Five books to build positive maths mindsets in Years 3 and 4

Having a positive mindset can help improve outcomes and understanding in all aspects of your child’s learning, including maths. Learning new things is challenging. You can support your child by helping them embrace challenges as a necessary part of learning and help them build resilience, perseverance and a positive mindset towards challenges.

3 books - Salt in his Shoes, Last to Finish and Fantastic Elastic Brain. 3 books - Salt in his Shoes, Last to Finish and Fantastic Elastic Brain.

Salt In His Shoes: Michael Jordan In Pursuit Of A Dream

Written by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

When Michael Jordan was a child, he almost gave up on being a basketball player because he feared he would never be tall enough. Then his parents taught him about patience, determination and hard work. This inspirational illustrated story is about how a family can work together to help a child achieve their dreams – true for almost all things when you want to feel more confident.

What Do You Do With A Problem?

Written by Kobi Yamada.

This picture book is about a persistent problem that follows a child around. The longer the problem is avoided, the larger it seems to get – isn’t that always the way? When the child finally musters up the courage to face the problem, it turns out to be something quite different all together. This profound story might just help your child uncover how brave they can be and how important it is to embrace challenges, no matter what format they come in.

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It

Written by JoAnn Deak PhD and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley.

Another excellent picture book for teaching your child that making mistakes can, in fact, be a great thing! Mistakes not only help your child grow their brain, they can be helpful for overcoming fears and helping to build courage – essential ingredients for working like a mathematician.

Last To Finish: A Story About The Smartest Boy In Math Class

Written by Barbara Esham and illustrated by Mike Gordon.

This heartfelt story follows Max who’s in Year 3. He used to think he was good at maths, now he’s convinced he’ll never memorise his multiplication facts and is always the last to finish his test.

Packed with rich life lessons about learning and individuality, this book will help your child realise that we all have different skills and the true test of ‘being smart’ isn’t memorising or speed, but rather persevering, building understanding and solving problems.

Rosie Revere, Engineer

Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts.

Let Rosie’s story and mission help your child see failure as an important stepping stone towards success. This triumphant book shares an important lesson: You only really fail when you quit. Like some of the most famous mathematicians of all time, you’re in great company when you need to keep persisting to achieve your goals.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more wisely.” - Henry Ford

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