Altogether more than 9,850 students in low-income schools received access to Mathical Books through grants to language arts and mathematics classroom teachers in Spring 2023.
The grants of $700 each were administered by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) through a competitive application process, and through the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) through a board member referral process.
Each organization selected 10 recipients, for a total of 19 schools across the U.S. and Canada. Nine U.S states and two Canadian provinces were represented. The schools are listed below.
We are grateful to Joan & Irwin Jacobs for their multi-year support of Mathical Books, supporting book distribution through our partners at NCTE and NCTM. Additional funding for Mathical has come from sponsors including the Firedoll Foundation and the Guru Krupa Foundation.
The Spring 2023 book giveaway of Mathical titles reflected the third year of the program.
- Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies (Mobile, AL)
- Carlisle Public School (Carlisle, MA)
- Caroline Robins Community School (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
- Charles Akins Early College High School (Austin Independent School District, Austin, TX)
- Cope Middle School (Redlands, CA)
- Donald McKay Middle School (Boston, MA)
- Elite Scholars Academy (Jonesboro, GA)
- Forest Park High School (Forest Park, GA)
- Franklin Heights High School (Columbus, OH)
- Hillcrest High School (Tuscaloosa, AL)
- J.E. Edmonds Elementary School (Forest Park, GA)
- Lockhart Junior High School (Lockhart, TX)
- Maple Shade High School (Maple Shade, NJ)
- Melba Junior/Senior High School (Melba, ID)
- O’Donnell Elementary School (Aurora, IL)
- PS #15 (Jersey City, NJ)
- Riverdale Middle School (Riverdale, GA)
- Roselle Public Schools (Roselle, NJ)
- Sherwood School (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Comments from winning schools demonstrate how Mathical titles are used in the classroom and library:
For students who typically don’t like reading and prefer math, this library of books will help bridge that gap by giving them the opportunity to read something they’re more interested in!
Mathical books were used for read-aloud in elementary classrooms during a “Math Celebration” day. Teachers were encouraged to build math lessons from the content of the books.
Classrooms were encouraged to create a math lesson, in collaboration with the school’s math coach, for students to engage more deeply with book content.
My students have to complete a project on the book(s) which they have read…, which will be displayed as a book exhibition…. The displays will be set in the hallway between our gymnasium and cafeteria, and students and visitors will cycle through the displays and participate in the hands-on activities that each student has created for their peers and visitors to enjoy.
With the selected books, the Algebra I team plans to change how students view mathematics. Many of the young men in our classes are into sports, so we are hoping that learning about the mathematics involved in football is going to help them see the [relevance] of the math they are learning.
The books that have been purchased will spread across 3rd-5th grade Math classes. Each class will start a classroom library for children to go to and read during their free time. Specific books that discuss the topic for the current or upcoming unit will be used to activate schema either before a lesson or a unit. If students are exposed to an enjoyable read or a familiar real-world example, they will sustain engagement throughout the standard or concept that is taught.
All students will have the opportunity to borrow the Mathical books from the school library learning commons to read both at school and at home. These books will be shared with staff on a resource list and will be used for read-alouds during our Math Month.
I am delighted to share that this grant impacted our entire school (upwards of 600 students). Each classroom teacher across grades preK-8, along with various special educators, selected a book of their choice for their classroom. These books will serve to enhance students’ curiosity and discoveries about mathematical concepts in the world around them.
From acting as accompaniments to curricula, to providing fun, educational, free choice reads, these books will augment the academic learning and mathematical exploration of all students at [our school].
I purchased two sets of two titles that I will be using with small groups (about 40 students for the year). The novels, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl and AfterMath, focus on overcoming adversity and how different events can change one’s life—positive and negative events. They build on the idea of finding support in places where one might have never thought to look for help. We are seeing so many students who feel lost due to the pandemic. Hopefully these two novels will encourage readers to keep going when life has become too much…. Thank you for believing in my students and encouraging them to read.
These books have been distributed to all of the English teachers in my high school. Each room received a few of each title and have been added to classroom libraries for independent reading and small group instruction. These books are like none other. Slay especially is one of the few books that truly reflect our students and honor their struggles with identity and belonging. Our district is pushing for more current, more relevant, titles for our students and these are perfect. There is a balance of intellectual benefit and high interest packed in the pages. In fact, when I dropped off the books to one classroom, two students immediately zeroed in and excitedly announced that they love those books! It’s so nice to be able to offer something they “love.”
With the purchase of these Mathical award winning books, our Bilingual/ESL Department will share these books with targeted bilingual and ESL teachers PK-8th. These books will be used in reading centers and as mentor texts leading into lessons. Our Elementary Bilingual Instructional Coach will construct a specific curriculum/lesson for the chosen Mathical Books. At the junior high level, our ESL teachers to Newcomers will use these books as mentor texts that will lead into their Children’s Book Writer’s Workshop writing unit. My colleague and I will create lessons for the 11-13 age group to use the selected Mathical books as Mentor texts into the Children’s Book Writing Workshop Unit. We will also share the selected books with the 6th grade Math department to collaborate ways they can use the texts to tie into their lessons.
Our district is diverse and serves over 1,000 students in our K- fifth grade. Students and teachers will have access to high quality books from award-winning Mathical titles. We are excited to add these titles into our classrooms. We have purchased one for each teacher in each grade level. They will be a great way for our students to see the connection between what they are learning in both math and reading and also to “see themselves” in the books.
[Our] campus serves about 400 students from 7th-12th grade. We chose five Mathical titles from the list and purchased thirteen copies of each. Our plan is to use these as literature circle options during our novel studies unit in any Language Arts classroom (grades 7-12). The different reading levels of these books create a wide range to choose from, which serves struggling readers as well as readers who can engage with more challenging material.
Teachers will use these books to show how math is used throughout our lives, engage students who are visual, and tie reading in math content.
Reading these books will help to make the content accessible prior to students practicing the skill of the lesson. Teachers will use the books in the classroom to bring literacy into math. They will make the connection by beginning a unit with the corresponding book. In addition, they will create math centers with the books – allowing students to ask and answer questions about the book and create and solve corresponding math problems.
The Mathical books will help our first-grade students from our three elementary schools. We have a total of 215 first grade students. The books will be utilized during read aloud, small group instruction and in the Math and Literacy Learning stations. They will help our students connect to Math concepts and apply them to real world problems. The topics and visual representations from the books will definitely increase student engagement, capture students’ attention and at the same time assist students to get a better understanding of the Math skills and concepts that they often struggle with.
First graders will be over the moon to receive the book “When Sophie Thinks She Can’t” as an end-of-the-school-year gift. This engaging and charming book will encourage the kids to embrace a growth mindset and develop a never-give-up attitude toward learning. The book’s relatable protagonist, Sophie, struggles with performing math problems and lacks the confidence to believe in herself. As the story unfolds, Sophie learns that with practice and perseverance, she can achieve her goals.