: Several photographers
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 4


Bright and colorful photographs help readers learn how to make great estimations using techniques such as eye training, clump counting, and boxing.  In eye training, readers practice looking at groups of 10, 20, 50, and 100 items to better estimate how many objects are in a given group.  Clump counting consists of visually dividing a group into clumps of, say, 10 objects each and then counting the number of clumps.  Boxing consists of counting the typical number of objects in a fixed area, or box, and then multiplying the average number times the number of boxes required to cover the whole population.  These techniques prepare the reader to make a great estimate of how many jelly beans are in a large bowl at the end of the book.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  How Much Is a Million?
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 8


Let Marvelosissimo, the Mathematical Magician, guide students into the world of large numbers. They will sail past one hundred thousand stars and see towers of children reaching toward Saturn's rings as the concepts of a million, billion, and trillion are made vivid in the mind-stretching scenes illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Elementary students will delight in the pictures, and middle grades students will enjoy checking the author's numerical claims. The assumptions underlying various estimates, for example, that it would take 95 years to count to a billion, are listed in the back of the book for easy reference. 

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  If You Hopped Like A Frog
Author: David M. Schwartz
Illustrator: James Warhola
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 8


Through illustrations as well as text, this book introduces the concepts of ratio and proportion by comparing what humans would be able to do if they had the capabilities of different animals. For example, if you ate like a shrew, you could devour more than 700 hamburgers in a day! The last pages of the book provide all the facts that validate the claims and explain how they translate into human terms. The measurements for each ratio are listed, along with questions that help students calculate the equivalent ratio for their own measurements.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland
Author: Cindy Neuschwander
Illustrator: Wayne Geehan
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 6


This story is about a young man named Radius, the son of Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter, and the quest he must pursue to become a knight.  He uses his family's prized possession, a medallion in the shape of a circle, to help him on his quest. He uses geometry and his knowledge of different kinds of angles to help him in his adventures.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
Author: Marilyn Burns
Illustrator: Debbie Tilley
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 6


When Mr. and Mrs. Comfort plan a family reunion dinner, they rent tables and chairs to accommodate all of the guests. The first guests who arrive begin pushing the small tables together so everyone can sit together. However, as more guests arrive, they find that they must split the large table back into smaller table arrangements in order to seat everyone. The author provides an explanation of the mathematics involved and offers extension activities for students to explore.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
Geometry
 
 
 
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  Anno's Math Games III
Author: Mitsumasa Anno
Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 10


Anno's Math Games III is the third in a series of delightful books that are full of ideas to stimulate upper elementary and young adolescent student thinking.  The text has four stand-alone chapters: Changing Shapes with Magic Liquid (stretching/shrinking); Exploring Triangles (tesselating/origami); Mazes (paths/open & closed); and Left and Right (symmetry/orientation).  The Afterword provides mathematical explanations of each chapter. The illustrations are classic Anno sketches that easily draw students into the mathematical concepts in our world. 

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  Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Author: Edwin A. Abbott
Illustrator:
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 8 - 12


This book contrasts the 3-dimensional world we live in with the 2-dimensional world we perceive. The author clarifies this dimensional discrepancy by having readers imagine living in a 2-dimensional Flatland where they can perceive only 1 dimension. What would life be like in such a world? This book is science fiction, written and set in Victorian times, when women were not considered equal to men.  There were also distinct social "classes" within the population in Victorian England. The Introduction and Preface to the book discuss the discriminatory attitudes and assumptions of people in that time period.  ORC believes that teachers can take advantage of this classic story to promote a good discussion of the influence of social attitudes on academic performance and career opportunities. 


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  Grandfather Tang's Story
Author: Ann Tompert
Illustrator: Robert Andrew Parker
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades K - 2


Grandfather Tang's Story is a delightful story within a story.  Grandfather Tang arranges tangram pieces to illustrate the animals in the story he shares with Little Soo.  The tangram picture for each new character is shown as each character is introduced in the story. Because the tangram pieces are outlined separately in each animal figure, students can use problem solving and spatial visualization to replicate each puzzle. Extension activities are suggested at the beginning and end of the book.

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  The Greedy Triangle
Author: Marilyn Burns
Illustrator: Gordon Silveria
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 2


This story invites children to imagine what happens to shapes as they get more sides and more angles.  As the shapeshifter keeps adding more sides to a triangle, the text introduces children to the names of the resulting polygons and shows representations of them in the real world.  The author includes a discussion of the mathematical ideas and suggestions for extensions at the end of the book. 

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  Sir Cumference and the First Round Table: A Math Adventure
Author: Cindy Neuschwander
Illustrator: Wayne Geehan
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 2


Inspired by King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, this book tells the story of how one Knight, Sir Cumference, and his wife, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius overcome seating issues for the Knights. Beginning with a long rectangle, they try tables shaped like a square, a parallelogram, a triangle, an octagon, and an oval, before settling on a round table as the best solution. King Arthur is so pleased with their work that he decrees that the circumference, diameter, and radius of a circle shall be so named in honor of his worthy subjects.

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  Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland
Author: Cindy Neuschwander
Illustrator: Wayne Geehan
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 6


This story is about a young man named Radius, the son of Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter, and the quest he must pursue to become a knight.  He uses his family's prized possession, a medallion in the shape of a circle, to help him on his quest. He uses geometry and his knowledge of different kinds of angles to help him in his adventures.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
Author: Cindy Neuschwander
Illustrator: Wayne Geehan
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 8


King Arthur has issued a challenge. The first knight to find the sword Edgecalibur will be the next king. Join Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son, Radius, as they race to help their friend, Vertex, find the sword.  With their aid, he cuts out 2-dimensional shapes and folds them to make solid figures.  He then makes a data table to explore the relationship between faces, vertices, and edges of polyhedra. The last two conditions in King Arthur's clue help Vertex unravel the mystery of the location of the sword.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
Author: Marilyn Burns
Illustrator: Debbie Tilley
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 3 - 6


When Mr. and Mrs. Comfort plan a family reunion dinner, they rent tables and chairs to accommodate all of the guests. The first guests who arrive begin pushing the small tables together so everyone can sit together. However, as more guests arrive, they find that they must split the large table back into smaller table arrangements in order to seat everyone. The author provides an explanation of the mathematics involved and offers extension activities for students to explore.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
Algebra
 
 
 
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  Anno's Magic Seeds
Author: Mitsumasa Anno
Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 2 - 7


Jack receives two beans from a wizard, eats one, and plants the other. A year later, a plant grows bearing two seeds. Over time, Jack decides to plant both seeds, and the reader sees a pattern begin to emerge. However, the situation becomes more complicated when Jack decides to plant some seeds, store some seeds, sell some, and eat some. Carefully detailed illustrations make the increasingly complex scenario understandable, though still challenging. Eventually the seeds make Jack wealthy, until a hurricane wipes away all of his plants. Fortunately, his wife has saved ten seeds and they can begin the process again.

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  The King's Chessboard
Author: David Birch
Illustrator: Devis Grebu
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 10


A king offers to reward a wise man for his service. The wise man requests his reward to be as follows: "Tomorrow, for the first square of your chessboard, give me one grain of rice; the next day, for the second square, two grains of rice; the next day after that, four grains of rice; ... for each square give me twice the number of grains as the square before it, and so on, for every square of the chessboard." The remainder of the story illustrates how the amount of rice to be given to the wise man each day grows quickly. The king comes to realize it is impossible to meet the wise man's request and learns a valuable lesson about patterns that involve "doubling."

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  One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
Author: Demi
Illustrator: Demi
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 10


Rani, a clever girl, outsmarts her raja after he offers her a choice of reward for doing a good deed.  She requests that the raja give her one grain of rice on day 1, two grains on day 2, four grains on day 3, etc.  She requests that every day for 30 days he give her double the number of grains given on the previous day.  She teaches her greedy raja a lesson by using her accumulation of rice to feed her hungry village.


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Data
 
 
 
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  Anno's Magic Seeds
Author: Mitsumasa Anno
Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 2 - 7


Jack receives two beans from a wizard, eats one, and plants the other. A year later, a plant grows bearing two seeds. Over time, Jack decides to plant both seeds, and the reader sees a pattern begin to emerge. However, the situation becomes more complicated when Jack decides to plant some seeds, store some seeds, sell some, and eat some. Carefully detailed illustrations make the increasingly complex scenario understandable, though still challenging. Eventually the seeds make Jack wealthy, until a hurricane wipes away all of his plants. Fortunately, his wife has saved ten seeds and they can begin the process again.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
+enlarge
  Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
Author: Cindy Neuschwander
Illustrator: Wayne Geehan
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 8


King Arthur has issued a challenge. The first knight to find the sword Edgecalibur will be the next king. Join Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son, Radius, as they race to help their friend, Vertex, find the sword.  With their aid, he cuts out 2-dimensional shapes and folds them to make solid figures.  He then makes a data table to explore the relationship between faces, vertices, and edges of polyhedra. The last two conditions in King Arthur's clue help Vertex unravel the mystery of the location of the sword.

See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
 
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  The Sundae Scoop
Author: Stuart J. Murphy
Illustrator: Cynthia Jabar
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 2 - 4


Children decide how many different sundaes can be made for the class picnic with a given number of ice cream flavors and a given number of toppings. They explore the possible combinations by charting the choices of ice cream and toppings in a tree diagram.  As toppings spill and ice cream melts, they investigate the effect on the number of original choices. At the end of the story, the author suggests extensions of the activity and lists other ideas, activities, and related literature for teachers.


See more about how to use this book
 
 
 
Multiple Strands
 
 
 
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  All of the Above
Author: Shelley Pearsall
Illustrator: Javaka Steptoe
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 8


Based on a true 2002 school project conducted at Alexander Hamilton School in Cleveland, Ohio, All of the Above tells the story of four inner-city middle school students and their mathematics teacher and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron. The story is told in the form of journal entries written by the students and their teacher. Facts about tetrahedrons are included, as are connections between mathematics and life.  Extra tidbits include intriguing mathematical problems and food recipes readers can try.

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  Anno's Math Games
Author: Mitsumasa Anno
Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades K - 7


This intriguing book includes a variety of story-like problems that engage children in trying to find the answers. Anno's delightful illustrations support children's thinking. Topics include a wide range of mathematical concepts, such as comparing and classifying, sets, oneness, combinations, mixtures, operations, sequence, position, ordinal numbers, measurement, graphs, ratio, proportion, and perspective. The book is divided into four stand-alone chapters: What is Different; Putting Together and Taking Apart; Numbers in Order; and Who's the Tallest.  The wide range of concepts appeals to students in early childhood through middle school.  Anno, as in all of his books, devotes a section (9 pages) at the back of the book to discussing and illustrating the mathematics involved in each of the chapters. 
    


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  Anno's Math Games II
Author: Mitsumasa Anno
Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK - 8


Anno's Math Games II is a whimsical collection of puzzles based on applications of mathematics that help students understand the world around us. Two characters, Kriss and Kross, guide the reader through 5 stand-alone chapters. Some chapters are better suited for lower grades while others are for the upper elementary grades. Explanations of the mathematics involved in each chapter are provided in the Afterword.

The first chapter, "The Magic Machine," describes a contraption that systematically changes items that are placed into the machine. From the examples described in the story, readers are asked to figure out how other objects would be changed by the machine.  The magic machine is similar to a "function machine" often used by mathematics teachers to simulate relationships between two variables.

The next two chapters furnish opportunities to think analytically about art.  "Compare and Find Out" asks students to compare two pictures for similarities and differences such as shape, characteristics, and size.  "Dots, Dots, and More Dots" shows various ways dots can be assembled to create pointillist artwork. Students will easily recognize the comparison to pixels on a TV or computer screen. 

The last two sections allow readers to explore quantity by counting or measuring.  "Counting With Circles" involves counting discrete quantities and representing the quantity in our base 10 numeration system.  "Counting Water" shows a way to count continuous quantities by measuring with volumetric units.  


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  Mathematicians Are People, Too, Volume Two
Author: Luetta Reimer and Wilbert Reimer
Illustrator: Rachel Gage
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 6 - 12


This book is a collection of short stories of the lives of famous mathematicians, including Euclid, Khayyam, Fibonacci, Cardano, Descartes, Fermat, Agnesi, Banneker, Babbage, Somerville, Abel, Lovelace, Kovalevsky, Einstein, and Polya. The stories are about 10 pages in length and can easily be shared in a classroom setting.  Each story describes the personal life of the individual and the background behind the discovery of the mathematical ideas. There is a glossary of terms in the back of the book and a list of resources. The book also provides suggestions for teachers, including a list of topics and the stories that correspond. Geometry, for example, is highlighted in the stories about Euclid, Fibonacci, Descartes, Fermat, Agnesi, and Khayyam.

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  Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians
Author: Luetta Reimer and Wilbert Reimer
Illustrator: Rachel Gage
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 6 - 12


This book is a collection of 15 stories that can be read aloud in the classroom to give students insight into the lives of mathematicians.  The goal of the book is to show students how mathematicians observe patterns and test their observations and that we use these methods today. Each story shows the particular mathematician as a person first, then a mathematician, thus making the mathematicians more real to the students. Each story gives a brief history of the mathematician and provides students with background into specific mathematical concepts. This book contains stories of Thales, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Hypatia, Napier, Galileo, Pascal, Newton, Euler, Lagrange, Germain, Gauss, Galois, Noether, and Ramanujan.



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  The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Norton Juster
Illustrator: Jules Feiffer
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades 5 - 8


The Phantom Tollbooth is a classic humorous book about a bored and unmotivated boy named Milo.  When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, Milo drives through it because he has nothing better to do. On the other side, things seem different. In his many adventures, Milo jumps to the island of Conclusions, learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and restores Rhyme and Reason to Dictionopolis and Digitopolis.  The book shows the importance of both mathematics and language arts and how they reinforce each other.  The story also shows how students may not appreciate the importance of learning until they have to use their knowledge in a real or imagined situation. 

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