The inspiration to write math stories for children was sparked by my work on a high school mathematics program. Visual learning strategies helped teens, who had been characterized as “reluctant learners,” understand difficult math concepts. Putting math in the context of stories based on their experiences made them feel more comfortable with abstract concepts. They actually became eager to apply math to real-life problems.
If this approach worked for older students, I began to wonder what might happen if younger children were introduced to math this way!
Even before children can read - or speak many words - they can interpret visual information with ease. The MathStart books use simple stories coupled with diagrams, graphs and other visual models to teach everything from probability and pattern recognition to area, capacity and negative numbers.
The Best Bug Parade, (comparing sizes) was my very first published book. It was absolutely thrilling to see my name in print! I never expected that one day there would 63 MathStart books, split over three levels for ages Pre-K to Grade 4.
Each book includes two pages of review and activities designed to help teachers and parents extend learning beyond the story, along with suggestions of related books by other authors. After all, if a child enjoys learning math through stories, then let’s have more stories!(Interview: Pictures, Words & Math)