Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply

Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439210447
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 08/12/2002
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 162,568
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.41(d)
Lexile: AD520L (what's this?)
Age Range: 7 - 10 Years

Interviews

An Interview with Greg Tang
Q. How did you get started on your mission to change the way kids think about math?

A. Several years ago, I went back to school to become a high school math teacher. While I was student teaching in New York City, I realized that many of the difficulties my students were having with algebra could be traced back to the way they were taught arithmetic, through repetition and memorization. I also came to believe that this traditional way of teaching was the reason why many students did not like or enjoy math. I set out to try to change things, and since then have been working to develop an intuitive approach to math that is based on common sense, creative thinking, and fun!

Q. Your books all use riddles and art to "teach" math, which is a very different approach than in most classrooms. Why do you think this approach is important?

A. I think that for kids to be good in anything, including math, they've got to like it. So we need to do our best to make math fun and exciting. When we teach reading we use storybooks filled with colorful pictures. When we teach science we conduct lively, hands-on experiments. In teaching math, I believe integrating language and art is critical. Words and images have the power to communicate mathematical reasoning and insight, and at the same time make connections to a world of things -- nature, science, stories, and art -- that matter to kids. I use poems in my books because I think kids enjoy and appreciate clever rhymes. I also think it's important to add a game element to learning, which I incorporate through riddles.

Q. Of the three books you've published so far, two titles, The Grapes of Math and The Best of Times are for ages 7-10, and one, Math for All Seasons, is for ages 5-8. How do you see kids at these different age levels using these books?

A. Math For All Seasons is great for younger kids (ages 5-8) who are making the transition from counting to arithmetic. This book teaches intuitive ways to group and add numbers, and begins laying the foundation for higher math by introducing simple but important problem-solving strategies. For kids who are a little older (7-10), The Grapes of Math offers a fun and challenging way to sharpen both computational and problem-solving skills. Kids (and adults!) seem to really enjoy solving the riddles, which are also designed to help smooth the transition from adding to multiplying. When kids are ready for multiplication, The Best of Times (ages 7-10) offers an intuitive approach to mastering the times tables. Instead of taking a short-term strategy based on repetition and memorization, the focus of this book is on helping children develop a deeper level of understanding. This book teaches kids to multiply numbers of any size quickly in their heads, and from my experience, they really have fun doing it!

Customer Reviews

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Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Best of Times is a wonderful teacher resource to introduce the concept of multiplication and ideal for parents to read with their own kids. What I like most about this book is that it teaches children to work out problems, to make connections, and to use different strategies, rather than to rely on the mundane process of memorization of math facts. By solely memorizing facts, no learning takes place! And students won't be able to transfer their learning to different situations that they come across. To be a successful problem-solver, students need a bank of strategies to draw from - this book meets that need. Greg Tang has the wonderful gift of making math "make sense" for kids!
Ronneisha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book can help students with multiplying. It shows different examples of how they can learn to multiply. I liked how he had a poem for every number before he showed the examples. He showed how 2 can be used to determine each numbers. Not only did the words and examples catch my attention, but the illustrations did too.
kratzerliz23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book talks about learning the multiplication table without having to memorize them the old fashioned way.For a child just beginning to learn the multiplication tables this book would be helpful. It would be most helpful to those who have a hard time memorizing facts. But beware, even though the tables are not memorized the old fashioned way, a student must memorize or remember the rules for multiplying 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, etc. Each number has a specific set of rules. In order for a student to learn multiplication he/she must either memorize the rules in this book or memorize the tables the old way. The book does allow for a child to understand what multiplication really means rather than just memorizing facts and the answers.The practice tables depicted at the end of this book helped to bring the author's way of learning them easier to understand. I make my students memorize the times tables by writing and reciting drills. I thing it would be good to introduce the way this author suggests to learn them at the beginning of a new school year. I would like to try this method next school year.
ssandoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Best of Times is a book that includes short rhymes, one to a page, that tell students how to multiply by numbers one through twelve. As the book precedes students observe the wide variety of animals that Tang uses to show them that multiplication is more than memorization!I would recommend this book to students in grades second and third. The author's use of visual representations allows readers to not only see multiplication equations but to also see their answers presented in a novel way - through street signs, dancing and fruit! At the bottom of every page there is a Challenge question that asks students to use the poem and illustrations to answer a new question that pertains to multiplication by that specific number. This allows students to continuously practice their multiplication of both small and large numbers. While it focuses solely on multiplication it teaches it through authentic experiences - such as the use of money or playing cards - so students can see the importance of knowing their times tables for everyday life. Manipulatives can also be paired with this book - students could use actual playing cards or coins - to follow along with the books poems and problems in the classroom or at home. Also, at the end of the book it includes miniature "practice tables" for students to reference and check their answers from earlier in the book. These tables could also be used to review times tables on a weekly basis because they include not only multiplying by 1-12 but also larger two digit numbers (such as 34) as well!
momma2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This started out fun like the previous books by this author however things got a little complicated. When presenting multiplication by five they ask the reader to first multiply by 10, something they don't cover until several pages later. And the trick for seven just seemed cumbersome. Otherwise a good book with good tips.
Edwardlynn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tang's text makes for a fun read-along, and illustrator Harry Briggs keeps things interesting with his computer-generated, animal-inspired pictures, with dancing chickens, ice-cream-flinging monkeys, and a fortunetelling cat. Each section ends with a couple of challenges, and a key in the back spells out all the answers
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A book that teaches math using rhymes and puzzles kids enjoy figuring out. A popular book in our school library, with groups of kids often working out the problems together.