Student Created Books

Who Doesn't Love a Good Clothing Sale? By Andrea Ingham

My book is about going shopping for clothes during a sale which usually involves a percent off. This book compares two different sales that could be used and follows along as I try to determine what sale is best and how much a shirt will cost. I explain all of my calculations. This book can be used before the percent unit to active prior knowledge for students of where they actually do use percent in their lives. It can also be used after when they learn about finding them and how to estimate.

Who Doesn't Love a Good Sale?


Melissa Morale
This is a great beginning book of learning how to multiply fractions. It gives the students a view from the simple steps and an example that can be used. This brief book would be great to use for a pre-reading strategy with the K.I.M (key idea, information, and memory clue) activity. The students can go through the book find the key ideas, fractions, proportions, and get the defintions, and make memory clues of what it is. This can be the beginning stage to find out what the students further need to learn about fractions.


Pythagoras and His Theorem

By Emily Bennett

Pythagoras and His Theorem

The book is about Pythagoras and his namesake theorem. The book highlights the key elements of the theorem and it's applications at the same time bringing in some controversy regarding Pythagoras. The hope is that students may question the man, but still respect the mathematical reasoning behind the theorem. This book is easily accessible for a high school student who could potentially read this independently. It could set the purpose of your lesson: the Pythagorean Theorem. A literacy strategy that you could use along with this book is the 3-2-1. Have students come up with three things they didn't know about Pythagoras, 2 thinngs that were confirmed by the book and 1 question that the book left them with. This would be a great assignment to give the kids right before a unit on Pythagorean Theorem.

Father Knows Best
By Greg Pfeil

I would use this book as post-reading strategy. This would be beneficial to students for post reading because it will reiterate the material being taught in class or in the reading. Also, it will be a great discussion starter with how that material can be related to other real world examples in the students' own lives. This will help the students create an even deeper understanding of the course material since they will be able to establish connections that pertain to their own personal experiences. Even though equations and sports were used in this book, it could be modified to fit just about any other topic and area of interest depending on the students you have in your own classroom.
I think that one specific literacy strategies that could be used with this book would be a 3-2-1 summarizer because it would require the students to express what interests them while also guiding them to perform further research on certain topics. Also, a “What’s the big idea” activity could be used with this book to help remind the kids what the point of this book was, and how it is actually related to their class material.

The Three Mathketeers
By Jessica D'Agostino

This book would be good for students beginning to learn about mean, median, and mode. Students could read this book and get a preview of what is to come in their lesson as far as a beginners look at the formulas. A literacy strategy to use with this book would be a 3-2-1 because students could pick up 3 vocabulary words, 2 formulas, and one thing they would like to learn more about. Also a Big Idea organizer would work well to narrow down the specific vocabulary and formulas.

A to Z – A Random Sample
By Heidi King

The book “A to Z – A Random Sample” is a good book to use with students before they begin a probability and statistics unit. This book could serve as a vehicle to activate students’ prior knowledge in a fun way.
Two good literacy strategies to use with this book are an anticipation guide and 3-2-1. An anticipation guide is a pre-reading strategy, which would help students to activate background knowledge and create interest in, and a purpose to their reading. The strategy 3-2-1 is a post reading strategy, which would allow the students to “play” with the vocabulary by finding similarities and differences.

Book: What is Measurement?
By. Andy Brolsma

This book is an Alphabet book about Measurement. Each letter of measurement is dissected to show the real meaning of measurement. This book will allow students to understand what measurement is and how it is relevant to math and their lives.
Literacy Strategies-Students could perform a KWL before they read the book, during/post of reading the text they could use a Jigsaw to piece together what letters of measurement go together, and students could use a concept map to show the different connections/uses of measurement in our lives.

Book of Pythagoras

By Allison Sands

This book is about the life of a well known Mathematician, Pythagoras. This easy to read book gives students insight to his life and an introduction to what made him famous.



Posted by: Russina Eltoum
Young, V (1994). Exponents. Retrieved 27 September 2009 from
summary: the poem covers most important exponent rules like:

To multiply same bases,exponents I combine

Dividing's just the opposite,but then i must decide

To subtract the smaller power, the vase correctly place

The power rules says multiply, parentheses erase

I know I've got these rules now, I know I've got them right

Oh, i feel lucky tonight!

Favorite Part: It's hard to pinpoint a favorite part because it is such a short poem, but i like how it presents important rules in a way makes them easy to understand and memorize

Connection to Instructions: poem is a great way to help the students to understand about exponents rules in a simple quick way

Use of Literacy Strategies : i would ask the students to add some stanzas(at least one) to the poem presenting what they can also add about the exponents


Posted by: Cal Dupuis
Brown, R. Probability.
Retrieved October 1, 2009, from

What are the chances,
The likely outcomes?
What probably will happen?
That’s probability.

What are the chances,
The likely outcomes?
What probably will happen?
That’s probability.

When you flip a coin,
There are just two chances,
Heads or tails, two possibilities.
When you flip a coin, just 2 chances
Heads or tails, that’s probability.

What are the chances,
The likely outcomes?
What probably will happen?
That’s probability.

When you roll a die
There are just six chances,
1 2 3 4 5 or 6.
When you roll a die, just 6 chances
One-sixth probability.

What are the chances,
The likely outcomes?
What probably will happen?
That’s probability.

When you pick a day
Of the week,
Seven choices, 7 possibilities.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

What are the chances,
The likely outcomes?
What probably will happen?
That's probability.
Summary: The lyrics of the song are listed above. It's a fairly basic song about probability, but with quite a catchy jingle to it. Though the same stanza is repeated five times, it helps the students get into the flow of the main concept that links probability to likely outcomes. Nestled within these stanzas are three other stanzas that provide specific examples.

Favorite Part: I like the three stanzas with specific examples. Though simple, they provide some concrete ideas of probability.

Connection To Instruction: I would ask the students to continue the song with further examples of probability. They could work in groups, construct more stanzas and share them with the rest of the class. They could even sing them if they felt so inclined.

Literacy Strategy: The song should appeal to those students who have the musical intelligence trait. I would make sure that those students are split up amongst the different groups, so that when they create more stanzas, each group will have some musical guiding force. I would look to these students to lead these groups and possibly stir them to sing their creation. The strategy would be to get them to model the behavior for the other students. A video could even be made of them singing the song, though this would be more appropriate for younger students.


Posted by: Aleya Shehata
Singing to Memorize Math Concepts, Row Row Row Your Boat, Adding Integers retrieved on June 22, 2008 from

Summary: The song is to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat and indicates the necessary steps to take when adding integers.
"Same sign, add and keep
Different signs subtract
Take the sign of the higher number
Then it'll be exact."

Favorite Part: It's hard to pinpoint a favorite part because it is such a short song, but I love the fact that the song is based on a tune that most kids would know.

Connection to Instruction: It's a great way to help the students to understand about adding and subtracting integers. I introduce a few different ideas to the students to help them remember, but I think a song might just be what the doctor ordered for some of these students.

Use of LIterary Strategies: It taps into the musical intelligence. It also serves as a great mnemonic device for the students. It could also motivate students to create their own songs.

Algebra Song

Posted by: Tracy
Garvey, B. The Best of Math Madness and A Few Additional Songs: Algebra Song.

Summary: This song is a catchy tune about the steps a student needs to follow to solve an algebra problem.

Lyrics: Algebra Song by B. Garvey

Let’s play the game of algebra (rpt)
Alge alge brr brr brr (rpt).
Let’s play the game of algebra.
The object is to capture X…
First of all combine like terms…
Get all the X’s on one side…
Get constants on the other side…
Divide to get X all alone
You’ve won the game of algebra

Favorite Part: Line 5

“First of all combine like terms…”

This is my favorite part of the song because it is the step that students most commonly forget when solving equations.

Connection to Instruction: Algebra is a huge part of the 7th grade curriculum. Some students can remember the PEMDAS acronym, others might benefit from a song or rhyme to help them remember the steps to solve an equation.

Use of Literacy Strategies:

- The song uses repetition to reinforce the steps of algebra
- This kind of works as a think aloud, in the sense that as a student is working on an algebra problem, they should be thinking to themselves “the first step is combine like terms”… etc
- You could also modify an anticipation guide to ask students what the steps of algebra are before learning the song, and then if they learned anything new after the song. (Again, most students forget the combine like terms step)

Also, if anyone is looking for a good collection of songs (both math AND science) here is a good site to check out:

Picture Book

Amanda Beans Amazing Dream

Posted by: Russina Eltoum
Neuschwander.C.(1998). Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream. New York. Scholastic press

Summary: The advantages of multiplication are introduced in a simple story about an African-American girl who loves to count things, both in and out of school, but is unsure how multiplication will speed up the process

Favorite Part: page number 26 and 27.After counting the tiles on the kitchen counter and the books on the library shelves, Amanda falls asleep and begins to dream of a calm bike ride in the country. Then, eight sheep on bicycles come zooming by and stop at a barn to get five yarn balls apiece to give to seven grandmothers knitting sweaters. Amanda is overwhelmed by trying to tot up bicycle wheels, sheep legs, knitting needles, and sweater arms-until the sheep and the grandmothers begin shouting, "Multiply!" She awakes, convinced that she wants to learn how.
Connection to Instruction: there is a strong relation between exponents and multiplication. This book may enhance these two concepts in students’ minds.
Use of Literary Strategies: think markers asking about where students visualize, analyze, connect, and self monitor would be perfect

It's Probably Penny

Posted by:Cal Dupuis
Leedy, L. (2007). It's Probably Penny. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC

Summary: This is a story about a girl named Lisa who has a homework assignment over the weekend to first predict and then find the probability of certain things happening. She has the following tasks:
1. Predict something that will happen, something that might happen and something that can't happen.
2. Think of an event that has a tiny chance of happening and one that is impossible.
3. Write about an event that has three or more equal possible outcomes.
4. Tell about an event that has several possible outcomes that are not equally likely.
For some reason, her dog Penny seems to be involved with all her adventures in this assignment.

Favorite Part: I have two favorite parts. The first is on page 4 where her teacher is wearing an improbably funny hat. Middle school teachers have to be a little goofy sometimes. The second is on pages 11-13 where Penny does not find a real shark, but does find a toy shark. No, a toy shark does not count.

Connection To Instruction: This book would be a great lead-in to having the kids actually do this exercise. It covers the basic concepts of probability well in a manner that provides good real life examples. I would read it to them and then give them the assignment to explore the same things in their world.

Literacy Strategy: I would read the book to them and show them the pictures. Then I would give them the same assignment. The KWHL-KWLH Pre-Reading strategy would be perfect for this because it asks the right questions for their exploration. In relation to the tasks above, the students describe what they think they know, what they want to know, how they can learn it, what they learned and how they can represent it in their environment.

G is for Google

Posted by: Aleya Shehata

Schwartz, D. (1998). G is for Googol.

Summary: This is a picture book that contains a lot of mathematical vocabulary for the students to learn and to study from. There is one mathematical vocabulary word for each letter of the alphabet.

Favorite Part: Although there is a vocabulary word for each letter of the alphabet that the book really focuses on, there is also a list on each page that says other words that start with the letter. For example, for A, the main word is abacus, but it also says "A is also for acute, algebra, angle, are, architecture, area, asymmetry, average, axis."

Connection to Instruction: Vocabulary is crucial in the classroom, and students can tend to get bogged down by vocabulary. This is a fun and interesting way to present the vocabulary to the students. The book taps into several different modes of learning.

Use of Literary Strategies: Students can create concept cards on vocabulary words of interest. Students can also create Frayer Model charts on words of interest.

Math Curse

Posted by: Tracy
Scieskza, J. & Smith ,L. (1995). Math Curse. New York: Penguin Books.

Summary: This picture book tells the story of a student who realizes his teacher has put a “math curse” on him. He discovers that math problems are everywhere in his life and he just can’t avoid them. Although somewhat silly, the book points out that fractions, time, money, and numbers really are a huge part of our everyday lives and once we learn to deal with them, they’re not so bad after all.

Favorite Part: Page 23-

I dream I’m trapped in a room with no doors and no windows. The room is covered with a lifetime of problems. I have only one piece of chalk. How do I get out? I’m about to give up and die, when the answer to my problem comes to me. Fractions.”

Connection to Instruction: The mathematics in this book is perfect for the 7th grade level. It hits upon many units of study. I typically read this book in mid-march after students have finished the state exam. It gives them a chance to relax and realize that we do math because we need it, not because it is on a test.

Use of Literacy Strategies:

- With this book, I might use a reading reflection/journal and have students reflect upon what they read- including the importance of mathematics in their everyday lives.

Trade Fiction and Nonfiction

The Accidental Time Machine

Posted by: Russina Eltoum

Haldeman, J. (2007). The Accidental Time Machine.New York.Berkley Publishing Group

Summary: book is about a research assistant at MIT who, invented a time machine by accident.the problem is that the time machine travels in one direction only, to the future. what is interesting is that each jump is 12 times longer than the last, which gives us a clear example to the exponential growth function

Favorite Part: chapter 20, page number 255, Matt was talking to Martha about how far they will be traveling this time. and his expectation to what the earth it would be
Connection to Instruction: Because this book also relates to the mathematical content, especially the exponential function it would be great to read some pieces form it with the class to give the students a chance to connect some mathematical concepts with the real world.

Use of Literary Strategies:
think along strategy with this book would be a perfect choice to show the teacher students comprehension of the content and the mathematics which are presented on the book

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Posted by: Aleya Shehata

Haddon, M. (2003). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Retrieved 22 June 2008 from

Summary: The book follows a 15 year old boy who has autism and his journey to solve the mystery of the death of Wellington, his neighbor's dog. In the process, the boy goes through a personal journey.

Favorite Part: It's so hard to decide on a favorite part because the whole book was great. However, the opening on p. 3 was the best because it really got me hooked from the beginning and didn't let me go until the end.

Connection to Instruction: Because this book also relates to the mathematical content, it is a great book to read in bits and pieces to the class. A word of caution though: censor.

Use of Literary Strategies: This would be a great time to use a think along. Students could write notes in bubbles of what they are thinking when they are being read to. Not only would this give insight to the teacher of how they are reading, but also insight into the students' comprehension of the content and the mathematics that are in the book.

Math Doesn't Suck

Posted by:Tracy
McKellar, D. (2007) Math Doesn’t Suck. New York: Hudson Street Press.

Summary: This book is a quick read, very appropriate for a seventh grade girl. Each chapter explains tricks and helpful ways to remember different math topics. You can read the book from front to back, or select whichever chapter interests you the most. The book also contains testimonials from girls who are good at math, and cute quizzes you can take to discover what kind of learner you are. Even someone who doesn’t necessarily enjoy reading would be hooked by the stories and connections that Danica makes.

Favorite Part: Page 147

Danica explains how calculators are like boys- they don’t understand the concept of forever. A calculator rounds the fraction 2/3 to .666666666667
Many students struggle with the concept of infinity and repeating decimals, especially when the calculator cannot handle it either.

Connection to Instruction: This book is great for 7th grade girls who are either struggling with math, or girls who think it is cool to act ‘dumb.’ It provides words of encouragement, examples, practice problems and really good connections to life. The book is also valuable for teachers. Danica provides ways of remembering math concepts that I hadn’t thought of before and can use with my students.

Use of Literacy Strategies:

- As a teacher, giving a weak reader the keys to the text structure here would be very helpful. Perhaps you could use a Textbook Feature Analysis. Although this isn’t a text book, Danica follows a pattern in each chapter showing notes, examples, practice problems and stories.
- This book is really great about making comparisons and connections that would apply to a young girl’s real life.
- The book does a good job at vocabulary building, again making connections with real life applications.
- Danica provides tips and tricks to remember mathematical processes.

Magazines & Newspapers

Population: Overconsumption is the real problem

Posted by: Russina Eltoum
Pearce, F. (2009). Population: Overconsumption is the real problem. Retrieved 27 September 2009 from

Summary: is the population exponential growth a reason for the climate change and other environmental problems or is it the overconsumption.

Favorite Part: the last paragraph was really interesting and it gives a conclusion to the author view for the whole issue

Connection to Instruction: this article is strongly related to my topic (exponential function) so having my students reading it will give them a live example from the real world about it. I also consider the article as a good opportunity to keep the kids connected to what going in the real world.

Use of Literary Strategies: an anticipation guide would be a good strategy to use with this article.
I could also use a motivational poster or a video about population exponential growth as an introduction to the topic

Math Will Rock Your World

Posted by: Aleya Shehata

Business Week. Math Will Rock Your World, Retrieved June 22 2008 from

Summary: Math is used more and more in real life. It's present in the job market, on the internet, etc. However, on the same token, using the mathematics may lead to technology that may be negative, like invading people's privacy.

Favorite Part: " How do you convert written words into math? Goldman says it takes a combination of algebra and geometry." Who would have thought? I think that is so interesting!

Connection to Instruction: It's a great way for students to see how math is used in business and on the internet, which is a major part of their every day lives.

Use of Literary Strategies: Students can rill out a graphic organizer that maps out the organizational structure of the article and key ideas under each heading.

The Startling Truth About One-in-a-Million Odds

Posted by: Shaun McBride
Sexton, T. (2007). The Startling Truth About One-in-a-Million Odds. Retrieved May 31, 2008 from

Summary: The article discusses real life probability examples such chances of winning the lottery or having the same birthday as someone else in the same room with you. Some of the odds may surprise you.

Favorite Part: “How great do you think the odds are that in a typical classroom setting there will be someone else who shares your birthday? Let’s say, there are 23 people in the room. The odds would roughly be 365-23, right? Not so fast. The astounding reality is that in a room with 23 people, the odds that two people share the same birthday is 50-50.”

Connection to Instruction: I’d state this quote to get their attention and the probability of certain things may not be what you had originally thought.

Use of Literary Strategies: I would use this as a pre-reading strategy to get their attention and maybe show some misconceptions.

Fuzzy Math: Dubious Change

Posted by: Tracy

I don't subscribe to any neat magazines, but I found one that is available online that could be helpful to both math and science people. It has tons of articles. I chose a cute short one that I could use in my classroom, but there are many others in the magazine that shouldn't go unnoticed. Discover Magazine

Stone, A. (2007). Fuzzy Math: Dubious Change. Retrieved February 12, 2008 from

Summary: This, again, is quite a short article but would apply to elementary and middle school mathematics. It is about a cashier who is tricked into giving a customer extra change from the cash register.

Favorite Part:

The whole story is cute, although I don't condone anything con-artists do.

Connection to Instruction:

The connection is simply that math is important. We all use money every day and we need to pay attention to what is going on, or someone might try to con us out of it. I wouldn't make a big lesson out of this article, but it would be a nice quick read at the beginning of the year or at some point when students need that little review that math is part of our everyday lives.

Use of Literacy Strategies:

- You could do some vocabulary building exercises with your students because there are a few words in the article they might not understand.
- During reading, it is important for students to use visualization strategies and be in control of their reading. They might need to stop and re-read certain lines to make sure they are comprehending what is going on. Paraphrasing the scenario with a partner afterwards might help too.

Other Web Resources

Exponential Function

Posted by: Russina Eltoum

Exponential Function. Retrieved 28 September 2009 from

Summary: Exponential functions and its properties are explored, interactively, using an applet.The conditions under which an exponential function increases or decreases are also investigated.

Favorite Part: the cool Java applet will help you to explore what happens to the graph of the exponential function when you change one or more of the coefficients a, b, c, and d.

Connection to Instruction: this website would be a great source to deepen your students understanding of the exponential functions and their graphs behaviors

Use of Literary Strategies: the teacher could ask the students to go to the applet section and then write their observation about the graph behavior when changing one or more of the coefficients

Math in Daily Life

Posted by: Aleya Shehata
Math in Daily Life. 1997-2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008 from

Summary: This website explains how math is used in real life. It explores savings, credit card debt, population growth, cooking and recipes, home decorating and more.

Favorite Part: I love the part entitled "Playing to Win." It discusses the probability of winning at gambling and the odds for the gambler and the owners of casinos.

Connection to Instruction: Students will always ask "Why am I going to have to know this?" This is a great website that answers that question.

Use of Literary Strategies: This is a good website to use a think aloud for. Vocabulary development could work really well for this website as well.

Virtual Pet 2000

Shaun McBride

Virtual Pet 2000, retrieved on June 7th, 2008 from</span>

Summary: The Pet 2000 was stolen and it could have been only three people. You must use your knowledge in fractions to determine who had enough time to steal the toy.

Favorite Part: “I’d give my boa constrictor and my camel to a zoo if I could only have a Virtual Pet 2000!”

Connection to Instruction: This is a fun way to get the students to add and subtract fractions.

Use of Literary Strategies: I would use this as a graphic organizer to get the students to go step by step through the word problem in order to solve the mystery.
The Case of the Virtual Pet 2000
The Case of the Virtual Pet 2000

Study Zone: Test Prep

Posted by: Tracy

Oswego City School District (2003). Study Zone: Test Prep. Retrieved February 12, 2008 from
Summary: This website is an AMAZING resource for any teacher – any content, any grade. It is an interactive website that provides lessons and practice based on specific content area standards. Select your grade, content and the standard you are looking for and see what you get! Caution: some links are incomplete, but I am sure the site will get even better as it continues to grow. This is definitely one worth checking out.

Favorite Part: There are many subpages of this website that I would consider my 'favorites.' For my classroom, pretty much everything in the Math 7 Section is valuable. I chose a page on comparing unit rates because that is the next unit I am teaching. I like this page because students have to calculate unit rates and then determine which is the better bargin. This is very applicable to our everyday lives. When you're done with the problem, you can click on the little dancing star and it gives you not only the answer, but shows some work/ an explanation as to how to do the problem. For middle schoolers, this is a really good way for them to self-assess.

Connection to Instruction: I love this website as a resource for test prep. Once students are familiar with the standards and determine where their weaknesses are, they can literally follow the links until they reach valuable lessons and practice. The site really makes differentiation in and out of the classroom possible- especially during that crucial time of review.

Use of Literacy Strategies:__

- With comparisons, one strategy I use with my students is text coding. They underline important information and circle what the question is asking. For rates, in particular, students need to know what is being compared in order to create their ratio and correctly do the division. Students could print out the page of questions so they could write directly on it.