At the beginning of every new school year I ask my students to fill out a form regarding how they feel about math and science. More often than not I receive a lot of negative feedback.
“I hate math. I’m not good at it.”
“Science is boring.”
As a teacher you need to promote the creativity and problem solving skills that are associated with math and science daily. Every child that enters your classroom at the beginning of the year needs to leave at the end as a mathematician and scientist. They need to see that these two subjects surround them in everyday life. Here is a list of read alouds I like to incorporate throughout the year to promote growth mindset in these subject areas.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
This book covers the story of Grace Hopper and her journeys in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a computer programmer. The illustrations are just as bright and warming as the story.
The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague
Build up the female students in your classroom with this inspiring story about Raye Montague. This book highlights the struggles Montague faced and how she overcame those obstacles.
I read this book EVERY year during the first week of school. It’s a great way to start a discussion about math surrounding us in every day life. And…it’s just adorable. The main character wakes up one morning to find he’s been cursed with the gift of seeing math in every little aspect of his life. Your students will love this book!
The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation
The illustrations in this book are breathtaking! Layers are built upon one another to make the illustrations pop and look lifelike. Your students will love reading about Richard James and his accidental discovery of the Slinky.
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain
This story is incredible. It’s the true story of Sophie Germain and her fight to be respected in the male dominated eighteenth-century. She was the first woman to win a grand prize from France’s Academy of Science for her formula.
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
Another story of an accidental invention, this book is about Lonnie Johnson, a child that was passionate about problem solving and discovery. This book covers Lonnie’s journey to becoming an engineer and eventually working with NASA.
Cece Loves Science
There is no true story here, just a feel good story about a young girl that loves science and exploration. This book would be perfect for the first week of school.
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos
This book is about the inspiring story of Paul Erdos and his love of math. He would travel around the world and collaborate with other mathematicians. Your students will love the theme of grit in this story.
Rosie Revere, Engineer
This book is one in a series about children dreaming about becoming architects, engineers, scientists, and more. The illustrations are eye-catching and the stories portray a strong message of perseverance and dreaming big.
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
Most students are familiar with the Disney movie “Hidden Figures.” Bring the true story of Katherine Johnson into your classroom with this book.
What are your favorite math and science picture books?