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It’s finally autumn, and here in Chicago that means there’s a feeling of foreboding in the air about when winter’s going to hit. A small comfort in the changing weather is that it offers some opportunities for winter math activities, specifically those that are relevant to students’ personal experiences.
Have some Halloween fun with the witch’s tale Room on the Broom. In this lively story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, a witch makes room for her animal friends to ride on her broomstick… until there’s one too many animals, and the broom snaps in two. The central question of this book – Is there room on the broom for me? – is a mathematical one.
One of the most classic images of the Halloween season is a witch’s magic pot or cauldron. Singing about witches’ brew and reading tales of magical pots can also be a great way to introduce math concepts… as long as you find the right book! Below are three of our favorite magic cauldron tales that could be introduced during the Halloween season (or any time) to spark discussion around important math ideas such as doubling, capacity, and measurement.