Great Books for Teaching Math

I have another list today whose topic comes from the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday. (I’ll be linking up there too.) This week’s post is supposed to be about anything related for back-to-school. So I have for you ten books for teaching math. These are books that I remember from my own school days, ones I learned about as an education major (and math minor), or just ones I’ve discovered on my own. I’ve tried to list them in order from youngest target audience to oldest target audience, but a lot of them are flexible and can be used for many grades.

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My Very First Number Book by Wilkes

This book is for those who are just discovering the world of numbers. It introduces the concept in an awesome, colorful way.

Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson (illustrated by Nadine Wescott)

This is a cute counting book. It follows Mr. Panda as he works to seat different sized groups of animals, from ten ???? down to one small mouse.

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

This book follows a family as they try to divide up their cookies for the guests that just keep coming!


One Grain of Rice by Demi

Even though this is a picture book, the story still fascinates me today. The main character gets one grain of rice on the first day. The next day she gets two, then after that four, and so on, doubling each day. It’s fun to see how quickly the amount of rice gets out of hand!

The M&M’s Brand Counting Book

I remember working on learning how to make bar graphs with this book. It was fun and, since it happened 15 or so years ago, memorable. The only trouble might be getting children to wait to eat their M&Ms.

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

I learned about this one in one of my elementary education classes. It’s an awesome book about a girl who hates math and wants to be rid of it forever – only to discover that it’s everywhere!

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan

This is another book that I learned about in college. Sir Cumference actually has a bunch of pun-worthy math related books that make great introductory stories to different mathematical concepts. (Like circumference, for example. 🙂)


Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

This is a companion math book that uses the characters and settings established in Sachar’s Sidways Stories from Wayside School series. Although the target audience for his chapter books is probably late elementary school (grades 3-6 or so), a lot of the math in this book is a little more challenging and may even be fun to pick up in junior high and high school.

Spurious Correlations by Tyler Vigen

I was gifted this book as an adult. It’s full of graphs that correlate two unrelated things, like beef consumption and number of people struck by lightning. It’s a great way to show that correlation does not always equal causation. Be sure to read the book before you hand it off to any students though. I don’t remember if all topics were appropriate.


Flatland by Edwin Abbot

To be fair I haven’t yet read this entire book, but it was referred to a lot by my Calculus 3 teacher. What I have read was quite interesting – it goes over all the intricacies that go into a the two-dimensional society of Flatland.

So those are all of my math related books for you! Which ones would you add to this list?

eau de parfum

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