Saturday, May 23, 2009

Living Math: Great Books

While our library is a bit small, and limited in some catagories I have access to every library in our state. That's right, I can scan our online card catalog and if I see a book, no matter which library it's in. I can put a hold on that book and my library will obtain it for me. It's like an inner library loan, without the hassle!

So, in my efforts to do living math I decided to scan the card catalog for books about math (called maths in my country), and was pleasantly surprised to see a vast range of books. I spent about two hours putting books on hold and wish lists and jotting others down. So for the past week I've been getting emails from my library telling me to come collect books galore.

Amongst many that I've added to our lists the Using Maths book series has been one of the best for the age levels I'm working with. These books are very awesome. They have some amazing pictures in them which has lots of kid appeal, and the math problems provided are true math problems people in these jobs encounter. The boys haven't been able to put them down since I brought them home today, and they can't wait to use them on Monday.

The Zookeeper book is loaded with simple yet interesting math facts. One of the more simple facts is: TanTan is six days old. Her black patches will start to grow when she is two weeks old. How many days are in two weeks? This math fact comes complete with a picture of a six day old giant panda cub. Some of the more "complicated ones" for littlies would be involving multiplication, but what a great way to introduce it.

Each book in the series puts the reader in the roll of a job that matches the title. Then you solve math problems that people in those jobs would really use each day. I love the fact that the learning is hands on, and shows the boys exactly how they'd use the math they are learning. They also ask such simple questions that will give the boys the ability to work out things that are really quite common, but they probably don't know the answers to off the top of their heads. ( Like Bella is 24 months old, how old is that in years.)

There's an entire series of these books too: Be a Zookeeper, Ocean Giants, Dinosaur Dig, Firefighers To The Rescue, Journey To The Moon, Treasures In The Jungle. They are put out by a company in London, and I suspect we'll be adding some of these to our maths collection.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up, will definately be looking these up in our library. Love your blog by the way - it is nice reading other peoples blogs who homeschool 2 boys.

Lori D said...

Thanks for the great book recommendations!! Those look fun. I found them at our library under slightly different titles-- they are "Math Adventures" instead of "Using Maths". We have used many MathStart Readers by Stuart Murphy, but these look even better!