Kristin Rodriguez Book TalkBook: Tang, G. (2002). The Best of Times. NY. Scholastic Press. Illustrated by Harry Briggs.Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction.Grade Level: 3rdAccess Features: Author’s note, Headings.Organization: This book uses sequential organization.Synopsis: If you need help learning your multiplication tables, this is the book for you. Thisbook has a fun and easy rhyme to help you remember the rules of multiplication starting fromzero all the way up to the number ten. This book is bright and colorful with great illustrations.The pictures are of silly animals to make things even more exciting and memorable. This is agreat alternative to the monotonous memorization. If you are only in need of a review this bookcan help you too. The last couple of pages breaks down each number and shows you how theriddle works mathematically for extra practice. With this book anyone can learn their “timestables.”Reading Strategy: The Tea Party Strategy. The teacher will make one copy of each page for thenumbers zero to ten. Have students go around to each station in small groups or pairs. They willreread and review one page at each station. Then have the students take turns asking each othermultiplication questions of that number. Rotate around the room until every student goes toevery station and reread every page and has a chance to practice their multiplication tables fromzero to ten.Additional Activity: The students can choose their favorite number and rewrite the riddle thatgoes along with it. Then they can draw their own pictures to help them remember the riddle.Recommendation: This is a great book to bring in after the students have been introduced tomultiplication for the first time. While students will eventually memorize their times tables, thisis a good book to help them understand the math behind them. For the struggling students thisbook will offer a good visual and another trick to figuring out their times table until they canmemorize it.
Kristin Rodriguez Book TalkBook: Schwartz, D. (2003). MILLIONS TO MEASURE. NY. Harper Collins. Illustrated bySteven KelloggGenre: Juvenile nonfiction.Grade Level: 4-6Access Features: Sidebars, inset sections, afterword, pictures of all the items being measured areshown to help understand the size of the unit.Organization: This book is organized chronologically.Synopsis: This is a book with Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician. Some children wantto have a race but don’t know how to decide where to race to, so they ask Marvelosissimo. Themath magician takes them on a fun journey back through time to see how people long agodecided how to measure things. They learn about what people first used to measure distance,height, weight, volume, etc. The children learn about depending on the item they are measuringthey may use different units of measurement. They also learn how these units relate to eachother, such as kilo and kilogram. If you want to see where all the measurements that you’veheard about came and how to use them, this is the book for you!Reading Strategy: KWL. This strategy could be done as a class or individually. Create a three-column chart. The first column should be labeled with a “K” for “Know” the second with a “W”for “Want to know” and the last with “L” for “Learned.” So first write down everything youknow about measurement. List all the types of measurements that you can think of. Describewhen those measurements are used. Then come up with at least three questions that you wouldlike to know about measurements. Then once the book is read, see if any of your questions wereanswered. Then make a new list under the learned column of five new things about measurementthat were learned.Additional Activity: Have the students go around the room and estimate to the nearest inch howtall they think any ten items are. Then have them check their estimations with a ruler. Thenconvert your measurement to centimeters. Be sure they create an organized chart to store all theirdata.Recommendation: After reading this book as a class I would spend several lessons learning allthe different types of measurements. I also think including a lot of hands on measuring in thedifferent units of measurement will be the most beneficial in getting the students to understandthem all.