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Podcast Podcast

Episode 38 — Math + Reading = Fun!


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
See all episodes in this series

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Duration 12:02
Original Air Date Published September 01, 2011

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverMeasuring Penny
Author: Loreen Leedy
Publisher: Henry Holt, 1997


Lisa’s math class is learning about measurement. Lisa must choose something to measure and then measure it in as many ways possible as she can. And of course, her dog Penny is a perfect “something” to measure! Lisa explores her Boston Terrier, Penny, in a multitude of ways that will really get kids thinking of measuring and all the different ways that we measure in our world. This book is engaging and will probably spark some measuring curiosity with kids who read it.


book coverIt's Probably Penny
Author: Loreen Leddy
Publisher: Henry Holt, 2007



Lisa’s math teacher is at it again; this time her class is learning about probability. Their teacher gives them an assignment to predict three events that will, might, and can’t happen; think of two events that have a tiny or impossible chance of happening; tell about an event that has equal possible outcomes; and write about an event that has unequal possible outcomes. For this assignment, there is only one way that Lisa can possibly finish it…and that is by using her dog, Penny. Readers are taken through Lisa’s assignment as she explores all the possibilities and impossibilities of her bulldog’s life. I predict that kids will like this book and will probably learn a lot about probability!


book coverThe Lion’s Share: A Tale of Halving Cake and Eating It, Too
Author: Matthew McElligo
Publisher: Walker and Company, 2009


Every year King Lion invites several animals to eat dinner with him. This year Ant gets invited. Ant is nervous to eat with the king and uses her best manners but notices that the other animals do not. When it comes time for dessert, Lion passes the cake to Elephant who decides to take half. And as the cake is passed down the table, each animal continues to take one half until there are only two crumbs left. Ant is mortified that there is not a slice left for Lion and offers to bring him a cake the next day. But the other animals, greedy and jealous, try to outdo the Ant. Beetle offers to make two cakes, Frog says he’ll make twice as many (four), and each animal continues to double the cakes from the animal before until Elephant is left to make 256 cakes. This is not only an interesting take on doubling and halving but also a fablelike story that leaves the reader with a nice message about sharing and manners.


book coverOne Potato, Two Potato
Author: Cynthia DeFelice
Illustrator: Andrea U’Ren
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006

One Potato, Two Potato is a fresh look at the folktale about the magic pot that doubles everything. Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady are poor and have only one of everything until one day Mr. O’Grady comes upon this magic pot. At first the O’Gradys don’t know what they will do with the pot, but then they discover that whatever they put into the pot it comes out double. They start out simply: doubling the number of candles, hairpins, and potatoes, and then they soon turn to gold coins. Everything is going well until the day that Mrs. O’Grady falls in the pot and doubles herself. What will the O’Gradys do? You will have double the fun reading to find out!


book coverBean Thirteen
Author: Matthew McElligot
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007


Two bugs, Ralph and Flora, are out picking beans. When Flora picks the thirteenth bean, Ralph tells her that thirteen is an unlucky number. Flora thinks that Ralph is being silly, but when they get home to divide the beans, Flora sees that thirteen is indeed a very strange number. No matter how they divide, there is always one bean left over: BEAN THIRTEEN! This book is a fun, first look at prime numbers and factoring!


book coverLucky Beans
Author: Becky Birtha
Illustrator: Nicole Tadgell
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 2010


Marshall is tired of beans, beans, beans for dinner. But unfortunately for his family during the Great Depression, beans are the cheapest and best way to fill everyone’s tummy. However, a local contest to estimate how many beans are in the jar makes Marshall appreciate beans in a new way. Marshall uses what he’s been learning in class about measuring and estimating to help his mother make a smart guess about the number of beans in the jar. Kids will be impressed with Marshall’s logical thinking and maybe want to put his strategy to the test with their own jar of beans to estimate!


book coverWhole-y Cow! Fractions Are Fun
Author: Taryn Souders
Illustrator: Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, 2010

In this book, one whole cow has many adventures that provide the perfect learning opportunity for fractions. For example, while balancing on a peg, one whole cow breaks her leg. What fraction of her legs are hurt? What fraction are not? For kids who are intimidated by fractions and for parents who have trouble explaining it in easy-to-understand language, this book will be a big hit!

Expert Chat

Listen in as Taryn Souders, the author of Whole-y Cow! Fractions Are Fun, shares engaging and hands-on math tips for parents and kids. If you are a parent listening, get your spare change jar ready and your measuring cups out!