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Tuesday Teacher Tip: Books That Teach Math

Welcome to the Tuesday Teacher Tips series! Each week we’ll highlight teaching and learning resources, ideas to use in the classroom, as well as things to ponder as you go about your teaching day.

Multiplication and division may be the most anticipated math topics of third grade; this is what the big kids study. But as much as third graders look forward to learning about multiplication and division, they’re topics that produce worry and anxiety. This is the “hard math” they’ve been hearing about from their older siblings.

There are two books I love to use during these units of study, One Hundred Hungry Ants and A Remainder of One, both by Elinor J. Pinczes. These books show the fun side of math. Soon students are realizing that multiplication and division aren’t that big of a deal. In fact, they’re kinda easy!

HungryAntsOne Hundred Hungry Ants is a great introduction to arrays and factor pairs. As the ants march their way to the picnic, the littlest ant desperately tries to get there faster by rearranging the group from one row of 100 to two rows of 50 to four rows of 25, and so on as they go.

When you’re done reading, have the students draw pictures or arrays of the different ways that the 100 ants arranged themselves. Label each picture with the multiplication equation.


A_Remainder_of_OnePoor Joe in A Remainder of One! In order not to be the misfit or oddball he must figure out a way to divide 25 into even groups without any remainders. This is a great book for students to participate with as they listen. Give each student 25 counters. As Joe figures out a new way to assemble the troop, allow students to move the counters and see if it divides out evenly. Then continue reading the book for the next dividing adventure!



Share your favorites

What are your favorite books that teach math? I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have an idea for a future Tuesday Teacher Tips topic you’d like to see covered? Let me know and it could be featured in a future blog.

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