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reading resources

Carnival Counting can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The following reading guides provide some ways that parents, guardians and teachers can engage with children as they read this book, emphasizing both math and reading concepts and skills. 


At this age, children will love seeing the beautiful illustrations in this book while learning to count. One-to-one counting is a skill that children will learn in Kindergarten, so you can support your child by building these one-to-one counting skills by modeling pointing to the feet as you count by ones, emphasizing that the last number you say, is the total number of feet. For example, one, two, three, four, there are four feet standing in line! 

first grade

First graders are learning to love reading and may even be able to help you read this book with them! They should have a solid-foundation of one-to-one counting skills, and also learned to skip count by tens in Kindergarten, so they can count the feet in this book by ones or by twos. You can also encourage your child to look for other things on the page to count, such as flowers, balloons, flags, balls, roller coaster cars and more. If you look carefully, there are many things beyond the feet that can be counted in this book!  This is also a great age to focus on making predictions. Ask your child when they see the zoomed in picture of the feet "where do you think the feet are walking?" or "what kind of ride do you think the kids are on?"

third grade

Third graders will be building confidence with their independent reading skills, so this book can be read independently or with an adult. Encourage your child as they read to count the feet by twos, as well as the other things on the page, such as balloons, flowers and more. You can have your child find the total number of flowers in the entire book by keeping track and counting by two. Also, support your child in relating the feet on each page to a multiplication equation, such as 4 people x 2 feet each = 8 total feet. They can solve by skip counting by 2, by repeatedly adding 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 or they can use a multiplication strategy to solve. This book makes a great third-grade read aloud to launch the multiplication unit, or a specific focus on relating skip counting to multiplication! You can also ask questions to your child such as, what number is coming next? Or on the page wit the 2, 4 balloons, ask your child to think of what balloons come next in the sequence, and in the same way, on the page with the 16, 18, 20 balls, ask your child what were the previous numbers in the sequence. 


Your child will be engaged and excited to read this colorful book and will have fun imagining themselves at the fair. Support their one-to-one counting skills by pointing to the feet as you model counting the total feet on the page. Then have your child try counting with you, and eventually have them try counting by themselves. You can switch off pages and you can model counting the feet on one page, and have your child count the feet on the next page. Focus on one-to-one counting by ones. 

Second grade

Second graders may be able to read this book independently or with an adult. When reading with your child, encourage your child to count by twos as they see the feet on each page. As they see the feet introduced on each page, have your child make inferences about where the feet are or whose feet they are before turning the page to reveal the full picture. Also, you can have your child try counting other things on the page by two, such as flowers, balloons, flags and more! 

Fourth & Fifth Grade

Fourth and fifth graders are busy applying their multiplication understanding to larger problems, and even problems with fractions and decimals. However, this book is a great way to help fourth and fifth graders focus on the foundation of multiplication understanding, so that as they work with larger problems and more complex ideas, they can refer back to the core idea that multiplication is repeated addition and skip counting. As children read this book either independently or with a parent/guardian/teacher, encourage them to think beyond just counting by twos, and multiplication equations with two, but to look for factor pairs as well. So if there are 12 feet on the page, they can think of all the factor pairs that make 12, such as 2 x 6 and 3 x 4 and 12 x 1. This multiplication fluency practice will support them as they work with larger numbers as well as apply this understanding to decimals and fractions

What math educators and parents are saying about Carnival Counting:

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michelle contich, elementary principal

Carnival Counting is a beautiful picture book in which the author and illustrator transport you to a festive carnival as you count by 2’s. Reading and rereading this special book will develop your child’s number sense and build a strong foundation for mathematical thinking.  It is sure to become your child’s favorite that they will cherish from ages 2 to 10!

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