Archive for the 'book lists' Category

Counting on Number Sense

 Number sense is an intuitive feel for numbers and their relationships. Since number sense is something that develops over time, it is imperative that teachers provide students with a variety of materials and resources. Literature is a great way to  provide many different experiences with numbers.

Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning: K.1- K.5, 1.1-1.6

Let’s Count Goats by Mem Fox Illustrated by Jan Thomas

Let’s Count Goats a charming, silly book about- you guessed it- counting  goats. This is Mem Fox’s latest book, and if you have never read any of her books, you will instantly be drawn in by the the rhythm, rhyme and humor of this book. What is special about this book is that it has many layers. The most important is that you wont find any numerals! Mem designed this book to be interactive, allowing the readers to practice one to one correspondence by calling out each goat by number. The reader then has to count goats when directed by the story. Another interesting aspect is that that the number of goats isn’t sequential. While a page might have 6 goats, the next page might have one goat. For example:

“Here we see a show off goat playing on the bars. (1)
But can we count the ROWDY goats careering round in cars? (4)”

In every page of the story, you find goats doing silly things: goats playing trumpets, playing with their toys, eating, drinking, and even a goat going under while another is going over. Simple tasks or events that kids can relate to.

The illustrations compliment the story very well. The use of bold brilliant colors are very eye catching and attractive, while the silly expressions on each goat’s face just adds to the humor of the story.

Since Mem believes that children should be read to as babies and even before they are born, I recommend this book to any child, in or not yet in school. This book is not only useful as a number sense book but can also be used in language arts when exploring poetry, rhythm, and rhyme.

My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Bill Grossman creatively weaves a story about a little girl who eats and eats and eats! While performing in a magic show, this little sister eats all sorts of creatures and things! Grossman creatively reinforces number sense in his writing by using a cumulative poem structure.

My little sister ate 3 ants.
She even ate their underpants.
She ate 2 snakes. She ate 1 hare.
We thought she’d throw up then and there.
But she didn’t.

As children read, they recount all the things she ate. Though she seems to consume these creatures effortlessly, by the end of the book, she is faced with her most challenging plate yet: 10 peas!

Count Your Way Through Iran by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson Illustrated by Farida Zaman

Books like these are great for developing number sense but also to introduce students to different cultures. On the left pages you will find the numeral, the Arabic numeral, and the pronunciation. Under the number you find a short paragraph that correlates the number in some way to an aspect of Iranian culture, from the Two Towers of Silence, to the musical instrument tar, which has six strings! The beautiful watercolor illustrations are on the right. As teachers, it is important to pick books that are diverse and interesting. I recommend this book, and the companion books in the series.

This book is part of a series of “Count Your Way Through…” books which include China, IndiaRussia, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Korea, Israel, Ireland, Africa, Brazil, Afghanistan, just to name a few. They are all written by Jim Haskins (and co-author).


Mouse By Mouse: a Counting Adventure by Julia Noonan

“One mouse sits alone and blue. Her friend joins her, that makes two.” One by one these cute little mice get together to have a tea party, play, rescue little mouse 5 who is stuck in a soda bottle, go swimming, and finally after spending the day together, ten little mice  all go to sleep. The illustrations are animated and fun; kids can count the mice who have their numbers labeled on the front of their colorful dresses or shirts, which keeps the readers engaged! This book helps develop one-to-one correspondence and stable order.

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

“You know, you can think of almost everything as a math problem.” This is the big problem for one little girl. She discovers that once she starts, she can’t stop! From calculating how much time she has to get ready for school, to figuring out how many slices of pizza she should eat at lunch, she can’t seem to look at anything with out it becoming a math problem. She believes her math teacher, Ms. Fibonacci has put a MATH CURSE on her! Fractions, addition, multiplication, distance, time, measurement, and so much more, this book explores different mathematical concepts in a fun, silly way. The book is also interactive. The authors pose different unsolved math problems that the reader can solve themselves. The illustrations are creative, and unique.

We All Went on Safari: a Counting Journey Through Tanzania by Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns

This book follows a group of Maasai people as they travel through Tanzania, exploring and counting different animals that they find along the way. On each page, you can find beautiful watercolor illustrations, a numeral and the equivalent number of animals, along with the written Swahili number. In the back of the book you find information about the Maasai people and culture, a list of the different animals explored, and a list of number written in Swahili, the pronunciation, and the English translation. Additionally, you find color dots that you can practice counting on. Also included in the back is information about the country of Tanzania and a map with all the surrounding countries.

Games to help students with number sense

Big Count Bayou Count all the bayou critters and match with the right number

Rock Hopper Help Rock Hopper jump to the large rock using a number of jumps

Billy Bug Help billy eat his food by taking him to the right spot by using coordinates

The Number Game Read the number word and find the corresponding numeral

Fishy Count Count how many fish

Links for teachers

BBC Number Time  Printable worksheets (addition/subtraction, number ladders, number sequence, writing numbers, number stories)

Climb The Ladder Number sense activity (includes instructions, and templates)

Second Grade Locker Room  Number sense activity ideas (includes domino place value, paper plate relay and place value game)

The 100th day of School Unit Plan Ideas (include 2 lesson plans and related materials and resources)

Teaching Time

Introduction to the topic-

This entry covers the topic of telling time.  It focuses on VA SOL 2.12.  The student will tell and write time to the nearest 5 minutes, using analog and digital clock.  There are many great resources for teaching this subject to students, some are listed below.

Text annotations-

The Clock Struck One: A Time-telling Tale (Math Is Fun!) by: Trudy Harris


PreSchool-Grade 2€”A playful expansion of “Hickory, Dickory Dock,” this picture book centers around the concept of a cat chasing a mouse through the hours of a day. “Hickory dickory doo, the grandfather clock struck TWO./It woke the cat, who sprang from his mat,/hungry for mouse-tail stew,” and the race is on. Some of the rhyming verses are awkwardly constructed (“Hickory dickory date,/at EIGHT, they ran through the gate./The farmer’s son/said, ‘That looks fun./I’m coming too. So wait!'”). Expressive mixed-media illustrations display a gleeful mouse swinging on the clock chimes while a sleepy feline dozes on a nearby rug, and then highlight the ensuing chaos as other animals and people join the pursuit. The ending shows a very tired mouse and cat catching their breath as the clock strikes one in the morning. A thoughtful afterword offers a two-page explanation about the difference between digital and analog clocks and how to tell time, and challenges readers to find the various clocks featured in the illustrations (e.g., a cuckoo clock, a pocket watch, and a digital stove clock)- source

Telling Time With Big Mama Cat by:  Dan Harper


PreSchool-Grade 2-A feline claims, “Some people think cats don’t know much-but I, Big Mama Cat, know how to tell time. How else could I keep my busy day on schedule?” Readers quickly discover the irony in this assertion, as illustrations soon reveal that her busy day consists of napping, eating, or waiting to do one or the other. Her proprietary interest in the goings-on of her domain are manifest in her awareness of the humans’ schedule, from the morning rituals of baby feedings and the school bus to the family’s evening routine of dinner and a bedtime story. The simple, consistent arrangement of text and pictures on each page gently frames the humor and perfectly captures the everyday dramas of naptime and tea parties. Humor is furthered by visual details, including birds and mice of which the proud feline narrator seems completely unaware. Clocks showing the times noted in the text are clearly visible on every page and can be supplemented by a clock with moveable plastic hands that is part of the front cover. The tongue-in-cheek tone of the story and high-quality art are so engrossing, however, that the cover clock might be entirely ignored. Buy several copies; this combination is guaranteed to please those learning to tell time as well as their younger siblings.- source

Telling Time: How to Tell Time on Digital and Analog Clocks by:  Jules Older


Kindergarten-Grade 3-Beginning with a robust “TICK” and ending with an equally bold “TOCK,” Older acts as both an encouraging coach and cheerleader for youngsters learning about time. He defines the concept clearly, citing two meanings-when things happen and how long things take. After delving into how time can be broken down (from a second to a century), the author gets down to the nitty-gritty of telling time. He begins with the easier digital-clock face. Once that is thoroughly explained, he ponders the more difficult analog clock. Readers are taken through the process of reading it, and little tests are thrown in to keep students on track. Answers are given in the text, along with rewarding smiley faces. (“Yes! It’s seven-thirty. You deserve another smiley face!”) The cartoon illustrations, showing children and many, many types of clocks are colorful, plentiful, and inviting. A rather silly poem is appended to help readers remember how long things take: “Sixty seconds make a minute,/that’s a lot of seconds, innit?” Although a.m. and p.m. are discussed (“-breakfast is at six A.M., but supper is at six P.M.”) they are never really defined. Beyond these minuscule qualms, this jovial look at time and time telling is as handy as they come.- source

Clocks and More Clocks by:  Pat Hutchins


When the hall clock reads twenty minutes past four, the attic clock reads twenty-three minutes past four, the kitchen clock reads twenty-five minutes past four, and the bedroom clock reads twenty-six minutes past four, what should Mr. Higgins do? He can’t tell which of his clocks tells the right time. He is in for a real surprise when the Clockmaker shows him that they are all correct!- source

Pigs on A Blanket by: Amy Axelrod


Grade 1-2 Children who exercised their math skills with the effervescent porcine family in Axelrod’s Pigs Will Be Pigs (S & S, 1994) can pick up more practice adding, subtracting, and telling time as the portly clan visits the beach. The piglets are ready to go in no time, but the minutes march past as Mr. Pig tries to find a swimsuit that still fits (45 minutes), hunts for car keys (1 hour), gets a speeding ticket (13 minutes), stands in line at the concession stand (60 minutes), and insists they wait for lunch to digest (30 minutes, plus 20 more for the lemonade and brownies). At last it’s “Time to ride the waves!” But no, it’s 5:30, and the beach is closing. Animal characters in colorful summer dress cavort cheerfully through simple cartoon illustrations. The Pigs’ misadventure gets a recap in rebuses at the end, and an afterword poses a few word problems and a discussion of clock face features and digital equivalents.-  source

Web annotations-

This website has an online quiz for telling time.  Students should just click start to begin.  The student is told if their answer is correct or incorrect. If incorrect, the correct answer is stated.

This website contains an online activity with time word problems.  The word problems are related to activities that students might encounter at school.  Students must enter the correct time.  Includes a.m. and p.m.

In “Max’s Challenge”, students keep an online log  of the activities they do in one hour and how many minutes each activity takes.

For this online game, students must find all the clocks showing the time stated.  Self checker component is included!

This online activity allows students to enter a time on the digital clock and the face will move on the analog clock.  A great practice tool.

Additional resources

An online glossary of math terms.  Students can look up terms such as hour, minute, second and use the definitions to make time flashcards.  This flashcard maker could be used for students to type their definitions in.

A free online worksheet maker will allow teachers to make worksheets about time for use in their classroom.  The site will also generate an answer key.

This board game activity would be a great classroom center activity.  Game would be best for 2-4 players.

This site includes a list of  power point presentations for teachers to use when teaching telling time . Presentations include many pictorial example slides.

Teaching Basic Addition and Subtraction in First Grade

I have created this list to help teachers who are teaching basic addition and subtraction facts. This will help assist students to learn the basic fact families up to 18 ( Virginia Standard of Learning 1.5 and 1.6)

Text Annotations:



Chrysanthemum  by Kevin Henkes is book about a younger girl who is going to school and discovers that her name is too long. She had always loved her name but now with all of her classmates mocking her, she decides that she needs a shorter name. Although the book does not directly use addition and subtraction, as the teacher you can uses this book to jump start and activity of adding up all of the letters in your student’s names. It also teaches a lesson on being nice to others and acceptance.


What’s New at the Zoo? An Animal Adding Adventure by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Joan Waites is book that counts and adds up the several different animals at the zoo. The illustrations are watercolor paintings and are really great. This book is a great introduction to basic skills. I like how the book also uses a lot of rhyming patterns which is important for young readers. There is also a section in the back of the book with educator notes and ideas for lessons


Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst and Illustrated by Ray Cruz is a book about Alexander and how he looses all of his money. It makes the connection of subtraction and can also introduce the concept of spending money and how you can have to make decisions. This book is part of the series that talks about Alexander and his adventures. I really enjoy how real the book is and how easy Alexander is to relate to. There are plenty of ways that you can use this book while teaching subtraction such as subtracting the money as he spends it but do that without using the decimals.


Domino Addition by Lynette Long, PhD is a great piece of literature to introduce dominoes to the class. Each page walks through a set of dominoes and adds them up to 12.  The photographs in the book are vivid and could be clearly seen if being read to the class. This book is great to introduce basic addition and subtraction. It helps children understand how fact families work and gives a visual for the visual learners in your class. This book will keep students actively engaged with the questions they ask.


12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam and Illustrated by Bernie Karlin is a small book that uses several items to establish how the students add to 11. “Out of the magician’s hat: four banners, five rabbits, a pitcher of water, and a bouquet of flowers”; or, “Go past four corners and two traffic lights, then past the house with two chimneys and the garage with two cars and a bicycle. Now look, you’re at Eleventh Street” ‘ The book has a lot of great illustrations. The text would be great way to introduce number stories and have students make their own number stories.  The author has written the book to allow for good class discussion.

Web Annotation:

Alien Addition Game is  a fun game that helps students review basic addition facts. The game is noisy so students would need headphones if playing at a center. The game provides good practice in the commutative principal. It is also great because it a fast-paced games and is something that boys would like because it blowing up space ships.

Funbrain Math Baseball is a game that helps with addition facts. I like this game because it has 4 levels so that it can be changed depending on the skill of the student. The website has several other games and also some worksheets that go along with the addition game.

The ArithmAttack is a game for kids where you can decide if you would like to  be test on either addition or subtraction. It also has division for the more advanced students. The player can select the highest number that can be added or subtracted and the lowest number as well. Each problem allows the student 60 seconds to answer and if you get it wrong, the site provides the correct answer.

Adding Bricks is a game that uses bricks to guide the players in addition. There are pictures of each brick and it also has the addition problem set up vertically. The game does not give the correct answer but it does have the visual of the bricks  that a student can count.  The game is loud so headphones would be needed if a students were using during centers or in the classroom.

Subtraction Magician is a subtraction game that the player can select the degree of difficulty. The game allows 1 minute for 20 questions. There are 2 different ” mixes”. This game is a great way to review subtraction without using standard flashcards. It is a fun game and helps students work quickly to insure that they are memorizing the fact families.

Additional Resources:

Math and Literature is a website with lists of several pieces of literature that could be used during math and have elements of language arts. The website tells the importance of reading and using reading in cross-curricular ways. Using reading can help develop language skills and vocabulary associated with math.

Math Activity Worksheets is a website that has themed worksheets for addition and subtraction. There are several different worksheets and some other math skill other than addition and subtraction. The website is set up by grade level and features what are grade level appropriate activities and worksheets.

Mrs. McGowan’s Fact Family is a page on Mrs. McGowan’s website that allows her to share her classroom ideas. The Fact Family page explains how she teaches the concept of fact families in addition and subtraction. The site gives alternate webpages and activities for explaining addition and subtraction. Mrs. McGowan also includes the importance of the  connection of literature in math.

Teaching Number Sense and Counting in Kindergarten


Students in Kindergarten are just getting a sense of number and counting and are motivated to count everywhere they go. Virginia SOL K. 2 deals with multiple ways of thinking about and representing numbers. For this SOL, when given a set containing 15 or fewer concrete objects, students will tell how many are in a set by counting orally, write the numeral to tell how many are in a set, and select the corresponding numeral from a given set of numerals. Students will  develop number sense through verbalizing numbers in order and connecting them to counting experiences, kinesthetic experiences involving writing number names and numerals, and practice with conservation and one-on-one correspondence.  The following are a set of book and online resources to teach number sense in a Kindergarten or First Grade classroom:

 Literature Connections:


 Anno’s Counting Book introduces counting and number systems 0-12 by showing mathematical relationships in nature. Each page contains the written numeral, the number represented in unifix cubes, and the number represented pictorially in various ways. For example: Page “2” includes the numeral, the number represented in unifix cubes, 2 children, 2 buildings, 2 cars, 2 dogs, and 2 trees.


Count! by Denise Fleming depicts the lively antics of colorful animals as they present the numbers 1-10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. This book can be used as an interactive guide for students as they wiggle with 7 worms, stretch with 5 giraffes, and leap with 40 frogs.


The text and illustrations of the familiar “O” shaped cereal will help students count from 0 to 20 and add groups of 10. Students can read and count along with the story of follow along by manipulating their own set of Cheerios. Cheerios are represented in easy, countable groups up to 90 and includes text which stresses counting groups of 10 to determine higher number values. 


Counting Crocodiles is a story based on an old African tale where a clever monkey uses her ability to count to outsmart hungry crocodiles and find her way off of a deserted island. This rhyming adventure follows the monkey and her friends as they count from 1-10 forwards and backwards in order to get to across the ocean and back with an armful of bananas.


Perfect for counting aloud as a group or for students working individually, no words are needed in this wonderful counting book by Teri Sloat. Join students from all over the world in counting 1-10 and by 10’s to 100. Each themed page includes a numeral, and various objects which can be counted in each picture. For example: page “6” has the numeral represented in haystacks, 6 chicks, 6 eggs, 6 plants, 6 spiders, and 6 feed pails.

Web Connections:

This interactive teaching model provided by Houghton Mifflin Math for Kids involves an interactive tutorial about counting, representing, and recognizing numbers 0-31. In this teaching model, students will listen to prompts in order to learn about concepts and to practice using ten-frames, one-to-one correspondence, and manipulatives such as unifix cubes to represent numbers from 0-31.

This counting game with one of children’s most beloved characters involves students counting a set of items (numbers 1-10) and selecting the corresponding numeral from a set of answers.  Students will get practice in conservation, representing numbers and numerals, and estimating while having fun and helping Bob the Builder and his friend Sprout fix things around the town.

  This counting game provided by AOL kids, allows students to use numeral and vocal cues to count out the correct number of ants and place them in order on a leaf for counting. Students will love using the whistle to call the ants to order and place them on a line in time for inspection.

This amazing site provided by ABC, links to 15 different interactive games and activities that teach students about counting and number sense. Game 1 involves separating sheep into two equal groups in two separate pens allowing students to practice counting up and down from numbers greater than 10.  Game 3 involves counting items in a picture and writing the corresponding numeral.  Game 5 involves placing a certain number of objects under the corresponding numeral. Game 6 involves matching a numeral to the written number. Game 7 involves using a 10 frame to count to values greater than 5. Game 11 involves counting one more or one less than a number without starting from 0. Other games include number sense activities involving ordinal and cardinal position, classifying sets, and sorting.

This interactive guide provided by Bornthinker allows students to see and follow along as the guide shows how to write numbers and numerals from 0-15. This website is a great resource for kids struggling in writing numbers and numerals correctly and to help students refine their fine motor skills through kinesthetic experiences.

 Additional Resources:

This website provided by is a great resource for teachers and includes free printable number sense worksheets in pdf form. Worksheets include blank and “counting by..” hundreds charts, number lines to values up to 125 by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 20’s, and place value charts for ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.

This website provided by includes counting flashcard printables for numbers 1-15 including pictures for counting and numeral representation in color and black-and-white flashcards.

This website provided by A to Z teacher stuff includes fun and interesting counting lesson plans and activities for Kindergarten students including directions to make counting books, cheerio counting necklaces, M&M counting activities, and number songs and displays.

This website provided by songsforteaching includes links to many songs that will help teachers in teaching early number concepts and skip-counting. Song topics include- counting to 100, skip-counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, concepts of greater than and less than, principles of basic addition and subtraction, and counting up and counting back. Each song includes lyrics and a clip of each song being sung.

This 16 minute podcast includes basic principles which make up a good counting book and good counting book titles and suggestions.

Teaching Kindergarten Math: Shapes

The following Instructional Resource Set focuses on the recognition and mastery of two dimensional geometric shapes at the Kindergarten level.  In its entirety, this comprehensive plan places emphasis specifically on Virginia Standards of Learning  K.11-K12.  With these resources, in addition to lesson plans and activities, children will learn to recognize the four basic geometric shapes (circle, square, rectangle, and triangle) but are also faced with less traditional shapes such as diamonds, hearts, octagons, and ovals.  Children also learn to compare sizes of geometric shapes and positions relative to one another.  The books, websites, and online activities listed below aid in teaching these concepts to students.

Text Annotations: Children's Literature

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban


Hoban is well known for her wordless, yet instructionally brilliant children's books and this book is no exception!  If children have never been introduced to one of these unique books, they will be in for a treat as they sit down to this one.  Children can become an author, putting their own words to each page; or, teachers can be the author, taking children which he/ she reads to on a geometric journey.  Each page includes interesting and beautiful urban landscapes, portraits, and still life, thus relaying to children that shapes are all around them, every day, in every way!  Children will have fun studying each page, looking hard to find shapes within each one.  A plethora of circles, stars, triangles, trapezoids and more are embedded within each photograph.  The great thing is that before the book even begins, Hoban provides readers with a key of shapes to look for as they delve into each page.  A shape lesson can begin to take form before the teacher and the students even turn to the first page!

When a Line Bends, A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Greene


How does a shape even become a shape?  Where many shape books for children never really answer that question, this book serves as a phenomenal introduction to the line being the basis for all shapes.  Perhaps a line is a jump rope laid out straight, or lots of little black ants in a row?  Whatever it is, when it bends, a shape begins!  Through pictures and catchy rhyming verse, the traditional square, circle, triangle, diamond, rectangle, octagon, and oval are presented for children.  Even the less traditional star, heart, and crescent get some attention too!  No matter how popular, every shape has its own verse and double-page spread loaded with visual examples for children to see. This book could be utilized as an enhancement to any geometric shape lesson, or simply a really cute read-aloud with which children will easily fall in love.

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh


Ellen Stoll Walsh, once again, proves she is a master of children's concept books with this cute companion to her classic concept books, Mouse Paint and Mouse Count.  Here, three quirky little mice are on the run from a big, scary cat!  In their adventure to hide, they discover shapes and work as a team to create larger things out of the smaller geometric figures.  The clever mice are curious as to what they can create with two circles, or a square, or perhaps, even eight triangles?  How about a wagon, or a house, maybe even a cat?!  Children will love to follow the story line of this enticing book, thus permitting them the opportunity to further learn shapes and colors.  Teachers can easily extend this book into a true lesson by using large, cut-out shapes for children to find as the mice do too!

A Circle Here, A Square There  by David Diehl


Yet another wonderful book to use in the classroom to help children identify shapes as common elements in every day life.  Every page of this book displays the single word for each shape in large, bold print with accompanying pictorial examples beneath. A square is represented by a beautifully wrapped gift, the circle by a delicious scoop of ice cream.  These are just a couple of the book's very relatable examples for children to see.  Among the book's other shapes are the heart, oval, diamond, crescent, and even an octagon.

The Wing on a Flea: A Book about Shapes by Ed Emberley


In this fun rhyming book that serves as a renovated version of the 1961 edition, shapes are presented to children as things they eat, see, or play with in their daily lives.  Children will be completely mesmerized by clean-cut shapes, cheerful colors, varying sizes and the world that is created by combining them all together.  Each shape is taught apart from every other, however, that does not stop the author from utilizing a combination of every shape in all pictures.  All geometric figures are displayed as solid colors on a black background, thus allowing children to see the shapes clearly with no distractions.  "Look and you can see that a wing on a flea is a triangle!"

Web Annotations: Children’s Website

The Story of Shapes presents a furry, quirky animal telling the story of shapes and providing descriptions for each as he draws them on a chalkboard for childre nto see!

The Shape Train asks that children identify the correct shapes in order to get the train to take off from the station.  This can also be done using colors, whereby the child must choose the correct colors to get the train to take off.  For a more advanced activity, the child can choose to mix colors and shapes!

Purpy’s Shapes allows children to have fun with Purpy while finding some his favorite shapes.  Children are first asked to match objects that are seen in every day life to corresponding geometric shapes.  Secondly, they must find a given number of shapes in a presented picture.   If the child succeeds at this task, he/ she is then presented with a kid-friendly explanation of how circles and squares are “squished” to get ovals and rectangles.  Each time a child gets a page correct, he/ she must locate an increased number of shapes in a new picture!

On this site, Kids Online Resources Presents Learning is Fun, children are shown shapes first, then asked to drag their mouse over real-life objects that match the given shape.  Once correct,  the child gets the opportunity to create large, sometimes silly, pictures or objects out of that shape.

With I Spy Shapes children are presented with various scenes, which include several shapes throughout the picture.  Children must locate the shapes and click on them with the mouse as a number ticker keepts track of the shapes found.  The picture is completed and the children are praised when all are successfully located!

Additional Resources

Hummingbird Education Resources: Lesson Plans

From catchy songs to cute in-class crafts, this site offers a comprehensive listing of various ways for teachers to implement and teach the shapes in Kindergarten classrooms.

With Shapes Recognition Practice several downloadable printables, listed from easiest to hardest to aid in differentiated learning, are presented to teachers to utilize in reinforcing the learning of shapes, sizes, and relative positions.

Step by Step Childcare Presenting Shapes

From edible ideas using common shapes to a list of children's literature, this is a great site for teachers providing multiple methods to enforce the recognition of shapes.

Outstanding Science Trade Books 2008

The NSTA list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for K-12 Students is out. The introduction to the list includes this excerpt about the books selected.

Each of these outstanding selections defies the traditional image of a child "curling up with a good book." Yes, they can be a source of great personal reading, encouraging students of all ages to stretch their skills and their imagination as they interact with the printed page. But these journeys of the scientific imagination seldom end with the final chapter. They have the capacity to draw the reader out from that cozy seat and into the natural world€”to observe, investigate, and continue the process of discovery that has characterized scientists from Aristotle to Hawking. The adventures begin here.

The list of books is below. Each title was assigned a reading level by the reviewers. These suggested levels are intended as guidelines and are not meant to limit the potential use of titles. Reading levels include: P = Primary (K–2); E = Elementary (3–5); I = Intermediate (6–8); A = Advanced (9–12). Finally, titles marked with a * are books that individual reviewers responded to with particular enthusiasm.

Archaeology, Anthropology, and Paleontology


Earth and Space Science

Environment and Ecology

Health and Science

Life Science

Physical Science

Technology and Engineering

Back in January I created my own list of outstanding science books published in 2007, and even used some of the NSTA categories. A few of my selections made this list. You should also recognize some of these titles as Cybils nominees and finalists.