The Strength of Synergy

When Zero, the circular number with absolutely no value at all, looks at herself, she feels totally “empty inside.” Try as she may to measure up by altering her shape and size, in the end she’s still a Zero.  She wants to count like the other numbers, but how? Journey with Zero (by Kathryn Otoshi) as she makes friends with the other numbers and ultimately figures out what she's really worth.
  This book reminds me of the two-horse rule that Mr. Whitlock used to launch us from our Monday Merger day.  The question was: if one horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse pulls 800 pounds, what will they pull when they're yoked? Surprisingly, the two-horse team will pull their own weight plus the weight of their interaction for a total of 3000 pounds.  
   Your little mathematicians will be empowered and grow with this book when they understand how much more "weight" Zero can carry yoked to the other numbers.  Use it to talk with them not only about the value of numbers and counting by tens, but also about the synergistic momentum that supporting one another and working together as a team generates.  Partner and small group your students often this year and get ready to feel the synergy.


  1. I love this book. I talk to my kids about not having to change to fit in; it is ok who you are; you are unique and special; cooperate with others and good things happen. Thanks for tipping me off to this great book and ONE.

  2. Oh, yes - the author's first book (ONE) is about the power of ONE because the number 1 dared to take a stand and make a difference when RED was taunting and teasing. It's another keeper!


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