Jennifer Dwyer (left) and Amanda MacDougall proudly display their books.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Congratulations to Strait regional school board (SRSB) Math Mentors Jennifer Dwyer and Amanda MacDougall who have now added published authors to their professional credentials!

The two books, Hockey Homework written by Dwyer and Money Jar written by MacDougall, are now part of Pearson Canada’s Mathology Little Books that are available throughout Canada for use in elementary classrooms.

Darryl Breen, coordinator of Math and Science Programs for the SRSB, explains that he was contacted by Pearson Canada asking if any elementary math educators were interested in writing a children’s book as part of the Mathology series of Little Books focused on Grades Primary to 3. Both Dwyer and MacDougall embraced the idea, and as a result, during the 2015-2016 school year, on their personal time, wrote the books. The content was submitted to Pearson Canada and then graphic artists added the pictures as described by the authors.

“One of the most powerful attributes of these resources is the connection it makes between literacy and numeracy within our elementary mathematics classes. Students are reading the books in mathematics classrooms,” noted Breen.

“Being involved in this initiative has been an exciting learning opportunity and challenge for me,” said Dwyer. “One of my favorite aspects of teaching is finding new, creative ways to engage students. I loved the idea of blending math concepts into a piece of children’s literature. I recently had the opportunity to share the story, along with some interactive activities with several groups of Grade 3 students. Their reactions have been pretty awesome. They got a kick out of the story, but were also engaged in some introductory fraction concepts along the way.”

“Having experienced the writing process myself will better enable me to teach the stages of writing from a different perspective than I had previously,” said MacDougall. “I never imagined that I would write a book and am looking forward to returning to the classroom in September where I can show my students that I am proof that anyone can be an author.”

Paul Landry, director of programs and student services for the SRSB, announced on May 11 that copies of both books will be distributed to each school with Grades Primary to 3 students in the board.

“It’s very exciting to be able to provide these books, written by our own staff, in elementary classrooms to support student learning and instruction in our board,” said Landry. “I extend sincere congratulations to Ms. Dwyer and Ms. MacDougall on this very impressive recognition and thank them for their leadership in supporting students and schools in the Strait region.”

According to the Pearson Canada Web site, the Mathology Little Books is “a series of math books for K-3 that allows teachers to match books to a child’s or group’s level of math understanding, providing rich opportunities for teaching and learning.”

In addition, the Web site notes that the books are organized around the key big ideas within each math strand including Number Sense, Patterning and Algebra, Measurement, Data Management and Probability, and Geometry, and are fun, engaging stories that put math in real-life contexts.”