Education Technology

A Prime Summer Reading List Math Teachers Will Absolutely Love

Posted 06/05/2024 by TI Staff and TI Teacher Community

School’s out for summer! That means it’s time to relax, recharge and find a good book to read. What are math and science teachers reading this year to combat summer brain rot? We asked you, our teacher community, for ideas.

This summer reading list features a hot mix of teaching practices, histories and mysteries for the math- and science-minded. The newest addition to our book list: math reads for students! And we’ve also included relatable stories for students that help encourage math (and reading) literacy.

The teacher community made these great recommendations to add to your summer reading list:

Books for math and science teachers:

Books for math students:
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Summer reading list for the math and science teachers

“Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K–12: 14 Teaching Practices for Enhancing Learning”
by Peter Liljedal

“Modifying Your Thinking Classroom for Different Settings: A Supplement to Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics”
by Peter Liljedal

Check out these recommended books for teachers by Peter Liljedal.

If you haven’t yet read the teacher-recommended book, “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics,” it’s time to pick it up! And if you’re one of those who has read and reread it, and went on to recommend it to others, check out its supplement book, “Modifying Your Thinking Classroom for Different Settings.” Since teaching is not always face-to-face, the book gives practical advice on how to modify the 14 practices from the first book for 12 different settings. The settings include:
  • Synchronous/asynchronous virtual and hybrid settings
  • Fixed seating
  • Small groups
  • Tutoring
  • Independent learning
  • Homeschooling
  • And more

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“Routines for Reasoning: Fostering the Mathematical Practices in All Students”
by Grace Kelemanik, Susan Janssen Creighton, Amy Lucenta

“Teaching for Thinking: Fostering Mathematical Teaching Practices Through Reasoning Routines”
by Grace Kelemanik, Amy Lucenta

Add these two books to your list of summer reads for teachers.

Another powerful reading combo, “Routines for Reasoning” and “Teaching for Thinking” provide expert guidance on how to use routines as tools to build student reasoning and mathematical thinking skills. These books offer meaningful support on how to get started, how to incorporate routines into your classroom, and how it can lead students to independent thinking.

Authors Kelemanik and Lucenta also appear as guests on two episodes of the Room to Grow podcast. They share how the power of routines is helping teachers “hand over agency to students” and go on to explain that, “Teachers are no longer the sole authority in the classroom [...] it’s the students doing the heavy lifting.”

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“Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family/School Partnerships”
By Anne T. Henderson, Karen L. Mapp, Vivian R. Johnson, Don Davies

“Beyond the Bake Sale” is one of several great books for teachers to read over the summer.

Studies have shown that students with parents active in their education at home receive higher grades and test scores. As an educator, if you’ve ever wondered, “How can we improve our parent interactions?” then be sure to pick up your copy of “Beyond the Bake Sale.”

Featuring tips from teachers, checklists and other valuable resources, this book offers practical advice on building strong collaborative relationships between teachers and parents.

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“STEM Education NOW More Than Ever”
by Rodger Bybee

Add a little STEM education to the list of summer reading for teachers.

More than ever, science and math educators have been asked to incorporate STEM learning into their classrooms to prepare students to compete globally.

Veteran educator Rodger Bybee not only addresses the future of STEM education, but also provides practical advice for teachers, leaders and the STEM community. His book “STEM Education NOW More Than Ever” shares new approaches to STEM learning to complement traditional, single-discipline programs and highlights newer, faster ways to help teachers develop STEM units that address contemporary challenges in their classes.

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“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”
by Rebecca Skloot

A fascinating tale for both teachers and students to enjoy this summer.

A true story investigation about the woman whose cells, only known to scientists as “HeLa,” became one of the most important tools in modern medicine. Taken without her knowledge, the “immortal” cells of Henrietta Lacks, a poor tobacco farmer, were used to help develop the polio vaccine and uncover secrets of cancer, viruses, and even the effects of atom bombs. They have been bought and sold by the billions, and yet, her children today cannot afford health insurance. A powerful story to provoke thoughtful conversations for students and teachers to discuss: “Just because we can, should we?”

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“The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World”
By Steven Johnson

History and math is a great combination for a great summer read.

In the summer of 1854, London was emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world, only to become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knew how to cure. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

This book shares a riveting history and a powerful example as to why we need to be able to think and solve problems outside of the classroom.

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Classroom books for math students

This year, we noticed teachers were also recommending books they share in their classroom with students. One teacher, Mrs. Barajas, also shared her classroom bookshelf of math-themed books for her middle schoolers.

Here are several recommendations for student math reading to make math concepts fun and relatable:

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The “Sir Cumference” Series
by Cindy Neuschewander

Give students fun math adventures this summer with books by Cindy Neuschewander.

This book series is absolutely perfect for middle school readers. They will follow Sir Cumference on terrific math adventures as he problem-solves situations like: The First Round Table, A Dragon of Pi, The Sword of the Cone, All the King's Tens, A Fraction Faire ... and many more!

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“It’s a Numberful World: How Math is Hiding Everywhere”
by Eddie Woo

Be sure to add “It’s a Numberful World” to your students’ summer reading list this year.

Students will love exploring patterns while secretly learning about math! These 26 chapters explore hidden mathematical patterns of the world in bite-sized chapters that are easy to digest and share with others.

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“Secrets, Lies, and Algebra”
by Wendy Kichtman

Are you looking for a summer read for your 8th grade math students? This is the one!

Who knew the 8th grade would make life — and math — so complicated? Readers follow Tess as she navigates new social and math concepts, and the key principles that can help her handle life’s uncertainties.

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“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night‑Time”
by Mark Haddon

A summer read that is wrapped up in an intriguing mystery for the math‑minded.

A story of a young man who loves lists, patterns and truths, but hates the color yellow and being touched. He knows a lot of math, but little about human beings. Finding the neighbor’s dog murdered at the end of the road sets him onto a murder mystery like no other.

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Share your summer reads with us!
We’d love to hear what books you read and recommend. Share and tag us on Instagram, Facebook or X (formerly known as Twitter) @TIcalculators and tell us all about your own summer reading list.

Want to find more ideas for promoting math in the classroom? Join our TI Teacher Community Facebook group and exchange ideas with teachers like you.