Sunday, October 30, 2011

Annotated Bib - Animal Fractions

Fractions are numbers in which the number of parts or items under consideration does not necessarily equal the total number of parts or items in a set. Fractions are used when there are not whole numbers. Fractions are important to understand to eventually have a stronger understanding of algebra.

Fraction Action. By Loreen Leedy. Illus. by the author. 1994. 31p. Holiday House, (0823411095). Gr. 1-3
This book shows Miss Prime teaching her class about fractions. They learn about parts of a whole, part of a set, and subtracting fractions. The illustrations are fun to look at and the author asks questions to the reader along the way to have them thinking about the fractions used in the story.
Inchworm and a Half. By Elinor Pinczes. Illus. by Randall Ends. 2001. 32p. Houghton Mifflin Co., (9780395828496). Gr. 2
Inchworm is measuring vegetables but he is too big for some objects to measure exactly so he uses smaller worms to help him measure which represent fractions. The book teaches the relationship between halves, thirds, and fourths.
Jump, Kangaroo, Jump. By Stuart Murphy. Illus. by Kevin O'Malley. 1999. 29p. HarperCollinsPublishers, (0060276142). Gr. 2.
Kangaroo is participating in different field day activities at camp. As they split into different size teams for the different events it shows the fraction of animals on each team in comparison to the total amount of campers. This book shows the fractions with pictures and numerals.
Polar Bear Math
. By Cindy Bickel and Ann Nagda. 2007. 32p. Macmillan, (0312377495). Gr 2-5
This book tells the true story of two rescued polar bear babies and how they grew up. The right hand pages tell the story of their lives while the left hand shows different fractions and how they relate to their story. The book talks about equivalent fractions, common denominators, and adding fractions. The book includes adorable photographs of the polar bears as they grow up.
Whole-y Cow Fractions are Fun. By Taryn Souders. Illus by Tatjana Mai-Wyss. 2010. 32p. Gale, (1585364606). Gr. 1-3.
This book includes a cow who does different things. In all of the situations the author asks a question that relates to fractions which helps with practice and could easily be used as a whole class activity. There is an answer key in the back of the book.

Web Sites
Fishy Fractions
A fun game where students have to match up the fraction with the appropriate picture or numerals in order for the seagull to eat its fish.
Grampy Strict

Students uncover Grampy by estimating fractions and they get to practice writing fractions in lowest terms.
Name the Fraction
An activity where students label the picture according to the fraction it represents.
Fraction Tutorial
A simple, colorful powerpoint tutorial that teachers can use for helping student relearn or master fraction concepts.
Jump Kangaroo Jump
A lesson plan about fractions that is taught with the book Jump Kangaroo Jump.

For Teachers
VA Standard of Learning
2.3 The student will
  • identify the parts of a set and/or region that represent fractions for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, and tenths;
  • write the fractions; and
  • compare the unit fractions for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, and tenths.
Background Information from Curriculum Framework
• A fraction is a way of representing part of a whole (as in a region/area model) or part of a group (as in a set model).
• In each fraction model, the parts must be equal (i.e., each pie piece must have the same area; the size of each chip in a set must be equal). In problems with fractions, a whole is broken into equal-size parts and reassembled into one whole.
• Students should have experiences dividing a whole into additional parts. As the whole is divided into more parts, students understand that each part becomes smaller.
• The denominator tells how many equal parts are in the whole or set. The numerator tells how many of those parts are being described.
• Students should have opportunities to make connections among fraction representations by connecting concrete or pictorial representations with spoken or symbolic representations.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Annotated Bib - Counting

Counting is identifying the units or total units. Learning to count is a process, and starts with rote counting. Rote counting is counting without understanding the value of the numbers. Once a child learns this they will better understand rational counting in which they understand the last number they count is the total quantity. 

There are so many books on counting. The books listed below offer entertaining illustrations and clever rhyme schemes that make learning to count fun. The books listed in this blog are introductory, and best used in preK- Grade 1.

Eight Silly Monkeys. By Steven Haskamp. 2007. 18p. Piggy Toes Press, (9781581175776). Gr. preK-2. "Eight Silly Monkeys" offers a fun spin to counting backwards. The touchable monkeys help readers count back from eight as the monkeys disappear from page to page.
A Frog In the Bog. By Karma Wilson. Illus. by Joan Rankin. 2003. 32p. Margaret K. McElderly Books, (9780689840814). Gr. preK-1. This book is an entertaining read for kids. The illustrations combined with the clever wording help readers learn to count to ten.

How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? By Jane Yolen. Illus. by author. 2004. 12p. Blue Sky Press, (9780439649490). Gr. K-1. This books helps children learn to count to ten with great illustrations and rhyme schemes. The repetative nature of this book reinforces the concepts of counting.

Sunny Numbers. By Carole Crane. Illus. by Jane Monroe Donvavon. 2001. 40p. Sleepin Bear Press, (9781585360505). Gr. k-2. "Sunny Numbers" not only educates students on basic counting, but also provides educational information on the sunny state of Florida.

Ten Little Ladybugs. By Melanie Gerth. Illus. by Laura Huliska-Beith. 2007.22p. Piggy Toes Press, (9781581175783). Gr. preK-1. The colorful illustrations, and hands on ladybugs immediately grab a young readers attention. "Ten Little Ladybugs" uses a rhyme scheme to help reinforce counting.
Count By a Number.
This site allows students to chose a number to count by and pushes you to count as high and far as you can!

Counting Animals. This site compliments the suggested books above very well. Count the objects on the page, and check your answer.

Go Bananas!
Help the monkey decide what to eat for lunch, and count the bananas as he eats them. He will help double check your answer.

Lilypad Counting.
This interactive game will ask students to pick the next highest number. This site challenges students to count starting from a different numeral then one.

One False Move.
This site is geared towards students in Gr. 1-2. Pick a level and count from lowest to highest or highest to lowest.

For Teachers
VA Standards for Learning
K.1 The student, given two sets, each containing 10 or fewer concrete objects, will identify and describe one set as having more, fewer, or the same number of members as the other set, using the concept of one-to-one correspondence.
K.2 The student, given a set containing 15 or fewer concrete objects, will
a) tell how many are in the set by counting the number of objects orally;
b) write the numeral to tell how many are in the set; and
c) select the corresponding numeral from a given set of numerals.

Backround Information and Curriculum Framework
  • A one-to-one correspondence exists when two sets have an equal number of items.
  • Strategies for developing the concept of one-to-one matching involve set comparisons without counting. Hands-on experiences in matching items between two sets by moving, touching, and aligning objects, using one-to-one correspondence, enable visual as well as kinesthetic comparisons of the number of items in the two sets.
  • Students can also count to make comparisons between two sets without matching the sets, using one-to-one correspondence.
  • Counting involves two separate skills: verbalizing the list of standard number words in order (“one, two, three, ¼”) and connecting this sequence with the objects in the set being counted, using one-to-one correspondence. Association of number words with collections of objects is achieved by moving, touching, or pointing to objects as the number words are spoken. Objects may be presented in random order or arranged for easy counting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Annotated Bib - Addition

Addition is the joining or combining of two sets. Students will need to understand the symbols involved in an addition equation, including + and =. Students will also need to understand the terms adding, addition, addend and sum. A solid understanding of addition is needed for students to move on to more complex whole number operations.


The Mission of Addition by Brian P. Cleary. illus. by Brian Gable. 2007. 34pp. First Avenue Editions (978-0822566953). Gr. 2.

This book gives students a strong introduction to addition by defining it and offering everyday examples. It would be helpful instructionally because the text explains what addition means and words equations in a way that is easy to understand. For example, rather than simply seeing the equation 3+6=9, readers are given a context for the numbers and see them in a sentence.

Double Play: Monkeying Around with Addition by Betsy Franco. illus. by Doug Cushman. 2011. 32pp. Tricycle Press (978-1582463841). Gr. 2.

This book is about monkey students who use addition throughout their school day. The add friends, knees and other items familiar to students.

How Many Feet in the Bed? by Diane Johnston Hamm. illus. by Kate Salley Palmer. 1994. 40pp. Simon & Schuster (978-0671899035). Gr. 1-2.

This book tells a story about a girl who counts feet as her family hops in and out of bed. Her family consists of two parents and three children, so there are a few combinations of numbers she has to come up with. A few different skills are put to use in the text; counting by two's and basic addition and subtraction.

Mission: Addition by Loreen Leedy. 1999. 32pp. Holiday House (978-0823414123) Gr. 1-2.

This book is basically a narrative of a class lesson introducing addition. The elements of an addition equation are highlighted and explained clearly. The students in the story go around their classroom looking for objects with which they could make addition equations, perhaps something real students could do during a lesson as well.

How Many Cats? by Lauren Thompson. illus. by Robin Eley. 2009. 32pp. Hyperion Book CH (978-1423108016). Gr. 1-2.

This counting book chronicles the play of a number of cats and a dog. The cats come in the dog's house, up to twenty, and then leave group by group. The story is simple and direct and would therefore be a good tool for struggling students.

Web Sites

Add it up Math Game
This game encourages students to use the number grid to click on potential sums of the given number. It would foster an understanding that there are multiple ways to get to a number by adding, especially since it allows students to pick more than 2 numbers from the grid (for example, if the number you were tying to get to is 9, you could click on 3 3 and 3). Supervision would be needed since there are ads at the bottom of the website.

Addition and Subtraction Teacher Resources and Lessons
This website has a plethora of links, including many games and handouts for addition practice. All are available to be printed for instructional use.

Addition with Manipulatives
This website allows students to work out addition equations by dragging counters into the box to help them add. It is a safe website for students since there are no outside links or ads.

Basic Addition/Subtraction Resources
This website also has a good number of printable resources. It would be a good tool for finding work for students at different learning levels, since some printables focus on numbers 1-10 and others feature more advanced work, like missing parts of equations.

Bumble Numbers
This game allows students to practice basic addition. It's a safe website for students because there aren't any external links or distractions.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
1.5- The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework
-Associate the terms addition, adding, addend, and sum with the concept of joining or combining.
-Provide practice in the use and selection of strategies. Encourage students to develop efficient strategies. (one-more-than, two-more-than, doubles, commutative property)
-Math manipulatives should be used to develop an understanding of addition and subtraction facts. Automaticity is achieved through constant practice.
-Students should master facts to 10 first and then master facts to 18.

Annotated Bib - Addition

Addition is a tool that people use frequently both as children and adults. Addition is the process of computing two or more whole numbers. Addition is commutative which means that the order of the problem does not change the sum or the outcome. Learning to add correctly at a young age is vital, and will be used almost daily.


Addition The Fun Way! By Judy Liautaud. Illus. by Val Chadwick Bagley. 1996. 92p. City Creek Press, (97818833841348). Gr. K-2. This silly book allows children to learn math outside the box. "Addition the Fun Way" grabs the reader's attention as it uses interesting objects and characrters to explain basic addition concepts.

Centipede's One Hundred Shoes . By Tony Ross. Illus. by the author. 2003. 32p. Henry Holt and Co., (9780805072983). Gr. K-2. This book is just as entertaining as it is educational. It offers a great deal to count as well as wonderfil illustrations that help hold a student's attention.

Hershey's Kisses Addition Book . By Jerry Pallotta. Illus. by Rob Bolster. 2001. 32p. Scholastic, (9780439241731). Gr. K-2. Clowns and Hershey Kisses make addition fun! This book introduces basic addition concepts, and makes it interesting for young readers.

Ten Friends . By Bruce Goldstone. Illus. by Heather Cahoon. 2001.32p. Henry Holt and Co., (9780805062496). Gr. K-1. This book shows readers how many different ways can be used to count up to 10. The author uses different characters to help readers understand adding to 10 with different numerals.

The M&M Addition Book. By Barbara Barbieri McGrath. Illus. by the author. 2004. 32p.CharlesBridge Publishing, (9780881063493). Gr. K-2. This book takes a slightly different approach in teaching addition, but can still hold a readers attention. The candy characters helps make it an enjoyable read while simultaneously teaching addition as well.


Addition Speed Grid This site challenges you to answer a certain number of addition questions in a timed period. The website offers a grid, and allows you to chose from the grid to solve the problem.

Add It Up. This site gives you a variety of options to chose from. This allows a student to practice simple addition probelms with both numerals and objects.

Fun Brain Soccer Shootout. What can beat a fun competitive game of soccer addition?? This website offers a unique approach to addition. Answer the questions correctly and score a goal!

Math Magician. Reinforcment, practice, and mathematical magic gives this site an edge. It challenges participants to challenge themselves to add correctly while being timed.

More or Less. This site encourages students to practice and use one to one correspondence, subitizing, and conservation of numbers.

For Teachers

VA Standards of Learning
1.4 The student, given a familiar problem situation involving magnitude, will
a) select a reasonable order of magnitude from three given quantities: a one-digit numeral, a two-digit numeral, and a three-digit numeral (e.g., 5, 50, 500); and
b) explain the reasonableness of the choice.
1.5 The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.
1.6 The student will create and solve one-step story and picture problems using basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.

Backround information from curriculum framework

  • Associate the terms addition, adding, and sum with the concept of joining or combining.
  • Provide practice in the use and selection of strategies. Encourage students to develop efficient strategies. Examples of strategies for developing the basic addition and subtraction facts include
    – counting back;
    – “one-more-than,” “two-more-than” facts;
    – “one-less-than,” “two-less-than” facts;
    – “doubles” to recall addition facts (e.g., 2 + 2 =__;
    3 + 3 =__);
    – “near doubles” [e.g., 3 + 4 = (3 + 3) + 1 = __];
    – “make-ten” facts (e.g., at least one addend of 8 or 9);
    – “think addition for subtraction” (e.g., for 9 – 5 = __, think “5 and what number makes 9?”);
    – use of the commutative property, without naming the property (e.g., 4 +3 is the same as 3 + 4);
    – use of related facts (e.g., 4 + 3 = 7 , 3 + 4 = 7, 7 – 4 = 3, and 7 – 3 = 4);
    – use of the additive identity property (e.g., 4 + 0 = 4), without naming the property but saying, “When you add zero to a number, you always get the original number.”; and
    – use patterns to make sums (e.g., 0 + 5 = 5,
    1 + 4 = 5, 2 + 3 = 5, etc.).

Annotated Bib - Addition

Addition is one of the most basic and essential mathematical operations. It is defined as combining more than one set to create a different number. The sum is not always larger than both the addends because negative numbers can be used in addition equations. The plus sign (+) signifies addition, and it is commutative, meaning the order of the addends does not matter; the sum will still be the same.

Addition the Fun Way Book for Kids: A Picture Method of Learning the Addition Facts by Judy Liautaud. Illus. Val Chadwick Bagley. 1996. 92p. (9781883841348). Gr. K-2.
With illustrations teaching the 0's-9's addition facts, children will learn addition through cartoons and a story.

Animals on Board by Stuart J. Murphy. Illus. R.W. Alley. Steck-Vaughn. 1999. 32p. (9780739825419). Gr. K-2.
Jill and her dog ride in a truck and are passed by other trucks carrying animals. Join in on the addition fun by adding the number of animals on each truck.

The Hershey's Kisses Addition Book by Jerry Pallotta. Illus. Rob Bolster. 2001. 32p. (9780439241731). Gr. K-2.
Children will love learning basic addition concepts with this fun and clever book, as a cast of clowns struggle under the weight of life-sized hershey kisses.

Mission of Addition by Brian P. Cleary. Illus. Brian Gable. 2007. First Avenue Additions, (9780822566953). Gr. K-2.
A group of monsters explore what addition is, and how to use it. Children will not only learn how to add by reading this book, but they will see how addition is used in everyday life.

1+1=5 and Other Unlikely Additions by David LaRochelle. Illus. Brenda Sexton. 2010. Sterling. 32p. (9781402759956). Gr. K-2.
A variety of animals and people explore different types of addition problems, including 1 unicorn horn + 2 goat horns = 3 horns. By reading this book, children will see how addition is used in everyday life.

Serve aliens lunch when they come up to the table. Solve each addition problem, and serve them the food that corresponds with the sum.

Click on a key and solve the given addition problem to unlock each color. After all problems are answered correctly, color in the vacation picture with the colors you've unlocked.
Help collect the scattered sheep by mentally solving the given addition sentences. But you have to be quick with solving the problems because the sheep are constantly moving!

Help Lucy get all her friends dressed and prepared to shoot a movie. Every ten addition problems solved correctly allows you to dress one of her friends.

Earn hats and clothing for the snowmen by solving basic addition problems. Students are allowed to choose specific number families to work with, or groups of number families to help target their weaknesses.

For Teachers
VA Standards of Learning
1.5: The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.

Background Information from Curriculum Framework:
Associate the terms addition, adding, and sum with the concept of joining or combining.
• Provide practice in the use and selection of strategies. Encourage students to develop efficient strategies. Examples of strategies for developing the basic addition and subtraction facts include
– “one-more-than,” “two-more-than” facts;
– “doubles” to recall addition facts (e.g., 2 + 2 =__;
3 + 3 =__); – “near doubles” [e.g., 3 + 4 = (3 + 3) + 1 = __]; – “make-ten” facts (e.g., at least one addend of 8 or
– use of the commutative property, without naming
the property (e.g., 4 +3 is the same as 3 + 4); – use of related facts (e.g., 4 + 3 = 7 , 3 + 4 = 7, 7 –
= 3, and 7 – 3 = 4); – use of the additive identity property (e.g., 4 + 0 =
4), without naming the property but saying, “When you add zero to a number, you always get the original number.”; and
– use patterns to make sums (e.g., 0 + 5 = 5, 1+4=5, 2+3=5,etc.).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Annotated Bib - Operations of Numbers

Operation is the mathematical process and the most common are to add, subtract, multiple, and divide (+, -, x , ) - "If it isn't a number is it probably an operations." The following books can be used for the teaching of adding, subtracting, multiplication and money.

A Chair for My Mother. By Vera B. Williams. Illus. by the author. 1982. Greenwillow Book, (0688040748). Gr. preK-1.
This books is about a little girl and her mother who collect coins to buy a new chair, because their house was destroyed in a fire. The little girl counts her money everyday before placing it in the jar. The book ends with a happy ending of going to the store to buy a new comfortable chair.

Counting on Frank. By Rod Clements. Illus. by the author. 1999. 32p. Gareth Stevens Publishing LLLP, (9780395703939). Gr. preK-1.
This book is about a boy and his dog who have fun with counting and multiplication.

Each Orange Had 8 Slices. By Paul Giganti. Illus. by Donald Crews. 1992. HarperCollins Publishers, (9780688104283). Gr. preK-2.
The book uses addition problems and counting ordinary everyday things. Read the story and question are asked back on each page. Book can be used for simple multiplication.

How Much is a Million. By David Schwartz. Illus. by the author. 30p. 1993. HarperCollins Publishers, (9780688099336). Gr. K-2.
This books explores what a million, billion, and trillion would look like as pictures.

Rooster's Off to See the World. By Eric Carle. Illus. by the author. 30p. 1999. Aladdin, (9780689826849). Gr. preK-2.
In this uniquely illustrated book, two cats who go off to visit the world and bring along some friends. The book provides a picture counter in the corner of the page as a guide to how many animals are on the journey.

Kids Websites
Colorful cool math for Kids.
Website provides lessons, games, and flash cards for additions, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Basic description of how to calculate a sum or product with pictures.

Learning math made fun.
Website provides colorful interactive games for learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Motivate kids to enjoy math.
Website of on-line games for kids to learn math - a fun place to learn.

Interactive math skills.
Website to help students improve their math skills interactively - flashcards, game, and homework helper.

Teacher Website
Math operations explored.
This website explains the different math operations - "Ask Dr. Math"

Teacher resources
1.5 The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.
  • Associate the term addition, adding, and sum with the concept of joining or combining.
  • Associate the terms subtractions, subtracting, minus, and difference with the process of taking away or separating (i.e. removing a set of objects from the given set of objects, finding the difference between two numbers, on comparing two numbers).

Annotated Bib - Addition

Addition is the joining of groups or sets of numbers to each other. This method of computation is the first operation that children must learn and understand in order to be able to move on to more complex mathematical methods, such as subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students must not only be be able to recognize the addition symbol, but the terms that can be associated with it; these terms are addition, adding, addends, and sum.


A Fair Bear Share by Stuart J. Murphy. Illus. by John Speirs. 1997. 40pp. HarperCollins, (978-0064467148). Gr. K-2

A series of short stories of the everyday activities of bears and cubs, as they gather seeds, nuts, and berries. This is a great story that allows for children to be interactive. Children must add items together in order to figure out if the bears have enough ingredients to make a pie. This book allows for a great way to tie in counting and adding items in the classroom and while at home.

The Happy Hippos by Liza Charlesworth. Illus. by Daniel J. Mahoney. 2005. 16pp. Scholastic. (978-0439690232). Gr. K-2

This book contains a collection of stories that focus on different numbers and skills. Through this book, children can explore addition in a variety of ways. The book contains various activities, stories, and poems.

Mission: Addition by Loreen Leedy. 1999. 32pp. Holiday House. (978-0823414123). Gr. K-2

In this story, the teacher, Miss Prime teaches her students (animals) to add by having them play detective and invent word problems. This book is separated into six different comic-strip short stories. The book provides a different ways of thinking about addition, while intriguing students to want to do math.

12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam. Illus. by Bernie Karlin. 1996. 40pp. Aladdin. (978-0689808920). Gr. K-2

This book, the author uses different numbers in order to reach the sum of 11. The book also provides great pictures that correspond with the numbers that are being added together. Overall, this book is really great for students of various abilities as it provides ways numbers and pictures. This book is also great because it makes students think about all the different numbers that can go into the number 11.

What's New At the Zoo? by Suzanne Slade. Illus. by Joan Waites. 2009. 32pp. Sylvan Dell Publishing, (978-1934359938). Gr. K-2

This is a very neat book that that uses animal families as a method of counting/addition. The book allows children to learn about animals, while also learning about addition. It also includes many colorful pictures throughout the book to add to the story and the overall concept.


This website is a great resource for a variety of addition games that range from a level of beginner to that of advanced. The website also provides games with subtraction, multiplication, and division. In the game, Fruit Shoot, the player can play with a time or just play a relaxed version. There is also options as to what sum you would like to go up to; for this specific topic, the sum of 10 or 20 would be best. When playing this game, students must use the answers on the pieces of fruit to select the right answer to the given equation.

This web activity provides students with the ability to use marbles to solve addition problems. There are five different levels that can be played. Students must be able to complete at least 70% of the problems correctly to play the bonus game at the end and to move to the next level. Overall, this is both a fun and educational activity that provides support to students by allowing them to count with marbles while playing.

This site is a great way for students when working on addition as it allows them to be focused on math so that they can determine the outcome of the game. In order to get a hit with the bat, the student must answer the math problem correctly. The game also has the ability to increase the difficulty of the game if desired. This general website also have many other great links to worksheets and activities for teacher and student use.

This site is a great resource for teachers as it allows for the creation of worksheets and handouts for whole class instruction. The website offers five different options when creating worksheets for addition- basic, advanced, horizontal, addition with more than 2 addends, and addition tables. Overall, this is a great website that teachers can access when working on lesson plans for addition of various levels.

This website provides many addition activities and games that help students to reinforce the knowledge. This specific game, Sum Sense, is cool in the way that you can choose how questions you want to answer and how long you want to answer them. As students master the activity, the time frame could decrease making them have to think about the equation quicker. The game is also neat in the way that the student must drag the numbers into the correct boxes in order to get the answer correct.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
1.5- The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework
-Associate the terms addition, adding, addend, and sum with the concept of joining or combining.
-Provide practice in the use and selection of strategies. Encourage students to develop efficient strategies. (one-more-than, two-more-than, doubles, commutative property)
-Math manipulatives should be used to develop an understanding of addition and subtraction facts. Automaticity is achieved through constant practice.
-Students should master facts to 10 first and then master facts to 18.

Annotated Bib - Matter

Matter is a confusing issue until we understand what actually qualifies as matter. Children will have lots of qualities that they will apply to the definition of matter. These will usually meet some part of the qualities of matter, but usually not the whole concept of matter. Some of the qualities students think could not apply to a certain object can be proven by doing different experiments that prove to the student why that object is considered matter.


Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest By Steve Jenkins. (2004). Sandpiper. (978-0618494880) Gr.
By using nature, the author shows us how high is the highest mountain and other amazing facts to help students try to understand how extreme things can be in size, etc.K - 2.

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors By Joyce Sidman. Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. (2009). Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. (978-0547014944). Gr. Pre-K - 1.

This enchanting book takes children through the seasons of the year to teach them about colors. It season in explored in terms of how it encompasses color. Each page is a surprise to discover.

Shapes In Music (Spot the Shape) By Rebecca Rissman. (2009). Heinemann-Raintree. (978-1432921774). Gr. Pre-K - 1.

In this wonderfully engaging book, the author shows up where we can find many different shapes in everyday musical instruments. I can see a teacher bringing in most of the instruments to the classroom and really reinforcing the shapes to the students.

Spiky, Slimy, Smooth: What is Texture? By Jane Brocket. (2011). Millbrook Pr (T). (978-0761346142). Gr. Pre-K - 1.

Great pictures, whimsical verses, and clever descriptions of different textures. The author uses manufactured and natural items to showcase all the different textures we encounter.

What's the Matter in Mr. Whiskers' Room? By: Michael Elsohn Ross Illustrated by: Paul Meisel. (2007). Candlewick. (978-0763635664). Gr. K to 3.

Mr. Whiskers allows his students to explore science centers around the classroom and on the playground. They do experiments that help them to understand more about matter. The book also contains directions on how to create learning kits and the addresses for ordering supplies which would be a great thing for teachers.


Chemistry for Kids

This site has loads of information for teachers to use regarding what exactly is matter! There is a section for each state and also information about how matter can change. There is even a place to take quizzes, which could help a teacher in creating their own quiz.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

A cool site that has a sections for educators and students all about science.

Kindergarten Games - Shape

While a little plain, this site contains different games for Kindergarteners. This will link you to a game asking the students to identify shapes. The words are written on the screen, but they are also spoken by the computer. There is also a game for identifying colors.

Science Online

This site has many different resources available for learning about matter. There are links to lesson plans, experiments, songs, and interactive websites for students. The information is sorted by grade level which makes is easier to find the right information you are looking for.


This site is designed for parents to provide games for their children to play online. Their is a free subscription required. The site can be designed to block out ads and also for limiting the time allowed. The games seem to center around different children's show and their are games about color and also size.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning K.4

The student will investigate and understand that the position, motion, and physical properties of an object can be described. Key concepts include
a) colors of objects;
b) shapes and forms of objects;
d) relative sizes and weights of objects; and

The concepts developed in this standard include the following:
  • An object may have many properties that can be observed and described.
  • An object can be described readily in terms of color.
  • An object can be described in terms of shape, size, and texture.

Annotated Bib - Light

There is more to light than just it's ability to illuminate places and objects. It is a spectrum of colors and energy. There is so much that children can DO when learning about light.


Janice VanCleave's Physics for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments in Motion, Heat, Light, Machines, and Sound. by Janice VanCleve. 1991. 256p. Wiley Pub. (9780471525059) Gr. 4-6.

This is a book full of the things that children can do when learning about many different aspects of science. From using a slinky to show how light waves travel to blending colors and making water prisms this book as many activities that older elementary students will enjoy.

The Science Book of Color. by Neil Ardley. 1991. 29p. Gulliver Books, Harcourt Brace and Company. (0152005765). Gr. 2+.

Here is an exciting adventure through color that engages and trills the student. Children will love learning about color and how it relates to light through activities such as making a rainbow and colored lights and shadows. This book does a good job of explaining the concepts to children by not talking over their heads while also not lowing the quality of the lesson.

Light: Shadows, Mirrors, and Rainbows. by Natalie Ronsinsky. Illus Sheree Boyd. 2006. 24p. Picture Window Books. (978-1404803329) Gr. PreK-2

Beautiful illustrations with explanations for the events that happen with light. The text is written in a simple way for the early science learner. A great book to add to your classroom library.

Day Light, Night Light: Where Light Comes From. by Franklyn Branley. Illus Stacey Shuett. 1998. 32p. Collins. (978-0064451710). Gr. K-2.

A story-like picture book takes early students on an introduction to light. Questions such as w hat is light, how fast does it travel, and others are discussed in a simple and elegant way. There is even mention to some simple experiments children can do in the comfort of their own home to help better their understanding.


Light and Color by Peter, Emma, Aaron, Ixchel, and Kaitlyn- Here's a video and a breakdown of what the children did in their experiment. These kids love science and they will get children into studying this discipline. They brought art and science together in their study of light and color.

Science: What is Light? Read About
.- A brief overview of the properties of light. Great for the older student who is capable of understanding more scientific language.

For Teachers
VA Standards of Learning
The student will investigate and understand basic characteristics of visible light and how it behaves. Key concepts include
a) transverse waves;
b) the visible spectrum;
c) opaque, transparent, and translucent;
d) reflection of light from reflective surfaces; and
e) refraction of light through water and prisms.

Background Knowledge
+ Light has properties of both a wave and a particle. Recent theory identifies light as a small particle, called a photon. A photon moves in a straight line. In both the light wave and photon descriptions, light is energy.
+Because light has both electric and magnetic fields, it is referred to as electromagnetic radiation. Light waves move as transverse waves and travel through a vacuum at a speed of approximately 186,000 miles per second (2.99 x 108 meters per second). Compared to sound, light travels extremely fast. It takes light from the sun less than 81⁄2 minutes to travel 93 million
+Unlike sound, light waves travel in straight paths called rays and do not need a medium through which to move. A ray is the straight line that represents the path of light. A beam is a group of parallel rays.
+Light waves are characterized by their wavelengths and the frequency of their wavelengths
+The size of a wave is measured as its wavelength, which is the distance between any two corresponding points on successive waves, usually crest- to-crest or trough-to-trough. The wavelength can be measured from any point on a wave as long as it is measured to the same point on the next wave.

Annotated Bib - Water

Covering about 80% of the world's surface, water is one of the most important characteristics of our world. Every second of every day, water continues to play a vital role to all known forms of life.


A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney. Illus. by Michael S. Maydak. 1998. 32p. Dawn Pubns, (9781883220723). Gr. 3-6.

This book is a great tool when it comes to teaching students about the water cycle. Following one drop of water, students are able to see how water is an important characteristic of our world.
Did A Dinosaur Drink This Water? by Robert E. Wells. Illus. by the author. 2006. 32p. Albert Whitman & Company, (9780807588406). Gr. 2-5.

This fun book also introduces children to the water cycle. Furthermore, this book discusses the use of water, the states of water, and how water moves around the world.

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss. Illus. by Rosemary Woods. 2007. 32p. Kids Can Press, (9781553379546). Gr. 3-6.

This book takes a look at water in all of its forms around the earth. Including interesting facts, the book is a great way to introduce the topic of water to students. Furthermore, this book also touches on the abuse water is continuously facing due to humans.

The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman. Illus. by the author. 2003. 32p. Millbrook Press, (9780761323471). Gr. 2-6.
This book illustrated the water cycle by following the life of a snowflake. The snowflake is followed throughout the year, allowing students to see the different characteristics of a droplet of water.
Water Dance by Thomas Locker. Illus. by the author. 2002. 32p. Sandpiper, (9780152163969). Gr. 2-6.
By using a free verse narrative, this book shows the many different forms of water around the world. This is a perfect book to use cross curriculum between physical science and English due to its poetic nature.


This site first starts out by showing kids an actual water cycle. Next, if students want to make their own water cycle, it walks you through the steps and includes printables for students to create their own water cycle to study.
First, this website offers some simple background knowledge on the water cycle for students. Next, this site offers an extremely fun picture of the water cycle in action. Kids are also able to print out this graphic and laminate it for a fun place mat.

This website offers an interactive water cycle for kids to both watch and listen to. It is extremely informative, yet easy to understand.

This website contains an interactive story about the life of a water droplet, however, students must first answer questions about the water cycle to continue the story.

This site offers a matching game about water for students. Once students have correctly matched the water vocabulary to their definition, a fun picture appears.

For Teachers

6.5 The student will investigate and understand the unique properties and characteristics of water and its roles in the natural and human-made environment. Key concepts include
a) water as the universal solvent;
b) the properties of water in all three phases;
c) the action of water in physical and chemical weathering;
d) the ability of large bodies of water to store thermal energy and moderate climate;
e) the importance of water for agriculture, power generation, and public health; and the importance of protecting and maintaining water resources.

The concepts developed in this standard include the following:

· Among water’s unique properties is that one side of each water molecule is slightly negative and the other is slightly positive. Individual water molecules, therefore, attract other water molecules like little magnets as the slightly positive portion of a water molecule is attracted to the slightly negative portion of an adjacent water molecule. In this way, water molecules “stick together.”

· Due to water’s polar nature, a large number of substances will “dissolve” in water. For this reason, water is often called the universal solvent.

· Water is the only compound that commonly exists in all three states (solid, liquid, gas) on Earth. The unique properties of water are a major factor in the ability of our planet to sustain life.

· Additional properties of water are its high surface tension and the large range of temperature (0–100 degrees Celsius) in which it can be found in the liquid state, as well as the fact that, unlike other substances, solid water is less dense than liquid water.

· Water is able to absorb thermal energy without showing relatively large changes in temperature. Large bodies of water act to moderate the climate of surrounding areas by absorbing thermal energy in summer and slowly releasing that energy in the winter. For this reason, the climate near large bodies of water is slightly milder than areas without large bodies of water.

· Water (rain, ice, snow) has shaped our environment by physically and chemically weathering rock and soil and transporting sediments. Freezing water can break rock without any change in the minerals that form the rock (physical weathering). This usually produces small particles and sand. Water with dissolved gases and other chemicals causes the minerals in rocks to be changed, leading to the deterioration of the rock (chemical weathering).

· Most of Earth’s water is salt water in the oceans (97 percent). Nonfrozen, fresh water makes up less than 1 percent of the water on Earth.

· Water is essential for agriculture. Crops watered by reliable irrigation systems are more productive and harvests more dependable.

· Water is an important resource used in power generation. Hydroelectric power plants make use of the kinetic energy of water as it flows through turbines. Water is also heated in power plants and turned to steam. The steam is used to turn turbines, which generate electricity.

· In the past, streams and rivers were often used to dispose of human waste, and open sewers were common. During the mid-1800s, public health officials recognized the connection between disease outbreaks and contamination of public wells and drinking water. Advances in water treatment and sanitary sewers have helped eliminate diseases associated with human waste.

· Due to water’s importance in power generation, agriculture, and human health, it is important to conserve water resources.

Annotated Bib - Magnetism

Learning about magnets is a hands-on process. Students can read all about magnets and their properties but the best way for full comprehension is by experimenting with magnets. These books and websites are great for grades 1-4 because they help spark curiosity about magnets and give kids a greater understanding of how and why magnets do what they do. For my lesson, I wanted a good mix of experiments, interactive games, and fun quizzes. The below books and sites cover all of that ground in a fun and exciting way that is sure to keep kids engaged and give them a comprehensive understanding of magnetism.

Books to Teach Magnetism

The Magic School Bus: Amazing Magnetism
By Rebecca Carmi. Illustrated by John Speirs. 2002. 192p. Scholastic Paperbacks. (978-0439314329). Gr. Pre-K to 3.

Introducing the entire Magic School Bus series into the classroom is a great way to engage students and get them excited about science. Each book in the series is a story book centered around a zany teacher, Mrs. Frizzle and her quirky but memorable lessons. In Amazing Magnetism, her students create a compass out of their classroom, go on a scavenger hunt for fun facts about magnets, and (in a fantastical moment typical of the Magic School Bus series) actually become iron fillings and stick to a magnet. The story is told from the perspective of one of the students and is a great introduction to science experiments involving magnets. Students will, of course, understand that they can’t board the Magic School Bus and be shrunk down into iron fillings but they will be able to do experiments similar to those in the book. Reading this book in language arts is a fantastic way of getting students excited about learning about magnetism and eager to experiment like the students in the story.

Magnetic Magic: Magic Tricks Done With Magnets By John Cassidy and Paul Doherty. 1994. 68p. Klutz. (978-1878257864). Gr. Pre-K - 3.
This is a classic Klutz experiment book that comes with various magnets to use for each magic trick. The book is quirky from the get-go, talking about the "ghosts" that live inside magnets. Of course, it goes on to explain that these "ghosts" are simply atoms and sub-atomic particles but it does a wonderful job of relating scientific concepts to ideas that children are more likely to understand. The magnet experiments within the book are more complex and definitely more "magical" than the experiments in the rest of the book so it's a great way to end a lesson once students have had some experience with simpler magnet experiments. The book not only shows you how to do each magic trick but explains the science behind it as well. Lastly, the cover of the book is made of metal and is involved in a few of the tricks too, which is an amusing feature for kids.

Magnets: Pulling Together, Pushing Apart
By Natalie M. Rosinsky. Illustrated by Sheree Boyd. 2006. 24p. Picture Window Books. (978-1404803336). Gr. Pre-K - 3.
This is a very straightforward book on magnets featuring bright images and simple experiments. As students read, they can do the experiments on their own with household items such as paper clips, nails, and steel spoons. The book does a great job of breaking down the most important facts about magnets and illustrating them. It also covers a lot of ground including the basics about magnetism, the earth’s magnetism, and compasses. The book would be a great addition to a science station in the classroom because of how easy it is to follow and how basic the experiments are. Students could also make observations about their experiments by answering the questions provided by the book (e.g. “when you pull the nail away from the magnet, does the paper clip still cling to the nail?”).

Rescuing Einsten’s Compass By Shulamith Levey Oppenheim. Illustrated by George Juhasz. 2003. 32p. Crocodile Books. (978-1566565073). Gr. Pre-K to 3.
This is a story about a young boy who is introduced one day to the "most famous man alive", Albert Einstein. The boy spends an afternoon sailing with Einsten as he learns what a physicist does and how a compass inspired Einstein to spend his life solving mysteries with science. If kids already recognize Einsten's name, they'll be intrigued by how inspired Einsten was by his first compass. If they don't know who Einstein is, it's a great introduction to the famous physicist and they'll be able to relate to his childhood epiphany about magnets. The story is another great cross-curricular book for use in both language arts and science class.

What Makes A Magnet? By Franklyn M. Branley. Illustrated by True Kelley. 1996. 32p. Collins. (978-0064451482). Gr. Pre-K to 3.
This is a simple book with great illustrations involving a girl and a mouse. It's better for younger grades as a introduction to learning about magnets as it covers all the basics. Readers can either read the book to learn about magnets or try out the experiments as they read. It even contains a simple instructional on creating your own compass. The book does a great job of explaining earth's magnetism versus the moon's magnetism as well as how people use compasses in their everyday lives. It covers everything from the science behind magnetism to the history of magnets and is a great resource for younger students just discovering the power of magnets.

Useful Websites
Activity TV: Compass Craft
Activity TV is a website featuring instructional videos for kids. This particular video is great for a teacher to use in class because it demonstrates a simple way to create a compass. Kids are accustomed to seeing compasses as professionally-made devices and it’s easy for them to overlook the simplicity behind them. By making their own compasses with a Styrofoam plate, a needle, a magnet, and a tray of water, they can better understand the fundamentals of a compass and what makes it work.

BBC KS2 Bitesized: Magnets
In this interactive game, players need to use their knowledge of magnets to prevent a thief from stealing priceless treasures. The spy theme and high quality graphics make this a really appealing game. Kids are challenged to recall what they know about magnets (though a slight refresher is given before each round) and then they must choose which magnet and which pole on that magnet to attract the treasure in the room before the thief comes in and snatches it. The magnet area of the site also contains further reading on magnets as well as a quiz.

BBC School Science Clips: Magnets & Springs
Another interactive game from the BBC, this is simpler than the spy game. Players get to experiment with different size magnets and use a spring to propel them different distances. There are choices of different materials (some metal, some non-metal) that kids can try to pick up using the magnet. It's a good way of showing the different magnets that are necessary for attracting items of various sizes and there are many combinations of experimentation students can do in the activity. Once players are finished playing around with the interactive part, a quiz follows that relates to the activity.

Brain Pop: Magnetism

Brain Pop is a fantastic interactive site for kids. It requires membership but kids can sign up for a free 14 day trial. The area focusing on Magnetism contains a great cartoon demonstrating how and why magnets work and even a little history into how magnets were discovered and where they got their name. After the cartoon is over, kids can explore the rest of the features focusing on magnets that include activities, a Q&A, quizzes, experiments, and a great area called FYI. This is a fun section because it contains tidbits kids wouldn’t normally learn in a textbook like why you shouldn’t eat magnets and how animals use magnets too. The entire site is very user friendly for kids and has plenty of fun sound effects and cartoons to keep them engaged.

Hot Chalk's Lesson Plans Page: A science lesson on magnets

Hot Chalk has a few lesson plans on teaching magnetism. I chose this one in particular because it contains a lot of great questions students can use for recording their observations. It focuses mainly on the idea that the repelling force between like poles on a magnet is greater than the force of gravity. Students test this theory in various ways using a pencil and ring magnets. In the suggestions at the end of the lesson for extending it, there's an idea to add puppets to the top magnet and make them bounce in a puppet show. I love the idea of mixing science with the arts. With many magnet experiments, science can feel isolated but by integrating it into other activities, kids are able to see how they can use it in their everyday lives.

Teacher Information
Virginia Standards of Learning: 2.2
The student will investigate and understand that natural and artificial magnets have certain characteristics and attract specific types of metals. Key concepts include
a)    magnetism, iron, magnetic/nonmagnetic, poles, attract/repel; and
b)    important applications of magnetism including the magnetic compass.

The concepts developed in this standard include the following:
•    Magnets can attract objects made of iron or nickel.
•    Magnets can be artificially made from special metals or can occur naturally. Naturally occurring magnets are composed of a mineral called magnetite (lodestone).
•    When a magnetized metal, such as a compass needle, is allowed to swing freely, it displays the interesting property of aligning with the Earth’s magnetic fields.
•    Magnets have a north and a south pole.
•    Unlike magnetic poles attract, and like poles repel.
•    Magnets have important applications and uses in everyday life.