School Library Journal
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Gr 4-8-A book designed to interest youngsters in math. Each activity is divided into three well-organized sections. "The Big Idea" provides a summary of the underlying concept, content areas (e.g., estimation, fractions, nonlinear relationships), thinking and learning skills (creativity, reasoning, problem solving), prerequisite knowledge and skills (multiplication, circumference measurement), age appropriateness, background about the mathematical idea, and helpful terms and definitions. "Making It Work" presents objectives, materials, step-by-step directions, assessment, and extension activities. The first two sections are directed to adults, but the final "Activity Sheet" portion is designed for use by kids, providing instructions and illustrations to help them work through the projects. Charts at the beginning summarize the topics treated and skills required for each activity. Some of the content areas covered are probability, spatial reasoning, mean value, circle measurement, volume, division models, rules of algebra, distributive property, fraction models, interpreting graphs, and infinity. Projects include manipulating pentominoes, building multidimensional models out of straws, and creating a fractal. Although Janice VanCleave's Math for Every Kid (Wiley, 1991) and Claudia Zaslavsky's Number Sense and Nonsense (Chicago Review, 2001) are similar in scope, Kajander's title provides math teachers with great hands-on ideas to reinforce concepts in unique ways. This book would also be helpful for math-motivated youngsters, parents, and home-schoolers.-Ann Joslin, Fort LeBoef School District, Waterford, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.