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The Penny Pot

Title: The Penny Pot

Author: Stuart J. Murphy

Publisher: HarperCollins

SOL: 2.10 The student will
a) count and compare a collection of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters whose total value is $2.00 or less

Grade Level Equivalent: 2.6

Description: The Penny Pot is set at a school fair. The art teacher, Fran, is charging 50₵ per face painting. Jessie wants her face painted very badly, but is 11₵ short. Fran uses a penny pot for other students who have extra change to donate. Eventually Jessie gets enough money for her face paint and makes a decision about what she’ll have painted on her face.

Why I Chose It: This money is a great start to learning how to count coins. I would encourage my students to follow along and create coin combinations that match amounts written in the book. I think it would also be fun to have a penny pot in the classroom too, and maybe use it as a Relay for Life fundraiser or something.

Online Activities:


Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry

Title: Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry

Author: Cindy Neuschwander

Publisher: Scholastic

SOL: 3.14 The student will identify, describe, compare, and contrast characteristics of plane and solid geometric figures (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, cube, rectangular prism, square pyramid, sphere, cone, and cylinder) by identifying relevant characteristics, including the number of angles, vertices, and edges, and the number and shape of faces, using concrete models.

Grade Interest Level: 2-5- Amazon

Description: Matt and Bibi are on a trip with their family in Egypt, and end up getting trapped in a pharoah’s pyramid. They use their knowledge of three-dimensional geometric shapes to help them locate the burial chamber and find a way out.

Why I Chose It: I like how this plot links geometry with Egypt, so it crosses subjects. It also goes into more detail about the faces that make up each geometric shapes. I like that it uses the proper names for each shape, like tetrahedron, because it gets the reader more familiar with the terms.

Online Activities Resources:

The Big Buck Adventure

Title: The Big Buck Adventure

Author: Shelley Gill & Deborah Tobola

Publisher: Scholastic

SOL: 2.10 The student will
a) count and compare a collection of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters whose total value is $2.00 or less

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.2- Book Wizard

Description: A little girl is given $1.00 in allowance and goes to the store down the street to decide how to spend it. She soon realizes the endless possibilities of how to spend her dollar, while sometimes realizing that it’s not enough to purchase everything. There are so many choices, but by the end, it shows the value of $1.00.

Why I Chose It: The words are written in a rhyming fashion, which immediately hooked me. I think this story is relatable to students, because they may also take a lot of time to decide what they will spend their money on too. I would like to do an activity with my class, maybe a journal, about what they would have decided to spend their dollar on if they were the character in the story.

Great Estimations

Title: Great Estimations

Author: Bruce Goldstone

Publisher: Scholastic

SOL: 3.4 The student will estimate solutions to and solve single-step and multistep problems involving the sum or difference of two whole numbers, each 9,999 or less, with or without regrouping.

Grade Interest Level: 2nd grade- Book Wizard

Description: We’ve all participated in the contest of guessing the number of jelly beans in a fish bowl, but you may wish you had read this book first before making your guess. Great Estimations teaches the reader to use estimation as a way of handling larger quantities and numbers. It starts off by teaching what 10, 100, and 1,000 look like to train the eye. Then, it provides pictures of everyday materials that the reader works to estimate correctly.

Why I Chose It: The front cover is very visually appealing to me. I also think it would be fun to do a jelly bean guessing activity before and after reading this book to see if the students grasp the concept of estimation. This book also makes estimation an aspect of math that is valuable in everyday life.

Fraction Action

Title: Fraction Action

Author: Loreen Leedy

Publisher: Scholastic

SOL: 2.3 The student will
a) identify the parts of a set and/or region that represent fractions for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, and tenths;
b) write the fractions; and
c) compare the unit fractions for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, and tenths.

Grade Level Equivalent: 2.1- Book Wizard

Description: Fraction Action is the story of Miss Prime’s class and their exploration of fractions. The book is split into five chapters, with each exposing the readers to different components of fractions. At the end there is a test between Miss Prime and her students as well as mathematical questions for the reader along the way.

Why I Chose It: I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked that the grade level equivalent and SOL are both for second grade, because I think it gives the book more weight if used as a read aloud. This book would also be great to follow along with drawing representations of fractions in a math notebook.

Piece = Part = Portion

Title: Piece = Part = Portion

Author: Scott Gifford

Publisher: Scholastic

SOL: 6.2 The student will
a) investigate and describe fractions, decimals, and percents as ratios;
b) identify a given fraction, decimal, or percent from a representation;
c) demonstrate equivalent relationships among fractions, decimals, and percents; and
d) compare and order fractions, decimals, and percents.

Grade Interest Level: 3-6- Book Wizard

Description: This book seems very simple upon first glance. It shows the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percents by using real life examples, like a day of the week is 1/7 (or .14 or 14%) of the total week.

Why I Chose It: Some students struggle finding the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percents. I think that by using realistic examples, the concepts could make more sense to the reader. In my future classroom, I would definitely have this book available in the my class library during this math unit.

A Million Dots

Title: A Million Dots

Author: Andrew Clements

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

SOL: 4.6 The student will
a) estimate and measure weight/mass and describe the results in U.S. Customary and metric units as appropriate; and
b) identify equivalent measurements between units within the U.S. Customary system (ounces, pounds, and tons) and between
units within the metric system (grams and kilograms).

Grade Level Reading Equivalent: 3.5- Book Wizard

Description: The story helps quantify what a million represents. It begins with one dot. Along the way, the text and illustrations offer plenty to look at and interesting facts to think about besides the rows and rows of tiny dots. On each page, the author selects one number and connects it to a numerical fact, such as there are 525,600 minutes between the birthdays of people. By the end of the book, students will learn a lot of interesting facts, but also gain a better understanding at what the number of one million really represents.

Why I Chose It: I love this book, because all of the illustrations are set in a background of black dots like the one on the first page. This detail really ties the whole book together. I would pair this book with How Much is a Million? during a unit on place value.