Picture Books in Maths Education

Picture Books in Maths Education with Edward Fitzgerald

The Doorbell Rang is a wonderful book that could be used to introduce the idea of dividing and sharing to a 1st or 2nd class. Teachers can use the video and activity resources to enhance children’s understanding of sharing and dividing.

Within the video, teachers can use the book cover as a stimulus to ask children maths questions and queries.

Such as:

  • Who here likes cookies?
  • What do you think the book will be about?
  • Have you ever had to share out sweets with your brothers or sisters?
  • How did you share the sweets/cookies to make sure each person got an equal amount?

Teachers can follow the video and read to the children, stopping along the way to have discussions and to encourage children to express their opinions and share their ideas with the rest of the class.

Edward Fitzgerald Biography

Edward Fitzgerald is a primary school teacher with ten years’ experience. He is currently teaching 5th class in Scoil Mhuire, Clarinbridge, County Galway. In 2017 he completed his Masters of Education in DCU, specialising in Mathematics Education. The research area for his thesis was focused on using picture books to enhance parental involvement in mathematics. Since then he has worked as a Mathematics Tutor and Research Superviser with Hibernia College and a School Placement Tutor with DCU. Edward is also employed by DCU to create lesson plans and resources for the Maths4All website.

Edward has co-authored an academic paper based on his research which he presented at the Mathematics Education in Ireland Conference in DCU in October 2019. He has also contributed resources to the MathsThroughStories website and has written an article for the InTouch magazine based on his experience of using picture books in the classroom. Edward has also hosted his own webinar based on using picture boos in mathematics lesson which was facilitated by the Clare Education Centre.

To download ‘The Doorbell Rang’ resource sheet pdf, please click on the image.

Using Storybooks in the Maths Classroom

The use of picture books in Maths lessons provides a wonderful, creative way of engaging with maths topics and also has great potential for integration with subjects across the curriculum. This video demonstrates how the Maths storybook ‘Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin’ was used in a 5th and 6th Class classroom to explore the concept of multiplying by whole numbers and fractions in a fun and meaningful way.

Gráinne Higgins Biography

Gráinne Higgins is a primary school teacher in St. Philomena’s N.S., Tullamore, Co. Offaly. She is currently teaching 5th and 6th Class. In 2019, Gráinne completed her Masters of Education (Teaching and Learning) in DCU. For her thesis, she focused on the mathematical learning experiences of pupils through the use of a resource called ‘Izak9. Since 2019, Gráinne has provided teacher CPD in mathematics both in person and online through Laois and Kildare Education Centres. Gráinne also presented work based on her thesis at the UK Mathematical Association conference in April 2021. She wrote and presented a paper for the Mathematics Education in Ireland Conference in DCU in October 2021. She also has presented at online ‘Teach Meet’ events, aimed at sharing mathematical teaching and learning practices among teachers. Gráinne began using Maths picture books for maths in her classroom last year