TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, January 28, 2013

Math + Reading = Fun

Reading about math?  Boring! Think again. Sharing books about math with kids can get them to think about math and reading in a totally new light.  A great book about math can build enthusiasm and skill in both math and reading at the same time!  

Number Sense

For math to be fun, kids need to have good number sense. That means being at ease playing with numbers and seeing patterns. A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes is a delightful book about 25 ladybugs marching in 2's, 3's, 4's, and finally 5's. It is not fun being the one left over. Pinczes wrote another book on grouping numbers titled One Hundred Hungry Ants. Both books are entertaining, have cute illustrations, and are easy to read aloud. Lining up paper clips, Cheerios, or the kids themselves in groups is a concrete way of exploring the concept.

Were you stumped by word problems that involved trains and tunnels? Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! deals with the more realistic problem of seating people for a dinner party. At first is seems so simple until you realize there is more than one way to solve the problem. This book allows kids to look at different options. There is more than one "right" answer. Other books that help children have fun with numbers include The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang and Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens by Cindy Neuschwander.


Measurement seems obvious to adults, but it is often confusing to children. There are so many different units of measurement. Kids need practice and some personal ownership. 

Leo Lionni's classic Inch by Inch is about an inchworm who outsmarts the birds who want to eat him by measuring them. Measuring Penny, by Loreen Leedy, is a cute book about a child measuring her dog, Penny, in every way possible. 

Children love learning how to use a measuring tape and measuring themselves. Let them practice by finding the size of their hands, feet, and heads. They also think it is fun to measure with non-standard units like toothpicks or pennies. 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is an important focus for American schools, but science seems to get all the attention.  We seldom focus on the last three areas when we read to kids.  There are now so many great math books available that it is easy to include them when you read with a child. The links below can help you find math books and activities that most interest you.

Thanks to a generous donation, TRC now has a variety of math books and math activity packets for volunteers to use. Click here for a list of books and activity packs available.

For more math titles and activities, click here.  Look for more information about an upcoming volunteer seminar about integrating STEM themes into Read-Alouds.

To learn more about integrating STEM themes into Read-Alouds, join us for a volunteer seminar on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m..  Location is to be determined.  Contact Stephanie Berman for more information.

Guest blog post by TRC volunteer and former elementary school teacher, Sally Berman.

To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.

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