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

( 50 )

Overview

Do you dread doing math homework? Panic at the thought of a pop quiz? Or are you just bored to death by the subject? Don't sweat it-help is here!

In this runaway bestseller, actress and mathematician Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years, The West Wing) proves that math can be easy, relevant, and even glamorous, and gives you the tools to ace your next test.

With Danica as personal tutor and coach, even the most math-phobic student will finally ...

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Overview

Do you dread doing math homework? Panic at the thought of a pop quiz? Or are you just bored to death by the subject? Don't sweat it-help is here!

In this runaway bestseller, actress and mathematician Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years, The West Wing) proves that math can be easy, relevant, and even glamorous, and gives you the tools to ace your next test.

With Danica as personal tutor and coach, even the most math-phobic student will finally "get" fractions, decimals, rates, ratios, proportions, "solving for x," and more. Inside, you'll find: Time-saving tips and tricks for homework and tests, Real-world examples-from how understanding percents can make you a savvier shopper to how understanding proportions can make you a better chef!, Inspiring stories from Danica's own life as a terrified math student, a confident actress, and more, A Troubleshooting Guide to help you get "unstuck" and overcome your biggest math challenges.

Math Doesn't Suck even includes a math horoscope, math personality quizzes, and real-life testimonials! Why should math be a drag? Let Danica put you on the fast-track to math success.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594630392
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/2/2007
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 254,241
  • Age range: 10 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Danica McKellar

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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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Math Used to Totally Suck     xv
FAQs: How to Use This Book     xix
Factors and Multiples Don't Suck
How to Make a Killing on eBay: Prime Numbers and Prime Factorization     1
Do You Still Have a Crush on Him? ON THE COVER!: Finding the Greatest Common Factor (GCF)     13
You Can Never Have Too Many Shoes: Multiples and the Lowest Common Multiple (LCM)     26
Are You a Mathophobe? ON THE COVER!     33
Fractions Don't Suck
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pizza but Were Afraid to Ask: Introduction to Fractions and Mixed Numbers     38
How Many Iced Lattes Can These Actors Drink?: Multiplying and Dividing Fractions... and Reciprocals     51
When to Seriously Stop Raiding the Refrigerator: Equivalent Fractions and Reducing Fractions     61
Is Your Sister Trying to Cheat You Out of Your Fair Share?: Comparing Fractions     74
How Much Do You and Your Best Friend Have in Common?: Common Denominators... and Adding and Subtracting Fractions     85
Choosing the Perfect Necklace: Complex Fractions     95
Do You Have Trouble Focusing-Or Are You a "Focus Superstar"?     110
Decimals Don't Suck
What Every Savvy Shopper Should Know: All About Decimals     115
Why Calculators Would Make Terrible Boyfriends: Converting Fractions and Mixed Numbers toDecimals     136
How to Entertain Yourself While Babysitting a Devil Child: Converting Decimals to Fractions     150
What's Your Math Horoscope?: ON THE COVER! See What the Stars Say About You and Math!     157
Percents Join the Party... and They Don't Suck, Either
Sale of the Century!: Converting Percents to and from Decimals and Fractions     163
A Choreographed Performance: Mixing Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Together     176
Word Problems Don't Suck
The Universal Language of Love... and Math: Introduction to Word Problems and "Percent Of"/"Percent Off"     185
Does She Ever Get Off the Phone?: Ratios     194
The Perks of a Southern Drawl: Rates and Unit Rates     202
Filmmaker Extraordinaire!: Proportions     211
Are You Drinking Enough Water?: Unit Conversions     227
What's Your Learning Style?     235
Even Algebra Doesn't Suck
Who's the Cute New Foreign Exchange Student?: Introduction to "Solving for x"     241
Romeo and Juliet: Introduction to "Solving for x" in Word Problems     257
Troubleshooting Guide: Where to Turn When You Don't Know What to Do!     265
The Smart Girl's Resource Guide     281
Multiplication Tables     283
Answer Key     285
Index     294
About the Author      297
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Good for Adult 'Girls' too!!

    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.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2011

    THANK YOU LORD!!!!

    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

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book is way above my 12 year daughter. A disapointing book. Another needs to be written that would actually appeal to a math struggling 12 year old. Danice seems to have lost touch with her audience

    The book is written in fine print of the type found in college texts. It presents itself as intimidating and not as inviting as the cover art presented. I unfortunaely purchased this book online and was not able to view content before purchase. At a minimum the book my appeal to a high schoolewr or the highest functioning 8th grader but not to those who really need its help. The book is not recommended for your 12 or 13 year old

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Bought it for my daughter, read it myself

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    Why words help in math

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Made it to my Bookshelf!

    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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    This is a very helpful book

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Prepare before it is too late. Great tool but get both of Danica's books.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    Good reference for math

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    I love math!

    There is nothing wrong with incorporating good writing skills into a math lesson!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Wonderful for Teachers!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    Empower young women-give them this book!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2011

    love it!

    best book ever!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    Math Help

    Absolutely helps you on whatever

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good starting place + Entertaining.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2010

    confidence booster!

    I actually bought this book for my daughter, who is in fourth grade. I anticipated she would need this next year in middle school because she is quite introverted and sometimes doesn't ask questions in class because she doesn't want to look "stupid". After I got the book she started looking through it on her own, and has even started learning some of the math concepts out of it! Any book that can do that is tops in my eyes! My son, who is currently in fifth grade, has also started going through the book, mostly because he had to see what his sister was so interested in!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2010

    Math Doesn't Suck

    The book Math Doesn't Suck by Danica McKellar is very interesting book that describes math in a different way than just a regular math class would. McKellar relates to reality by comparing basic math and algebra to things that girls could relate to. For example she uses red high heels for comparing to one thing, then ex-boyfriends for another, and plenty more. Math has always been an easy subject for me, but after I finished reading this book I had a new understanding of some things. I really liked the book because it wasn't your normal novel that you have to read for school, it was a math book but yet it was good. From her comparing things in real life to the algebra, it was clearer to me and made me understand things better. I personally think that people who are having trouble with algebra should really read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Why didn't they have this when I was a kid?

    I have always struggled with math, so it wasn't long before my daughter's math homework started to outgrow me. It was embarrassing not to be able to help my preteen daughter with her math. Since she and I were both struggling, I decided to give this book a try. It is funny and interesting and puts math into terms that a girl can relate to. However, beyond that it makes math easier to understand. Concepts that I struggled with all through college suddenly became clear. McKellar explains the concepts in a clear and easy to follow manner. She gives tips that actually help and make sense. If your daughter is having any trouble in math, or even if you've gone back to college and are having trouble remembering the basics, buy this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    To new to rate

    I will give it to granddaughter in Sept.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    Math Doesn't Suck

    I love this book it let you have a new appreciation for math; even as an adult who did not like math It has made me loving the subject. This book is great and will encourage your child to improve the math skills. Great buy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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