Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math, from Kindergarten to Third Gradeby Peggy Kaye

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  • Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math, from Kindergarten to ThirdGrade by Peggy KayeReview by: F. Alexander NormanThe Arithmetic Teacher, Vol. 36, No. 9 (May 1989), p. 32Published by: National Council of Teachers of MathematicsStable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 02:19

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  • guesses), and draw conclusions about their graphs.

    Daily Math Adventures is appropriate for grades 3-8. Problems may be assigned daily for mathematical motivation or on a weekly basis to individuals, partners, or small groups. Stu- dents should understand each problem before attempting to solve it. Encouraging students to estimate the answer before solving is a "good first step." Short discussions before and after problems are worked are important. During post-solution discussions, the teacher should probe how students solved problems and dis- cuss several possible methods to solve the problems.

    For teachers who want to incorporate more problem-solving activities in the curriculum, Daily Math Adventures is a good supplemental resource. It is similar to Cook's other problem- solving books, but the problems are not as tricky as the "stumper" problems. Students work with familiar items (menus, newspapers, etc.), but in interesting and entertaining situa- tions. They also gain an appreciation of num- bers and learn ways to express and use them. Students learn how to think in new ways about solving problems, and that's the best reason for using the book. - Eva Lightner, East Arcadia School, Riegelwood, NC 28456.

    Experimenting with Numbers, Mar- garet Stern. 1988, 60 pp., $4 paper. ISBN 0-8388-7078-3. Educators Publishing Service, 75 Moulton St., Cambridge, MA 02238-9101.

    I found the ideas in Experimenting with Num- bers by Margaret Stern to be very well pre- sented. I thought that the games were easily understood, and I appreciated both the pictures depicting each game and the short description of each game, complete on one page. I would be able to leave the book open on my desk and quickly review the game or activity immedi- ately prior to doing it.

    I also appreciated the way Stern explained other uses of the book; for example, language, auditory-memory, fine-motor, and reading- readiness activities were described in the man- ual. Such suggestions would be particularly useful to beginning teachers who may need ideas on fostering cooperation and concentra- tion.

    It was obvious that a great deal of work had been put into this book. I was impressed by the goals and objectives that were explained for each section. The clear explanations let the teacher know exactly what the students are to learn from each activity.

    My only concern about the book is the avail- ability of the specific materials described. Was a kit of materials available for the teachers and students who "tried out" the activities? I don't have access to those particular materials, so I would be unable to present the activities to my class.

    This book would be a very good source for a teacher of preschool and kindergarten children. The beginning activities are very concrete and gradually work up to the abstract. I teach extended day kindergarten and would have students at both the concrete and the abstract


    levels because of differences in abilities. This book offers activities for both levels.

    The activities were definitely designed for small-group use. This constraint could be diffi- cult for a teacher with many students; it is necessary for the rest of the class to be able to work independently while the teacher is work- ing with a small group.

    I think that the activities in this book work particularly well for low-ability children or those having trouble. Each section has a variety of activities and ideas. The child who needs extra help needs small-group or individual work; these activities are designed to offer such individual attention. Also, it is important that a child try each activity until he or she gets it right; this concept is reinforced in the book.

    I enjoyed previewing Experimenting with Numbers. I thought that the book had many good ideas, and I would use many of the various activities if the materials were available. - Sharon S. Olson, Stewart School, Toledo, OH 43602.

    Figurai Mind Benders, Books A-1, B-1, and C-1, Richard S. Bronniche. 1987, 28 pp., $5.95 ea. paper. ISBN 0-89455-351-8, Book A-1 ; ISBN 0-89455-352-6, Book B-1 ; ISBN 0-89455-353-4, Book C-1. Midwest Publica- tions, P.O. Box 448, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.

    This series offers books at three ability levels, A-1, B-1, and C-1. Book A-1 (easy) contains twenty-eight visual puzzles to furnish beginning practice with deductive reasoning with geomet- ric shapes. All the puzzles have the same for- mat. Four rows of geometric shapes are given with clues as to how many of the shapes are correct and how many are also in the correct position. Each solution consists of a triangle, a square, and another triangle that meet the given conditions.

    Book B-1 (medium) contains twenty puzzles similar to those in A-1 ; however, the midlevel puzzles can have more than one solution or no solution. The book also has eight single-solu- tion puzzles with seven rows of clues and a four-shape solution.

    Book C-1 (hard) has twenty-eight puzzles with seven clues and a four-shape solution. The cover of C-1 states that the puzzles can have one answer or many possible solutions. How- ever, the book contains only single-solution puzzles.

    Below each puzzle all three books furnish geometric shapes that can be cut out and used to test conditions as the solver reasons. Each book has a sample solution in the introduction and an answer key. The same sample solution, demonstrating a puzzle of A-1 difficulty, ap- pears in all three books.

    The authors do not indicate a grade level for the series. The puzzles can be used in middle grades with students who are ready for logical reasoning. Although limited to only one format of puzzle, the books can also be used to help build problem-solving skills along with logical reasoning skills. The series would be a good resource to have available to challenge those students who always finish their classwork! - Ann R. Crawford, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

    Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math, from Kindergarten to Third Grade, Peggy Kaye. 1987, xix + 236 pp., $8.95 paper. ISBN 0-394-75510-3. Pantheon Books, 201 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022.

    Games for Math is a collection ot dozens ot different mathematics games for children. Writ- ing with K-3 students in mind, the author offers some old standards (such as tangram games) as well as many fascinating new games. The activ- ities, from number and arithmetic games to geometric and strategic ones, cover a wide range of mathematical concepts. The book in- cludes games for individuals and for groups of two or more, and one will find these games in a variety of forms - paper folding, playing cards, cutting and pasting, drawing, calculator and computer activities, kitchen games, role play- ing, and more. No single entry is "typical," but the typical format includes an illustrated de- scription of the game (including rules, required materials, directions for making the game, etc.) and suggestions for how to use the game in class or at home.

    This delightfully written book should prove to be an extremely valuable resource for teach- ers in the primary grades and for parents of young children. No one can argue that children love to play games and respond positively in gaming situations. The reader will be pleased by a collection of games that are not only enter- taining but intelligent and creative as well. I plan to keep my review copy handy for use with my own children! - F. Alexander Norman, Uni- versity of North Carolina at Charlotte, Char- lotte, NC 28223.

    GirlS into MathS Can GO, Leone Burton, ed. 1986, x + 257 pp., $6.95 paper. ISBN 0-03-910687-X. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1 St. Anne's Rd., Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3UN, England.

    In Girls into Maths Can Go, the editor has selected a series of eighteen articles, each of which emphasizes a different aspect of the effects of discriminatory practices in British schools on girls' mathematical learning.

    The book is divided into two major sections. Articles contained in section 1 define the prob- lem, whereas those in section 2 offer sugges- tions to teachers for how to counteract the effects of such discriminatory practices. The teacher (reader) is encouraged to reflect on the implications in the articles for his or her own teaching practices.

    The book includes articles that delineate the scope of the discriminatory practices that edu- cators, through a lack of awareness or knowl- edge, inadvertently continue to use, thus per- petuating the problem. The perception of attitudinal differences between the sexes, the influence of gender roles at home and school, the male-dominated composition of primary- level mathematics books, and the negative im- plications of careers in mathematics for girls represent the topics addressed by the various articles.

    Although each article presents only a super- ficial overview of one or more aspects of the

    Arithmetic Teacher

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    Article Contentsp. 32

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Arithmetic Teacher, Vol. 36, No. 9 (May 1989), pp. 1-44Front MatterThe NCTM "Standards"Challenges for AllClassrooms [pp. 4-7]Readers' Dialogue [pp. 8, 44]Correction: The Struggle to Link Written Symbols with Understandings: An Update [pp. 44-44]Principles for Principals: Planning for1989-90 [pp. 9-9]One Point of View: Calculating the Influence of Tests onInstruction [pp. 10-11]From the File [pp. 11-11]Body Measurement [pp. 12-15]Teaching Mathematics with Technology: ProbabilitySimulations [pp. 16-18]Ideas [pp. 19-24]Research into PracticeStory Problems and Students' Strategies [pp. 25-26]

    Essential Mathematics for the Twenty-first Century: ThePosition of the National Council of Supervisors ofMathematics [pp. 27-29]Reviewing and ViewingComputer MaterialsReview: untitled [pp. 30-30]Review: untitled [pp. 30-31]

    New BooksFor TeachersReview: untitled [pp. 31-31]Review: untitled [pp. 31-31]Review: untitled [pp. 31-32]Review: untitled [pp. 32-32]Review: untitled [pp. 32-32]Review: untitled [pp. 32-32]Review: untitled [pp. 32-33]Review: untitled [pp. 33-33]Review: untitled [pp. 33-34]Review: untitled [pp. 34-34]Review: untitled [pp. 34-34]Review: untitled [pp. 34-34]Review: untitled [pp. 34-35]Review: untitled [pp. 35-35]Review: untitled [pp. 35-35]Review: untitled [pp. 35-35]

    Back Matter


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