Monday, August 29, 2016

#MTBoSBlaugust Read to your Math Students ... Favorite Picture Books

When I was an elementary principal, I started a collection of picture books. I LOVE them! Even as a high school math teacher I used a picture book or two to highlight a concept. So last week I saw a tweet about math picture books that caught my eye. I decided it was time for a trip to the local library!

There are so many gems ... but these 12 belong in your secondary math class!  Check them out, read them, and link them to your curriculum!  Your students will love "story time!"

You have to read On a Beam of Light!  It's a great short biography of Einstein!  Combine that book with What Do You Do with an Idea and you have a great motivational set for challenging students to pursue "ideas!"  Add to that two other biographies ... you could easily spend 15 minutes each week (or every 2 weeks or once a month) ... fun easy reads ... The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (Eratosthenes) and The Boy who Loved Math (Erdos) would be excellent choices!

 Last week I was so inspired by the book, Infinity and Me, I put together an enrichment activity on infinity.  If you missed it, you can find it here.  Each of these books are special ...
If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers for studying very large numbers and ratios, One Grain of Rice for exponential functions, Anno's Magic Seeds for collecting data.  Each one could be the basis of enrichment activities.  

Patterns are the foundational concept in math!  These picture books relate to Fibonacci sequence and fractals.  Add Blockhead: the Life of Fibonacci to your list of biographies to read!  Use The Rabbit Problem and/or Growing Patterns to illustrate the Fibonacci sequence.  And then explore fractals with Mysterious Patterns ... a great introduction to the topic!

What picture books do you  readwith your secondary math students?  Share the titles in the comments!  I'm looking for more :)

BTW ... if you are an elementary or middle grades teacher reading this post, there are many, many books for your math picture book library.  Here is a link to a list for you!


  1. I love The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. Wonderful growth mindset book. :)
    (video here:

    1. Thanks, Meg! I'll check it out from the library this week!