Math in the library? Why? Libraries have always been places of learning, so why not? Math fits perfectly with the Chesapeake Public Library mission of education for all. Math can be found at several levels in the library setting.
There are the books, books to learn math and books that highlight math.
Some favorites are:
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Bear Counts by Karma Wilson
Bringing Down the Mouse by Ben Mezvic
The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet
Numbed by David Lubar
One, two, that’s my shoe! by Alison Murray
Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons by Eric Litwin
The Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Library Classes & Events
Story time classes for children are the traditional source of library math. Who hasn’t counted the five green and speckled frogs or the five little monkeys jumping and playing across a flannel board? Another way for children to explore math is hands on math. Children are given the opportunity to sort and count objects, make patterns with beads, play with shapes and try simple addition and subtraction during story classes.
And, math can be the whole focus of a library event. Major Hillard Library was the site of a new math event in Chesapeake this summer. Students in grades 4-8 were given the chance to participate in the first ever Summer Math Challenge. This Math Challenge was the brain child of Mr. Dan Viar. Mr. Dan was looking for a way to let kids who love math shine. Loosely based on math competitions, this challenge invited students to solve math problems. Correct answers earned them points for prizes.
Mr. Dan prepared problem sets at elementary and middle school levels. The problems were not easy; they were designed to make the students think and solve real world problems. Students completed a set of problems each week for seven weeks. The students could also attend a weekly evening program where the kids worked on similar problems and played math games. The eighth week was the highlight – the award ceremony. The top four point earners in each grade received a trophy or ribbon, math books and a chance to win the coveted prize, a Wii U console. Mayor Krasnoff helped congratulate the winners.
It was exciting to see 134 students in Chesapeake participate. Some chose to complete all the problem sets for the elementary and middle levels. All in all, Mr. Dan and his assistant, Mr. Cudnik, graded 406 papers for 2,704 correct answers!
E.E. liked the challenge; it made him think. His parents welcomed this event as a wonderful way for their child to stretch his mind over the summer. Comments like these echoed around the room. We hope to have another Math Challenge next summer!