Adding books to your math lesson engages students’ attention. Use these number books for kindergarten to build subitizing and number skills.
Nothing engages students as much as a good story. I love how a good story captures students’ attention and makes them think about things in a new way. It is so rewarding as they lean forward and peer at the pages, soaking in every detail!
That’s why I love adding literature to my math lessons. An engaging story arouses their attention, helping them to better learn the concepts in the book. Early in kindergarten, I try to incorporate number books and books to support subitizing skills. Counting and subitizing are foundational skills for math. I have searched high and low for some of the most engaging number books for kindergarten and I’m going to share with with you in this post.
1. Ones and Twos (Marthe & Nell Jocelyn)
This simple book only deals with the numbers 1 and 2, but it is charming tale nonetheless. It represents each number in different ways, using real-life situations shown as two friends enjoy a day together. For instance, the friends see one cloud and two kites. This book help students recognize how the same number can be shown in different ways, a beginning step for subitizing.
2. Let’s Count (Tana Hoban)
Using a classic number book style, Tana Hoban represents each number with the numeral, number word, dot pattern and a photo. Students will enjoy counting the real-life objects in this book.
3. What Comes in 2’s, 3’s and 4’s? (Suzanne Aker)
Rather than simply counting, this book shows number sets that occur in life, such as 2 eyes, 3 lights in a traffic light, or 4 wheels on a car. Recognizing sets helps students build subitizing skills and number sense. This book will encourage them to spot sets of objects in their own world.
4. Ten Black Dots (Donald Crews)
This classic counting books shows black dots creatively turned into fun pictures, such as 3 dots making the face of a snowman. Not only does this book support counting practice, but it shows how objects can be rearranged and still be the same quantity (3 is 3, not matter how you arrange the dots.) This book lends itself easily to a fun craft project, by giving each child a few black (or colorful) dots and a blank sheet of paper. See what they can turn the dots into!
5. Quack and Count (Keith Baker)
Follow seven busy ducklings as they explore their world, splitting into two groups in various ways. On one page, they split into groups of 5 and 2; on another page they are in groups of 3 and 4. This fun book helps students see how a number can be broken different ways and still be the same number.
6. One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller (Kate Read)
Follow a hungry fox through the henhouse in this charming story. Unlike your average counting book, this book counts while telling the story of the sly fox who wants to eat the hens. Kids will love watching the fox sneak around as they count.
7. On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets (Michael Dahl)
Of course a number book about preparing for a rocket launch is presented as a countdown (from 12)! Kids will love the brightly colored pictures of the astronauts preparing for liftoff. Each page also shows the number represented with a dot pattern (although the dot pattern is a little small for read-aloud purposes.)
8. Bear Counts (Karma Wilson)
Fans of the Bear series (Bear Snores On, Bear’s New Friend), will love this charming, rhyming book. Bear spends the morning in the forest with his friends, Everywhere they look, they see things to count. Each number (1-5) is represented by more than one set of objects, helping students see how numbers can be grouped and represented different ways.
9. Butterfly Colors and Counting (Jerry Pallotta)
Jerry Pallotta is known for intricate alphabet books on various non-fiction topics. His books usually include lots of details in the words and pictures. This book is simpler than most of his texts, and most books on my list. Each page features one type of butterfly, the color word, number and numeral.
10. Goodnight Numbers (Danica McKellar)
The end-flaps of this beautiful book feature the numbers 1-10 in multiple languages, as well as represented with ten-frames and tally marks. It is a perfect subitizing book for kindergarten. In a style reminiscent of Goodnight Moon, the story follows various children as they get ready for bed and say “good night” to things around their house. Each page features a different number.
Visit your local library and pick up a few of these subitizing books for kindergarten and use them in your classroom! Use them to help your students develop subitizing skills as they learn to count.
And let me know in the comments if you have any favorite subitizing books or number books for kindergarten. I am always on the hunt for new classroom books!
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