Missing Math A Number Mystery

Missing math : a number mystery
Missing math : a number mystery

MATHEMATICS (K-2)
Missing Math: A Number Mystery
by Loreen Leedy
ATOS 2.7 460L

Essential Question: Why are numbers important?

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Unit Summary: Students will examine the essential question, “Why are numbers important?” They will work in groups to locate numbers from five books from an assigned section of the library based on the Dewey Decimal System. The groups will find books holding specified number criteria and will fill out a chart to show the numbers they have located. They will use their numbers in number sentences to show greater and less than statements. Then students will discuss the value of numbers and ways they use numbers every day.

See more of this lesson plan on the Teaching STEM blog.

Writing nonfiction that honors women in history: an interview with Tracey Fern

As I explore Women’s History Month with students, I want to help them think about how they can honor women in history. We talk about honoring women in their lives, because for young students the immediate it so important. But I’m also fascinated by the way authors investigate women whose stories we might not have heard yet.

Today, I’m thrilled to share an interview with Tracey Fern about her journey to learn about the life of Eleanor Prentiss and then writing Dare the Wind. My questions are in red; Tracey’s answers follow in black. To read the whole interview, head over to Great Kid Books today!

Mary Ann Scheuer: How did you first learn about Eleanor? What drew you to her story?

Tracey Fern: I first learned about Eleanor when I was browsing through my local bookstore and happened upon David Shaw’s book, Flying Cloud. I’m always on the lookout for strong female characters, and so I knew instantly that I wanted to write about Eleanor. Eleanor’s story also combined adventure and science, two elements that I’m also often drawn toward. Finally, I’m a Massachusetts gal who grew up with the ocean and the beach in my backyard, and I love that Eleanor grew up here, too!

MS: Did you travel at all to do your research? What was your research process like?

TF: I traveled to Marblehead, Massachusetts while writing Dare the Wind. Marblehead was Eleanor’s home town, and parts of the town still look much the way I imagine they looked when Eleanor walked its cobbled streets. I also visited the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut and toured the USS Constitution in Boston harbor to get myself in a seafaring state of mind! My research process for this book was different from my usual research, because there are relatively few primary sources available. As a result, I relied more heavily on secondary sources than I typically do.

Dare the Wind interior

Head over to Great Kid Books today to read more about Tracey’s process researching and writing Dare the Wind.

A Very Improbable Story

A very improbable story
A very improbable story

MATHEMATICS (3-5)

A Very Improbable Story

by Edward Einhorn

ATOS 3.2 AD470L

What is probability?

Help K-5 students answer this essential question (and meet the Common Core State Standards) with the Teaching STEM lesson plans for this mentor text: A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn.

Students will examine the essential question, “What is probability?” They will become familiar with probability by making predictions and then testing them. Each student will keep data about the predictions and look for patterns while using a spinner to see which color the arrow will land on. They will use vocabulary related to probability and write a number sentence to show their information.

See more of this lesson plan on the Teaching STEM blog.

The Boy Who Loved Math

It’s likely that you’ve seen this book reviewed elsewhere. There has been a lot of buzz about it in the kid-lit world. And for good reason. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable LIfe of Paul Erdos is a wonderful biography of a fascinating man. In case you’re ignorant like me, Paul Erdos was a Hungarian mathematician known for his work in number theory and for his eccentric personality.

Deborah Heligman strikes a perfect balance  in this book between the story of Erdos’ life and an explanation of the mathematical problems that so intrigued and consumed him.The main focus of the text is on the life of Erdos: from a childhood where he was kicked out of school for not following the rules; to his ability at the age of four to quickly tell a person how old they were in seconds once he knew their birthdate and time; to his love of prime numbers and to his mostly itinerant life as an adult as he traveled the world collaborating with other mathematicians.

When it fits with the story Heligman goes into more detail on the math itself (for example a terrific explanation of prime numbers). However, numbers and math are primarily incorporated into the book through the illustrations by LeUyen Pham. The endpages include an extensive explanation of the math she worked into the drawings. One example is that of equations and diagrams from problems Erdos puzzled over drawn into the architecture of buildings in Budapest on one page. And that’s just one example of many.

Read the rest of this review at Supratentorial.