Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mentor Text...A Fair Bear Share

I'm linking up tonight with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text Memo. I love this linky party, because I never fail to learn about lots of great books that can help me make my teaching better! I've always thought the best way to start a math lesson was with reading, and when Stuart Murphy came on the scene a few years, okay, a lot of years back, I was in heart with him. One of the hardest skills for my second graders to understand is addition with regrouping. Now, don't be confused. They can do addition with regrouping, but they rarely understand why the algorithm works. And that really bothers me. Really bothers. So, I stopped teaching the algorithm altogether. So, I wouldn't necessarily introduce addition with regrouping with the book I'm going to show you tonight, but I love to use it after kids figure out that regrouping makes sense, on their own.

According to Stuart Murphy's website, this book is for kids aged six and older, but isn't in the seven and older category. I'm not sure I understand that, because this book is pretty tough and goes through a tough concept, but, hey, who am I to judge? Maybe it's the bears...too cute? I can't even guess, so I'll quit trying. Let me tell you about the book and give you a great link to check it out. Then you can decide.

Mother bear wants to make her famous pie, and needs several ingredients to be gathered from the forest and meadows. She sends her cubs out to get enough ingredients, but one cub is, shall we say, a little lazy? She'd rather eat and play than work to get what they need. For each ingredient, the other cubs' findings are added up. The pictures are a great representation of using expanded form to regroup, which is why I save it for later in my teaching. I do not give away that little gem of information! Trust me. The kids always get there, as long as they have a firm foundation in place value and truly understand the value of each digit.

Here's the link to the book's own page. For each of Stuart Murphy's books, there is a webpage, which always includes several activities for further exploring the concept taught within the pages. I love that, and often share them with parents. There are also usually printable PDFs for teachers, and they are perfect for us to use to follow up on the books. Love that, too!

Thanks for hosting, Amanda! Y'all have a great week this's our last one before the long-awaited Spring Break!!!



  1. I love Stuart Murphy, too. I hadn't read this title yet, but I'll be sharing it with my first graders. I love the visuals in the book.

  2. Oh my goodness!! I love your blog!! I just found it and I am your newest follower! From the colors to the super cute owls to quotes by my fave- Scarlett O'Hara- stop!! I can't wait to read more!!
    Keep Calm and Love First Grade


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