Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kiss my math! Get it?

A friend recently asked if I'd consider blogging about math because her daughter hates math and she's feeling desperate for ideas. At some point kids begin to understand that math plays a role in our everyday lives - from shopping to adding up the check in a restaurant to following scores, stats and standings. But when you're in the middle of a math meltdown, none of this seems to matter.

My family is a very pro-Tylenol family. We concluded long ago that there's a Tylenol for virtually every ailment and once you match the ailment with the specialized Tylenol capsule, you're off to the races. Yes, regardless of what's ailing you, there's a Tylenol for that. Since books became such a big part of my professional life a little over four years ago, my new refrain is - say it with me - there's a BOOK for that. Believe it or not, books can even make math fun. Here are a few favorites:

Maybe we should start saying, "There's a Scieszka for that". This one's a brilliant Jon Scieszka/Lane Smith collaboration that's a winner for 4-8 year olds (and still a fun read for 8-12 year olds). 

Greg Tang's book is perfect for 7-11 year olds. Tang has a solid list of fun math titles,
including Math-terpieces and  Math for All Seasons

The Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander comprises great stories that just happen to have math lessons built in. A great choice for 8-11 year olds

Finally, once kids head into middle school, they might enjoy any of the several books written by Danica McKellar. You may know this math whiz best as Winnie from The Wonder years but this young woman loves math and she can write and your kids may enjoy the fact that she was once a famous TV star.
Her titles, Kiss My Math, Math Doesn't Suck and Hot X: Algebra Exposed just may turn your middle schooler on to the cooler side of math.

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