I'm trying to develop a recommended reading list for my students. Not comprehensive, like for a library, but the place to start, first books to buy, etc. I thought with the carnival coming up, it might be a good time to beg suggestions, either for categories or books. Links lead to the best previews I could find, mostly Google Books.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments and I'll incorporate them and make note in the post. Books I've read I'll add to the main list, and the others I'll list below. Sue VanHattum (Math Mama Writes...) immediately added a bunch, and has a post on this topic, too.

**The List**

updated April 2010

Picture Books

Math Curse, Lane and Scieska: just the best math book ever written.

Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar, or anything by Mitsumasa Anno. Just charming books, and lovely besides.

Spaghetti and Meatballs For All, Marilyn Burns: my favorite of the eplicitly mathematical genre. Tang and Murphy have their place but Burns is the queen of the genre. Princess - Elinor Pinczes.

Of course there are many possible for this category. See a School Library Journal article about this. My colleague Char Beckmann has (co-)written several neat articles in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School on using these. And Teaching Children Mathematics frequently has articles on the topic.

Math Fiction

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norman Juster

The Man Who Counted, by Malba Tahan

Flatland, by Edwin Abbott (full text!)

The Number Devil, by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Dec 2010: Zachary Shiner at Irrational Cube has a nice list going for these.

Elementary Math Teaching

Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding, Fennema, Carpenter, Hiebert, Fuson, et al.

Young Mathematicians at Work: Constructing Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction, Fosnot and Dolk

Secondary Math Teaching

The Teaching Gap, Stigler and Hiebert

**Math Teaching, General**

What’s Math Got to Do With It? by Jo Boaler, motivates teaching significant mathematics and advises on teaching methodology, relating it to research.

*A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginitive Life Form*, Paul Lockhart. Original essay available from Keith Devlin at the MAA.

Math Ed Research

Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics, Liping Ma

Experiencing school mathematics: traditional and reform approaches, Jo Boaler

Adding it up: helping children learn mathematics, Kilpatrick, Swafford, Findell

Mathematical Problem Solving by Alan Schoenfeld. Quite the academic tome, it's best to get from libraries. However Schoenfeld has a lot of the relevant materials available at his website.

Literacy Learning

Mosaic of Thought, 2nd ed., Keene and Zimmerman

To Understand, Keene

Teaching with Intention, Miller

The Whole Story, Brian Cambourne (out of print but still available used). If not reading the book, please at least read my favorite article on teaching. (Generously made freely available by The Reading Teacher.)

Thanks for any ideas you have. And I hope you maybe found one new book in the bunch, at least!

Reader Additions

Picture/Young ReaderQuack and Count by Keith Baker:board book

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham: fictionalized account of the 19th century life of Nathaniel Bowditch, actual author of the American Practical Navigator

How Hungry Are You?, by Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen: sharing division context

Number Stories of Long Ago by David Eugene Smith (full text!)

Teachers

Hannah, Divided by Adele Griffin: story of a twice exceptional student

The Art and Craft of Problem-Solving, by Paul Zeitz

Math Power: How to Help Your Child Love Math, Even If You Don't, by Patricia Kenschaft

Math: An American Phobia, by Marilyn Burns

The Art of Problem Posing, by Stephen Brown

What's Happening in Math Class? (2 volumes) edited by Deb Schifter

*Math for Smarty Pants*and

*The I Hate Math Book*by Marilyn Burns

Reconstructing Mathematics Education by Schifter and Fosnot (immediately on my wishlist!)

About Math

Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis:lots of (slightly twisted) history of math.

The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland: story of the cat who lives in the Hotel Infinity

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor by Harold Jacobs: delightful textbook

The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel: biography

Chances Are: Adventures in Probability by Michael and Ellen Kaplan: History, philosophy, science, and statistics all come together

Surreal Numbers by Donald Knuth: higher math based on a Conway problem

Euclid in the Rainforest by Joseph Mazur: Logic, infinity and probability

Powers of Ten, by Philip and Phylis Morrison: famous series of photographs/images

Mindstorms, by Seymour Papert

Out of the Labyrinth: Setting Mathematics Free by Robert and Ellen Kaplan

Anything by Martin Gardner

I've mentioned lots of books I love over at my blog. I wrote 'A Dozen Delectable Math Books' back in June. That overlaps your list some. I'll send you a longer list by email.

ReplyDeleteJohn, that full text pdf button isn't working for me. I'd love to read the article you mention (from The Reading Teacher). Can you email me?

ReplyDeleteThanks!

A Mathematician's Lament! A must read for all. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/rock-groups/

ReplyDeleteI'm actually hoping to read the other one soon too.

Great suggestion, teachingninja. We read that as a department and it started a pretty good discussion. Keith Devlin posted Lockhart's original essay, for those who want to try it: http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf.

ReplyDeleteI've very much enjoyed the Brown Paper School Books The I Hate Mathematics Book and Math for Smarty Pants. Also, Martin Gardner's books are a good source of enrichment material for kids who love puzzles.

ReplyDelete