Monday, January 12, 2009

Math Living Book Reviews

I really want to make math interesting in a real way to my son. I include him in most of the math I do to get through the day. He likes doing math worksheets now and enjoys his addition flash cards every once in while.

I love introducing new math topics by way of a story. We have read most of the Stuart J. Murphy Level 1 books more than once, and some of th Level 2 books. We even check out a Level 3 or 4 (can't remember now) book each spring called "Earth Day Hooray" which teaches recycling AND place value, even though he is just now starting to understand the idea of place value.

Grandfather Tang's Story by Ann Tompert is another book that I recently discovered. A granddaughter is playing with tangram puzzles with her grandfather and begs him to tell a story using the tangrams. The story he weaves is full of animals and they use their tangrams to make the animals in the story. The story itself is a story about friendship.

I know some people own sets of math manipulatives and probably own plastic or magnet tangram puzzles, but there is a page at the back that you can copy and cut out to have your own set. I enlarged my copy.

Samuel is 5 1/2 and this was a good introduction to using shapes. It was not easy for him and I had to help quite a bit, even though we had a pattern to follow, but he really enjoyed both the puzzles and the story.

The other book, Mathematicians Are People Too, is a great way to introduce math history. Each chapter tells of a different mathematician in history. The stories read like fiction and it really is interesting. My son enjoyed the first story about Thales; however, the next two chapters, while interesting to me, were just a little above him. I plan to check this out again in another 6 - 12 months and see how it goes over then.

1 comment:

  1. If you look under "math" on my blog and look at the older stuff, you might find some great living math stuff for your son. Also, I have a copy of Mathematicians are People, too and am getting ready to read it to my daughter. I've been reading it myself and love it!