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Just in Time for Halloween!

by Miriam Downey 31. October 2012 17:38

 

Last week I spent a few days visiting a friend in Tarrytown, New York, a beautiful little town on the Hudson River. Tarrytown is neighbor to another beautiful little town, Sleepy Hollow. Between the two towns, they have a monopoly on festivities connected with Halloween and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow  by Washington Irving, their most famous resident.

Washingon Irving lived from 1783 to 1859 on a beautiful farm in the Sleepy Hollow area. His home, Sunnyside, is open to the public. He was America's first best-selling author and is known for his short stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.

While in Tarrytown, I went to the Old Dutch Church one dark October evening to hear a storyteller retell The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The church had an old reed organ and was lit by candlelight. The organ played eerie music as the story teller set the mood by telling some of the legends that had formed the basis for the story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman, and then he brilliantly told The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It was an incredible experience.

It made me think about the classic American short stories that are appropriate for dark October nights when people are inclined to think about scary things. These stories, appropriate for high school students, form the basis of much of American literature, and luckily for us, most all of them are available to download or read on the Internet.

So, for our scary approval, here is a list of classic American scary stories. Just a reminder: these are appropriate for teenagers.

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. (Actually all of his stories are scary.)

The Ghost Story by Mark Twain

For added enjoyment, here are a few British scary stories.

The Bottle Imp by Robert Lewis Stevenson

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells

Have a great scary time!

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Blog | English

More Math Concepts

by Miriam Downey 29. October 2012 16:55

My mother was never very good in math, and she let us know that she couldn't help us with math when we were in school. Consequently, I thought that I wasn't very good in math either. When I became a teacher and had to teach math, I found out I was a lot better than I thought. I learned a good lesson about parenting. Help your children know that they can be successful.

The following books will help your children think they are very good at math. These books are fun and some of them don't even look like math books. You will be able to find these books at your local library or bookstore. A few may be available on Kindle or Nook.

Chance, Probability, Graphs and Data

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Noble

Do You Wanna Be? Your Chance to Find Out about Probability by Jean Cushman

Graphs by Ed Catherall

Great Graph Contest by Loreen leedy

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Caps for Sale by Exphyr Slobodkin

Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger by Ann W. Nagda

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Multiplication

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental

Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream by Cindy Neuschwander

The Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply by Greg Tang

Can you count to a Googol? by Robert E. Wells

Spaghetti and Meatballs by Marilyn Burns

Division

Cheetah Math: Learning about Division from Baby Cheetahs by Ann W. Nagda

The Little MouseThe Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood

The Pigeon finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems

A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes

Fractions

Fraction Fun by David Adler

Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle A. Dodds

Measurement

Anno's Math Games by Mitsumasa Anno

The Best Kind of Gift by Kathi Appelt

Biggest, Strongest, Fastest by Steve Jenkins

Counting on Frank by Rod Clement

How Long or How Wide? A Measuring Guide by Brian Cleary

Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni

 Have Fun Measuring and Learning Math!

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Blog | Math

Teaching Math Concepts

by Miriam Downey 16. October 2012 12:15

Shapes

A square was sitting quietly

Outside his rectangular shack

When  a triangle came down--kerplunk!--

"I must go to the hospital,"

Cried the wounded square.

So a passing rolling circle

Picked him up and took him there.

Shel Silverstein in A Light in the Attic

There are many ways to teach math concepts, and math lessons don't necessarily have to be boring. Think about this poem by Shel Silverstein and what it teaches. What would this poem look like in pictures? Tell the story in a comic strip. Draw a square. Draw a rectangle. Can you find some triangles in this room? Some circles?

The National Research Council recently released a report suggesting that a child should begin learning about numbers, spatial thinking, and measurement at a very early age. I would suggest that intuitive math learning can begin and go on at any age. One of the reasons that I liked geometry in high school was that I was better at spatial thinking than I was at abstract algebraic equations. I think that if I had been taught to think mathematically, algebra would have been easier for me.

I happened upon a list of some favorite picture books that encourage mathematical thinking at many ages, but particularly for preschool and elementary school children. A book such as Each Orange Had Eight Slices by Paul Giganti Jr. can be used with a preschooler as a counting book and a third grader for a unit on fractions. Young children love How Much is a Million? by David Schwartz to teach really big thinking as much as a first or second grader will love it because they love really big numbers. And everybody loves Math Curse by Jon Sciezka, Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco, and The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins.

A few of the following books are available online, some are available in video on YouTube, but all will be available at your local library. They are arranged by mathematical concept. Many thanks to a middle school librarian on a wiki website from Blytheville, Arkansas for this list.

 

This blog posting will consider the basic math concepts of counting, addition and subtraction. The next posting will include books that are about higher level math concepts.

Counting

100 Monsters from My School  by Bonnie Bader

 Animal 1 2 3!  by J. Douglas Lee

Bears on Wheels by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Chicken Little Count to Ten by Margaret Friskey

Click, Clack, Splish, Splash: a Counting Adventure by Doreen Cronin

Count and See by Tana Hoban

Counting on Frank by Rod Clement

 A Dozen Dogs by Harriet Ziefert

Each Orange had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti, Jr.

The Handmade Counting Book by Laura Rankin

Mouse Count! by Felicia Law

Too Many Balloons by Catherine Matthias

Addition

365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss

Addition Annie by David Gisler

Blueberries for Sal  by Robert McCloskey

Imogene's Antlers by David Small

Math Potatoes by Greg Tang

The Mission of Addition by Brian Cleary

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Subtraction

The Action of Subtraction by Brian Cleary

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Hershey Kisses Subtraction Book by Jerry Pallotta

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Happy Reading! Happy counting, and adding, and subtracting!

 

 

 

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Blog | Math

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