Math Lit: The 512 Ants of Sullivan Street

This week I am focusing on doubling with The 512 Ants of Sullivan Street by Carol Losi. This is part of the Hello Math Reader series and is an excellent text for second and third graders.

So many of my students come into third grade without an understanding of doubles facts and this book is a fun way to get them thinking about doubling. It is written in rhyme and many students will pick up on and join in on the repeated refrain. Those who see the doubling pattern will also begin to predict the next number in the story.

After reading the entire book I like to go back through and record the equations on the board, getting input from students:
1 + 1 = 2
2 + 2 = 4
4 + 4 = 8
8 + 8 = ?
As the numbers grow, I ask students to explain how they figured out the sum and record their ideas. This is one of those lessons that could easily extend over two days as we explore strategies for finding sums of the larger numbers, talk about our reasoning, and create an anchor chart together about doubling numbers. When we get to multiplication it's also a great book to revisit and apply that operation.

Have you used this book? What else do you do to help students develop number sense?

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