Math - Supplement

Addition Songs

Copyright:
1998
Publisher:
Audio Memory
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Audio Tape
Supplement
CD Audio
Review:

Audio Memory offers math audio tapes and CDs for practicing "Math Facts" in Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication. (Sold separately from each other). These are Math drills set to music (of the synthesized variety). Although these make for an easy memorization aid, I found the songs almost unbearably sappy. (My children did like them though.)

Reviewed By:
Alicia Van Hecke
Review Date:
5-13-2000
Available From:
Audio Memory

Catholic Math Activities

Book cover: 'Catholic Math Activities'
Author(s):
Mary Ann Grobbel
Copyright:
1999
Publisher:
Catholic Heritage Curricula
Binding:
Softcover
Number of pages:
102 pages
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Supplement
Review:

If you're looking for a way to liven up your math program or to bring in some painless math review you have to pick up this book. Catholic Math Activities provides dozens of math games that children actually enjoy playing and almost all of them only require dice and simple home-made material. The author makes use of children's interests by revolving the games around things such as baseball cards and animals. What really pleased me about this program is the clever way our Catholic faith was brought into these games. Some of the games revolve around a short story involving our faith, bible stories (e.g. Noah's Ark and 2 by 2) and simple Catholic sayings to name a few. I was especially delighted that this book provides games for such a wide range of ages and with a text that is simple enough that an older sibling can read the instructions and then go on to play the game with the younger child. Topping off the program are 40 nicely hand-drawn illustrations of saints. Each saint is accompanied with a short biography and math problems which, when solved, give the child information as to how the picture should be colored. This is definitely a new twist on color by number and one that my children have enjoyed.

Perspective:
Catholic
Additional notes:
Binding details: softcover (stapled)
Reviewed By:
Andrea Chen
Review Date:
3-9-01

Doing Simple Math in Your Head

Book cover: 'Doing Simple Math in Your Head'
Author(s):
W.J. Howard
Copyright:
1992
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press
Number of pages:
130 pages
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Supplement
Review:

What fun! Doing Simple Math in Your Head compiles all sorts of amazing mathematical tricks into one diaper-bag-sized book, ready for those odd moments spent in waiting rooms and restaurants. Have you ever needed to figure a tip quickly, without resorting to writing on the napkin? Have you ever wondered how others can convert fractions to decimals so quickly? Have you ever worried that your receipt was not computed correctly but didn't have a calculator available to check it quickly? After working through this book, you will have an arsenal of tricks available to do these things in your head, quickly and accurately.

According to Mr. Howard, "being able to do problems in your head is basically being able to simplify. When you can do that, the rest is easy." He leads us through three chapters, elegantly and simply teaching us how to look at things differently so that they become easier. The book begins with an Introduction that describes how these methods are different from what we learned from our schoolbooks. This is followed by three chapters titled "Making Things Easier", "Problems and Solutions", and "Background: Basic Arithmetic". The book closes with an Index and a Glossary of technical "math" words that are not necessarily used in the book but which should be understood. The book is organized with subtitles at the top of each page, allowing you to skim quickly to find the topic you need or to browse until you find an interesting topic to study. Spending a few hours practicing the techniques taught in this book will make practical, everyday math much easier!

Reviewed By:
Susan Kalis
Review Date:
7-11-05

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics

Author(s):
Norton Juster
Copyright:
1963
Publisher:
Sea Star Books
Binding:
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages:
70 pages
Subject(s):
Thinking Skills
Math
Grade / Age level:
All ages
Resource Type:
Supplement
Review:

Freedom is not a license for chaos. is my son's signature below his email messages. It was written by Norton Juster, of The Phantom Toolbooth fame, and it comes from our almost-17-year-old's favorite book.

The phrase is the turning point and premise of this amazing, simply delightful little Math book. Math? That is our son's most disliked subject. Wait, The Dot and the Line is not a Math book! It is a hilarious comedy! But is that all? It is a romance, a story of love deeply felt, pursued, capable of provoking great things in the soul. In a little math book? Is it possible? Yes, it is.

Our classic languages-loving son reads it aloud every time this book visits us from the library. He suffers with the straight, dull and unbending line when driven to the "edge" (of the paper-- the line is drawn on the edge of the page) as the "perfect by every measure" dot flirts around with the anarchist, slothful squiggle. Moved by great love, the line at first attempts to show its own grandeur by asserting its importance in art, world politics, sports. To no avail: the dot is not impressed. Then the unimaginable happens: when almost giving up, the line, using great concentration, becomes able to make angles!

What follows next is what makes this little book a great book: the enthusiastic line makes more and more angles in a chaotic frenzy, until... it realizes that chaos without order leads nowhere. It stops, straightens itself again and it discovers that freedom is not a license for chaos. From then on, life changes for the line: exercising great control and virtue, it discovers a new world:

For months he practiced in secret. Soon he was making squares and triangles, hexagons, parallelograms, rhomboids, polyhedrons, trapezoids, parallelepiped, decagons, tetragrams and an infinite number of other shapes so complex that he had to letter his sides and angles to keep his place. Before long he had learned to carefully control ellipses, circles and complex curves...

Ah, the virtue of Mathematics! The beauty of its exact angles and dimensions. The rhythm, art and music of what it is able to create, using exercise and order! I will refrain from spoiling it completely for the new reader, but let me repeat the "moral" of the story: to the vector, the spoils.

The back jacket, after telling us that the author, among other things, runs "a support group for negative numbers" (one can glimpse Mr. Juster's opinion of the state of the culture in the 60s) mentions an award winning film, and I found it on You Tube. I was happy to see that that the screenplay was also written by the author but I warn you that the book is much better. This new edition has wonderful graphics and some different pictures as well.

Reviewed By:
Ana Braga-Henebry
Review Date:
4-21-09
Available From:
your local library
Available From:
your local bookstore

Great Estimations

Author(s):
Bruce Goldstone
Copyright:
2006
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Company
Binding:
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages:
32 pages
Subject(s):
Math
Grade / Age level:
Elementary
Resource Type:
Supplement
Review:

Great Estimations is an eye-popping introduction to the art of, or perhaps the science of, mathematical estimation. Bold colors and clear photographs are used to demonstrate simple, concrete approaches to an abstract mathematical concept. Penguins and pennies. Jelly beans and elbow macaroni. Plastic shoes and paper clips. Practice the techniques for eye training and the methods for clump counting and box counting. Then you can estimate how many of them there are - maybe before your young student does! If you get stuck, use the hint box at the bottom of the page for suggested methods, answers, and applications. This is a winning addition to your living math bookshelf!

Reviewed By:
Susan Kalis
Review Date:
3-17-2007
Available From:
your local library
Available From:
your local bookstore

The Joy of Mathematics

Book cover: 'The Joy of Mathematics'
Author(s):
Theoni Pappas
Copyright:
1989
Publisher:
Wide World Publishing
Binding:
Softcover
Number of pages:
240 pages
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Supplement
Review:

This book is very good at what it does. However, you have to read the introduction to find out what it does. It is NOT a math textbook. And it is NOT a math program. You'd have to be a real geek to read it cover to cover. This is full of 1 (sometimes 2) page math things of all sorts. Little vignettes into the world of math. As such it introduces the reader to a number of things that he might not otherwise encounter. In fact, I am an engineer (lots'o'math) and I saw new and interesting things in here! Some of these are little games (answers in the back). Some are just fun to look at and ponder (many geometric things are this way). Some include little histories of a problem or mathematician.

What this book will probably do at some point is lead you to investigate some of these math ideas more deeply elsewhere. This is good! It sparks a good kind of excitement and wonder about math that everyone should be happy to experience now and then. Therefore, adult readers and capable children (decent readers but not necessarily good or enthusiastic about math) should both enjoy picking up this book a few times a week. For this reason this would be an excellent bathroom book.

Reviewed By:
John Van Hecke
Review Date:
1-3-05
Available From:
Emmanuel Books

Math Talk: mathematical ideas in poems for two voices

Book cover: 'Math Talk: mathematical ideas in poems for two voices'
Author(s):
Theoni Pappas
ISBN:
933174748
Copyright:
1999
Publisher:
Wide World Publishing/Tetra
Binding:
Softcover
Number of pages:
71 pages
Subject(s):
Math
Grade / Age level:
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
High School
Resource Type:
Supplement
Review:

I have long been a fan of the poems for two voices books by Paul Fleischman. This book puts a twist on the idea by covering math topics in poems. It's a really unique and engaging way to memorize a math concept, reciting it as a poem. A poem for two voices is a poem recited by two people where sometimes the same words are said in tandem, sometimes alternately, and sometimes, the speakers speak at the same time saying different things.

Here is a sample of part of a poem from the book: (The first column is the first speaker and the second column, the second - shown smaller than actual size)

Some of the math concepts in the poems are fairly simple ideas that would pertain to a grammar school student, however most of the ideas are for middle schoolers or high schoolers. There were a few math concepts I had never heard of, such as fractals, (the geometry of nature), Fibonacci numbers (adding the last two numbers in a series to give the next number), and Mobius strips (circular strip with a twist in it).

While you don't learn everything you need to know about the math concepts in the poems, you get an introduction to the idea and the basic or interesting facts. For tessellations, the reader learns that not all figures tessellate; for triangles, the reader learns that the angles in the figure must equal 180 degrees. Some of the accompanying illustrations are also instructive. I could not have visualized the Mobius strip without the drawing of it.

This is a fun way to talk about these concepts. Trying to say the poems as a team takes a lot of concentration and brings a lot of laughs along the way. The book would make a great addition to a living math program or be a nice break from a formal textbook program.

Recommended for grades 4-12

Reviewed By:
Margot Davidson
Review Date:
6-21-05

Multiplication Songs

Book cover: 'Multiplication Songs'
Copyright:
1998
Publisher:
Audio Memory
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Audio Tape
Supplement
CD Audio
Review:

Audio Memory offers math audio tapes and CDs for practicing "Math Facts" in Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication. (Sold separately from each other). These are Math drills set to music (of the synthesized variety). Although these make for an easy memorization aid, I found the songs almost unbearably sappy. (My children did like them though.)

Reviewed By:
Alicia Van Hecke
Review Date:
5-13-2000
Available From:
Audio Memory

Skip Counting Songs and Addition Facts Songs

Author(s):
Richard Demme
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Audio Tape
Supplement
Review:

Audio tape designed to help children with some addition "math facts" and with skip counting as a preparation for multiplication further down the road. Simple songs are sung without accompaniment to familiar tunes. The tunes are rather catchy and we find ourselves regularly singing them around the house. (Such as the "9s" - 9, 18 and 27, 36 and 45, 54 and 63, 72 and 81, nine of them, round the sun, make their orbit one by one, nine of them, round the sun and counting them is fun). One side of the tape includes all of the songs sung by a simple tenor voice. The other side has the same songs played at a faster speed (which sounds something like "Alvin and the Chipmunks" for you Generation Xers.) There is another tape which I haven't reviewed which uses Biblical themes and tunes for the songs.

Reviewed By:
Alicia Van Hecke
Review Date:
1999
Available From:
Math-U-See

Subtraction Songs

Copyright:
1998
Publisher:
Audio Memory
Subject(s):
Math
Resource Type:
Audio Tape
Supplement
CD Audio
Review:

Audio Memory offers math audio tapes and CDs for practicing "Math Facts" in Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication. (Sold separately from each other). These are Math drills set to music (of the synthesized variety). Although these make for an easy memorization aid, I found the songs almost unbearably sappy. (My children did like them though.)

Reviewed By:
Alicia Van Hecke
Review Date:
5-13-2000
Available From:
Audio Memory
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