I have to decided to write about my favourite maths storybook author. The ever almighty Stuart J. Murphy, who created the MathStart series. I love these books! Not only are the storylines wonderful, the illustrations are so eye catching and reinforce what the objective of the maths lesson is. Not only that, the books come in 3 levels. Level 1 is for ages 3+, Level 2 is for ages 6+ and Level 3 is for ages 7+. At last count I have around 20-25 from all 3 levels. I have Year 2s and found that any level is appropriate for them. I would read a level 1 book when we are introducing a new concept. Level 2 and 3 really reinforce some of the concepts from level 1.
I order my books from Books Depository, but I have also seen them on Amazon. The books range between $5 to $7 Australian dollars, which are great value for money. The best thing about the books is that at the back, Stuart lists activities that you and your students can do while reading the text and after. Not only that, he also suggest other books that also relate to that concept. As you can see I am a huge fan of MathStart and I hope you will be too!
Here are 3 of my favourites, one from each level.
Henry the Fourth (Ordinals): It's "Dog Show Day" and the kids in the neighbourhood have all gathered together to see four perfect pooches compete. Maxie's first, Baxter's second, Daisy's third, but will the stage-shy Henry the Fourth end up stealing the show? Identifying order is essential for developing sequencing skills.
Give Me Half! (Understanding Halves): When a boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it's not pretty. Of course, she isn't too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores. Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! (Multiplying): Poor Kangaroo! It's his birthday but everybody's too busy to play with him. Emu has to bake one cake (1 x 1), spread two colours of frosting (1 x 2), decorate the cake with three flowers (1 x 3) and add four big candles (1 x 4). That's 10 Emu things to do when you add them up. The two platypuses, three koalas and four dingoes are likewise occupied with multiple tasks. Multiply each group's tasks, then add the totals together and it equals…a party! By learning how to multiply by 1, 2, 3, and 4, children are introduced to multiplication, one of the four basic arithmetic operations.