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Children's LiteratureWhat an undertaking. The former science and math teacher provides teachers of math, grades 3 through 8, with explanations and activities that adhere to National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards. These fun activities can supplement core classroom teaching. Teaching tips provide detailed, mostly-clear guidance on how to present new terms, plus answers to student activity problems. Student activities include definitions, practice problems with explanations and answers, and finally the "On Your Own" problems. There are also more scientific investigations where step-by step guidance allows students to solve problems and think about the reasons for the results. For example, in the numbers and operations section, activities demonstrate addition and subtraction on a number line, while multiplication activities include the coloring of squares on a grid. For division, students can investigate different ways of dividing the same paper into L-shaped boxes, one with a remainder and one without. The other main topics are algebra, measurement, geometry, and data analysis and probability. Materials required for all these activities are easily obtained: paper, pencils, crayons, rulers, beans, peanuts, etc. There are 34 chapters with more than 80 activities, plus a glossary and an index, which makes the book a worthwhile investment. The illustrations add to the fun of the book. There are so-called "extensions" provided to suggest more advanced investigations. Yet the book seems to be aimed at below grade 8. It is, nevertheless, quite an achievement to present seemingly complex topics like data analysis and probability to the middle grades. 2005, John Wiley & Sons, Ages 8 up.
—CarolRaker Collins, Ph.D.