Mathematics in the K-8 Classroom and Library

McKinney, Sueanne and KaaVonia Hinton. 2010. Mathematics in the K-8 Classroom and Library. Santa Barbara, CA: Linworth.

Authors Sueanne E. McKinney and Kaavonia Hinton are both assistant professors at Old Dominion University in STEM Education and Professional Studies and the Darden College of Education, respectively. Their book describes how school librarians can integrate literature into math in order to support students develop a “conceptual understanding of math.” The book is a great resource to help a school librarian use the books already in the library for math lessons. A school librarian could build connections with teachers by sharing selected books and lessons with them, or offering to teach the lesson in the library. The authors also offer suggestions for how to use any book in a math lesson. Another important area that gets good coverage is how school librarians can collaborate with math teachers.

Below is a list of the mathematical topics and the children’s books which are covered in McKinney and Hinton’s book. These book titles have detailed notes or lesson ideas in the “Using Mathematics Literature” sections of each Chapter. This list will help a school librarian decide if purchasing the book will help them make more use of their existing collection. McKinney and Hinton’s book typically contains a page describing several activities for each of these titles.

Numbers and Operations

  • A Creepy Countdown
  • Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On
  • One Less Fish
  • The M&M’s Count to One Hundred Book
  • Dreaming: A Countdown to Sleep

Addition and Subtraction

  • How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty
  • The Grapes of Math
  • How Many Feet in the Bed?
  • The Hershey’s Kisses Subtraction Book
  • Subtraction Action

Multiplication and Division

  • One Hundred Hungry Ants
  • Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream
  • A Remainder of One
  • 2×2 = Boo
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!


  • The Wishing Club
  • Full House: An Invitation to Fractions
  • Piece = Part = Portion
  • The Doorbell Rang
  • Centipede’s 100 Shoes


  • The King’s Chessboard
  • The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
  • The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat
  • Math Curse
  • Fractals, Googles and Other Mathematical Tales


  • Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
  • Grandfather Tang’s Story
  • The Greedy Triangle
  • Draw Me a Star
  • Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry


  • Twelve Snails to One Lizard: A Tale of Mischief and Measurement
  • How Tall, How Short, How Faraway
  • Clocks and More Clocks
  • Millions to Measure
  • Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday

Data Analysis and Probability

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Tricking the Tallyman
  • If the World Were a Village
  • Lemonade for Sale
  • Do You Wanna Bet?

“Any Literary Selection Can Be a Mathematics Selection”

  • A Perfect Snowman
  • Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs
  • Olivia … and the Missing Toy
  • Swamp Angel
  • Chicken Soup

Reading Visual Representations

Rubenstein, Rheta N., and Denisse R. Thompson. 2012. “Reading Visual Representations.” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School 17 (9): 544–50. doi:10.5951/mathteacmiddscho.17.9.0544.

The authors are teacher educators at the University of Michigan–Dearborn and the University of South Florida, Tampa. The authors argue that students need to learn how to understand visual representations, and suggest that a framework used for learning how to read can be applied to learning how to “read” images. Like reading literature, interpreting visual representations can require making inferences and going “beyond the data” by predicting and extrapolating. The Question-Answer-Relationship (QAR) framework is from reading theory, and can be used to ask students more meaningful questions when they interpret visual representations like graphs and charts. They describe several question types: “Orientation” (what is on the surface), “Right There” (stated explicitly within the text), “Think and Search” (found after considering symbols or making calculations or comparisons), “Author and You” (student synthesizes the author’s information with what the student already knows), and “On Your Own” (student uses only background knowledge).