#58 Using Math Infused Stories to Teach Elementary School Math With Lynda Brennan

allison loves math podcast Dec 07, 2021

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 What is the best way to feed veggies to kids?  Wrap them up with their favorite food and then watch them enjoy it. 

Similarly, what is the best way to teach math to kids? Wrap it up in a story and watch the learning unfold. 

Today’s episode is an exciting one! I interview educator, math storyteller and author, Lynda Brennan. Lynda is the founder of the Math MileMarkers® series, creator of the "Make 10" Games produced by Nasco, and a 2020 New York State Finalist for the Presidential Award in Mathematics. An elementary teacher with over 20 years experience, currently working as an elementary math specialist in a Title 1 NYS public school, Lynda shares books and ideas that will help your students and kids to love and learn math through relevant, interesting, math-infused stories.


Allison and Lynda discuss:

  • Jayla The Number Navigator and using stories to strengthen student understanding of number line [2.50] 
  • What math infused stories are and how they can help elementary school students to learn and love math [6.50]
  • On My Way To Grandma’s House and the long-term benefits of using stories to teach rounding numbers [8.50]
  • Louie Lucky Looker and using stories to teach both division skills and problem solving  [15.55]


  • Stories convey enthusiasm for kids and give us the way to involve them in math and let it unfold for them. 
  • It is not just solving math problems, it is problem-solving. It is making kids be great critical thinkers.
  • It is not about reading the book from cover to cover. It is about using these characters to establish meaning to create a visual model that allows kids to connect with and fall back on.
  • It is not learning math. It is about making sense of the math around them. 

Lynda's Resources

Allison's Books

  • Raise your Math Grade: Get this FREE short book, which is a toughen-up math manifesto mixed with you-can-do-it enthusiasm. It is an open educational resource, meaning you can share it freely with friends, students, and colleagues. 
  • Crush Math Now Order this best-selling Amazon book! It is a study guide packed with all the advice Allison has given students over the years on math mindset, study skills, and test-taking strategies.
  • Love Math Journal: Get this growth mindset journal to help 4th-8th grade students to succeed in and love math. This journal is co-authored by Allison and Nicole Thomson, who had been on Episode# 44 Using Gratitude to Help Students Overcome Math Anxiety.

Connect with Allison