I wanted to share with you a few great books I’ve had the opportunity to check out lately. Two of them are timely for Earth Day, and one is another educational resource for parents and kids.

Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Anne Kennedy

In this cute, animal-characters picture book, teacher Miss Fox comes to school on a bicycle to “go green,” inspiring her students and then the whole school to find ways to save the environment, doing such things as conserving water and energy and using cloth bags instead of plastic. Great for sparking discussions at the preschool/early Primary age levels.

Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting? by Robert E. Wells

From the publisher: “In the Arctic, the summer ice is melting, making it hard for polar bears and their cubs to survive. Why is the world getting warmer? The heat of the sun is trapped by the “greenhouse” gases that surround Earth—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor. If there is just the right amount of these trapped gases, the air is warm enough for plants, animals, and people to thrive. But now there is too much greenhouse gas, especially carbon dioxide. Polar bears, and all of us, are in trouble.”

A fantastic nonfiction picture book, it actually taught me a couple of things about global warming too!

Fraction Jugglers: A Math Gamebook For Kids and Their Parents by Ruth Bell Alexander
From the publisher: “Fraction Jugglers helps kids grasp fractions and their real-world applications–while having such a great time, they don’t even realize they’re learning. Combining a full-color, illustrated book of 19 games and a custom-designed deck of 86 cards, Fraction Jugglers steadily and thoroughly builds up a student’s understanding of how to apply and manipulate fractions. In the What’s Bigger? Game, the smallest denominator wins. In the Renaming Game, players find ways to match “target” fractions. Reciprocals come into play in the Great Divide. And there’s the Family Matters Game, the Mix and Match Game, the “I’ve Got It!” Game, and lots more. Fraction Jugglers can be tailored to fit all ability levels, from fraction neophytes on. Adaptable and open-ended, the games encourage kids to both think and problem-solve creatively-and have a blast, too!”
Parents are always asking me for ways to help their kids with fractions at home. While there are several great websites that I can recommend, actually interacting and playing games with your child is a wonderful way to reinforce math concepts. I think I’ll pull this one out at home when my daughter is in Grade 2. For now, it will be a great resource with my Grade 3 students, however it’s important to note that the games advance well into the older grades as well (adding and subtracting fractions, etc.)

Disclosure: I received the above-named books for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.

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