If we can engage a child’s imagination, there’s no limit to what she can learn. — Rupert Murdoch
Too often we associate mathematics with computation. Of course computation is vital, but math encompasses so much more: problem solving; pattern; order; measurement; spatial relationships; symmetry. Statistics, data analysis and graphing – tools necessary to remain informed citizens of a democracy – are another part of its broad scope. This is important knowledge to impart to every child.
But how do we interest children in learning mathematics?
Research has shown that forming connections reinforces knowledge and deepens understanding. Relating lessons in science, finance or art to concepts of mathematics allows children to internalize the interrelated nature of these disciplines. Lessons in history can allow them to see the progression of mathematics in time.
Literature, too, can provide a meaningful context for mathematics.
Literature, good literature, speaks to the heart of a child and can develop the important connections that reinforce knowledge. A good story could help children realize the variety of situations in which people use mathematics for real purposes or provide a way for them to make mathematics learning personal.
And more: a good story or a silly rhyme can make math lessons fun!
At MathWord Press we are committed to using literature to teach common core concepts in math. And we adhere to one additional caveat: we must choose good literature. If we’re going to introduce children to a book, we have the responsibility to make it a good book.