I remember when we were reading Going Places and Beckett found some pretty amazing math in a picture that was in the book. We tweeted to Peter H. Reynolds to ask him if he knew about it, and/or if he did it on purpose.
In Going Places, Beckett told us how many kits were on each pg, how many were missing, how many there were altogether, how many there would be if those last 2 were there! @peterhreynolds–he wants to know if you did that on purpose! Did you know there was math in your book? pic.twitter.com/TZ1VGecqKS
— Jen Bearden (@JenBearden) January 22, 2019
We were tickled when he replied–because when authors talk to you it’s a BIG DEAL!!
Well, we were reading another book the other day–Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo–and something similar happened.
As we finished the book (which is a super sweet story about a girl who is trying to go to sleep and not surprisingly does lots of yawning), I asked why the author would have named the book Twenty Yawns. I thought someone would say “because there are 20 yawns in the story,” but surprisingly that was not what they suggested. Somehow we got into a little tat about how there were 21 yawns in the book. What?? I’m still not entirely sure if the friends who were so convinced about the 21 yawns were for real, or if they wanted to cause a ruckus, but regardless, Ali saved the day by saying we should count them and figure it out.
So…we went back through the story and paid attention to how many yawns were on each page, creating an equation that looked like this:
Next we talked about the different ways kiddos could PROVE that there were or were not 21 (or 20!) yawns in the book. Our list looked like this:
It was actually really lucky, too, how the problem worked out because we have been working on combinations of 10 and I was hoping that kiddos would find the 10s in there first, and then quickly come to the answer of 20. Not all did, which is fine–we’ll keep working–but many did. 🙂 .
Check out some of our thinking (which we are still working on, by the way!).
I LOVE it when we can take a story and turn it into a math problem! What an authentic context and motivating activity. 🙂 . And while anytime we stretch our math brains it’s a good thing, I especially love it when the numbers in the book match the numbers we’re working on. Way to go, Smiley and Castillo! Did you do that on purpose for us? 🙂
What books have you read that have math in them? Tell us about it so we can try it, too! 🙂