When a boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it's not pretty. Of course, she isn't too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores.
Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
Encourage your child (or class) to tell the story using math vocabulary: "Half," "Whole," "Share," etc. Introduce the world "divide" by saying that each item is "divided equally."
Teacher Idea: We act out the MathStart stories. For "Give Me Half!," we cut out a circle for a pizza. We use juice boxes and cookies. Then we share them by halves and thirds. The kids need to clean up! I send home books during the year for kids and parents to read and share. We rotate them through the classroom. --Michelle Collins, Goodnoe Elementary School, Newtown, PA
Teacher Idea: I go into classrooms as a kind of coach/mentor/math guru. We try to tie math concepts and lessons to literature and it's so easy with the MathStart books. The kids can relate to the stories. "Give Me Half!" is one of my favorites. I always start out by asking: "Does anybody have a brother or sister that doesn't like to share with them?" You have that hook and the kids are thinking it's the coolest thing. They start to ask all kinds of questions like, "I have two brothers and so we cut it into threes and so what do you call that one?" It is just such a natural springboard for fractions. --Tracy Keegan, Topeka Public Schools, Topeka, KS