Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

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by Danica McKellar
     
 

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From a well-known actress, math genius and popular contestant on "Dancing With The Stars"—a groundbreaking guide to mathematics for middle school girls, their parents, and educators

As the math education crisis in this country continues to make headlines, research continues to prove that it is in middle school when math scores begin to

Overview

From a well-known actress, math genius and popular contestant on "Dancing With The Stars"—a groundbreaking guide to mathematics for middle school girls, their parents, and educators

As the math education crisis in this country continues to make headlines, research continues to prove that it is in middle school when math scores begin to drop—especially for girls—in large part due to the relentless social conditioning that tells girls they “can’t do” math, and that math is “uncool.” Young girls today need strong female role models to embrace the idea that it’s okay to be smart—in fact, it’s sexy to be smart!

It’s Danica McKellar’s mission to be this role model, and demonstrate on a large scale that math doesn’t suck. In this fun and accessible guide, McKellar—dubbed a “math superstar” by The New York Times—gives girls and their parents the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more. The book features hip, real-world examples, step-by-step instruction, and engaging stories of Danica’s own childhood struggles in math (and stardom). In addition, borrowing from the style of today’s teen magazines, it even includes a Math Horoscope section, Math Personality Quizzes, and Real-Life Testimonials—ultimately revealing why math is easier and cooler than readers think.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Rachel Wadham
Whoever said that beauty and brains do not mix is proven completely wrong by this actress and mathematician's new book. McKellar, a UCLA math graduate, covers some of the most basic ideas of middle-grade math, including concepts relating to fractions, decimals, and ratios, making each comprehensible, interesting, and fun. Using real-world constructions, such as tangled necklaces, boyfriends, and pizza, concepts are thoroughly explained. Each topic is supported by practical and useful methods, plenty of examples, demonstrations of how to solve the problems, and problems for readers to solve along with their solutions. In addition, quotes from real girls, professional women, and insights from McKellar show that being smart is an important thing for girls and that it really enhances their beauty. Personality quizzes and horoscopes add a great pop-culture flair that allows for even more interactive connections with the topic. From using portions of the book for skill building to learning each concept in turn, math pros will find this book useful, but it will find special fans among those who struggle with mathematical concepts. Librarians and math teachers will need multiple copies of this fine work so that girls-and maybe even some boys-can discover what fun math can really be.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452289499
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
54,094
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Danica McKellar is the bestselling author of Kiss My Math, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, and, most recently, Girls Get Curves. Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and The New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem, which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.) Her passion for promoting girls’ math education began in 2000, when she was invited to speak before Congress on the importance of women in math and science. Since then, Danica has made it a priority to find time in her busy acting schedule to promote math education, often appearing around the country as a speaker at national mathematics conferences.

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Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 28 year old who has always hated math. After several years of falling behind my class and failing the subject repeatedly I finally decided I will just never 'get it'. Then I found this book. It's entertaining, easy, and I completely understand the lessons!! I am even looking for additional math exercises just so I can practice what I am learning! I can't believe it. I am so happy I would give Danica McKellar a huge hug if I had the chance.
Fable_Wright More than 1 year ago
Hi my name is Adriana, Im in 8th grade and i am absolutly loving math! Ahhh i cant believe i just said that! For years math has been my worst subject. I had always dreaded the day because of that one period. I would look at the math mumbo-jumbo and be like "Why does everybody get this and i cant???" In sixth grade i totally flunked the Florida, Comprehension, Assesment test (Fcat) and had to be placed in two math classes to make up for it. I learned alot in those two periods but was still not to sure about my FCAT. . . So one day my dad was at Barnes & Noble and he picked up this book, my first reaction to the title was "yes it does, geez are you stupid?" but i actually read the first chapter and it completly changed my look on math it taught me the basics i had completly missed in the 6th grade! once i learned these basics i read the next book and also fell completly in love! This year im at the top of my class and im now preparing for FCAT with her third book I LOVE IT! So basicly. . . Math Dosent Suck - 6th grade Kiss My Mat - 7th grade Hot X Algebra Exposed - 8th grade Hope I Helped
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 7th grade Geography teacher and I keep a library of books that are interesting to my students. Not just the regular 'teacher' style books. This one is on the shelf next to the Twilight series, a very, very high compliment in the 7th grade!
PennyNomenclature More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my 12-year-old daughter and wound up reading it myself. My daughter isn't a girly girl, so some of the examples were a little too cute for her, but, McKellar explains math concepts in a clear, easy-to-understand way, and gives little tricks and tips that I was unaware of that make concepts which can be difficult to understand fun to learn. I especially appreciated the chapter on percentages, which will come in very handy while shopping to figure out sale prices. This book will be great to reinforce my daughter's school lessons.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many times the reason a teacher asks for a written explanation is to ensure that the student understands the math they are using. It's often easy to put numbers into equations without really understanding what the math process is. For example, if the student can explain that 4 time 3 is acutally a shortcut to adding 4 three times, then it is apparent they understand the process as well as the solution. I don't think this makes it 'boy' or 'girl' math, just another way to try and make sure that the students are commprehending the material they are given.
Trixie25 More than 1 year ago
I am terrible at math and picked it up hoping that it would help me understand it so that I could teach it to my son, whom I homeschool. It is very easy to understand. She gives you an example and then gives you problems to try on your own (the answers are in the back). It's definitely geared toward girls, but I'm hoping to convert the examples from lipsticks to footballs! Thanks Danica!
jpchurch34 More than 1 year ago
I got this for my daughter and another for one of her friends, both of Danica's books. Then, just recently I bought 2 more sets of both books for 2 more of her friends! It is a very small investment to help some young girl get math before it is too late in their educational journey. Buy a set for some young girls you know! Public schools are not cutting it. Take an active role in your child's education.
RyRaeMom More than 1 year ago
My 6th grade daughter has struggled with math concepts for years. I bought her this book as a reference and as a fun way to think about math. She has referred to it on several occasions and enjoys the stories. My only hesitation about buying the book was the "s" word in tht title as I don't find that appropriate for this age but the material made me overlook it! I would recommend as a book to share together and use a reference to make math fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MrsRyan More than 1 year ago
I love this book for my classroom and can't wait to get her others! The book was easy to understand and gave me great relevant practice problems to give my students. I really want "Kiss My Math" and "Hot X: Algebra Exposed". Can't wait!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Math Doesn't Suck by Danica McKellar is a fun, energetic read highlighting the struggles of middle school math students. Ms. McKellar may be remembered as next door neighbor Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years". Unlike Winnie's confident demeanor, in Chapter 1 Ms. McKellar admits to suffering from a panic attack during a 7th grade math test. She writes that at the end of the testing period her paper was totally blank. During the 8th grade she began to feel more comfortable working with numbers and mathematical concepts, and by the time she graduated from high school she was accepted by UCLA as a math major. So competent in her studies that she now has a theorem named after her, she wanted to help other young women shed their fear and anxiety and come to feel accomplished in the math arena. In the course of the book Ms. McKellar offers a number of tips and tricks to make computations and processes easier to follow and remember. She tackles the question of who is stronger in math-males or females-head on. She offers that males feel more confident in math courses, and thus may perform at a higher level on tests, but that young women are logical and focused and possess the skills necessary to overcome their fears and to be strong math students. She also addresses the idea that being smart isn't cool. She points out that strong math skills make it possible for students to calculate their earnings when they have a job, calculate the discount on sale merchandise, figure out how long they will have to work to buy the car of their dreams. Being a strong math student isn't only cool-it's a necessity in life. I believe this is a great book for young women, but young men as well. I enjoyed reliving, relearning and reviewing the math operations I have not used for many years after leaving the classroom. I recommend this book very highly.
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Elva Marlene Perez More than 1 year ago
Absolutely helps you on whatever
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Matt2009 More than 1 year ago
I read this book cover to cover. Needed to re-teach myself math. Started with the Kiss My Math edition, but found some skills referred back to this first book. Author uses lots of stories and mnemonics to make math easier to remember. A lot of work went into making this book fun and educational.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago