math, Math, MATH

If you haven’t already run away screaming in sheer terror, I’m going to talk to you about math today —- something that makes most people really uncomfortable.

I was sent two books in the mail that should help make math a little more interesting. The first is…

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101 Things Everyone Should Know helps you understand how you use math ALL the time, sometimes without even realizing it. It makes connections to sports, hobbies, science, food, and travel. They TRY to take math principals and simplify them by using real-life explanations. . . however I disagree with the age rating on this book.

The author has this book rated Ages: 10-14 (Grade Level: 5-9) but I feel that is much too young. There is a wide range of topics, and some that even many of the kids I teach in grade 9 would struggle with, such as probabilities. I feel that this is more grade 7-12, with some that would possibly work for younger grades. I asked hubby – who’s a math wiz… and he also felt it was not grade 5 appropriate, nor grade 9 – even for gifted children, for some of the questions.

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My husband found that question 60 (as an example) was easy enough to solve, but the clue made it harder. They used different units, per box versus per case. It’s not really a mistake that was made.

For each question, there is an answer in the back of the book, so if you cannot solve it, you just have to find the right page.  One thing I do really like is that there is an index guide by subject area so if you are teaching geometry, for example, you can find more than 20 pages of questions. Also, there is a basic glossary and some formulas in the book as well to help you out.

Husband — did I mention he’s a smart cookie? — noticed the questions start easy and get harder. So the first questions are 5-8 type grade level (depending on the level of your kids) and get harder from there.

 

The second book is

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One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math! 

Also geared to ages 10-14 (grade 5-9). This one, I agree more with the age approximation. These are short, mostly one page stories, where you need to use math to solve some kind of problem.

I personally like this book a lot more than the first. They are quick, real life problems that I think are more child friendly. I could see this being used in a classroom as a daily/weekly math riddles. Give the kids 5-10 minutes to work on this as bell work even, when they come in at the start of the day or after recess.

Another feature I appreciate in this book, is that immediately, on the next page, is the answer to the 1 minute mystery. So you don’t need to have the back bookmarked to see if you guessed right.

There are four sections to the book – math at: Home, outside, play and everyday. There is also some bonus questions included —

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