Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Math Lessons for Different Ages

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

I promised to share some of the resources for homeschooling. Today I am going to focus a bit on math. Some of these resources are for younger children than Hazel, but there is a lot you can still do with them. Before we get into the books, we are still looking for participants in our USA state postcard exchange. Let me know if you want to join in this fun and educational activity!

Ok, now onto our first book. This book is Annie Aardvark, Mathematician written by Suzie Olsen and illustrated by Davina "Viv" Kinney. 
Follow the aardvark, Annie, while she forages for food and counts everything!!  Annie counts the various food she finds beetles, ants, berries and more. She starts with one item and ends with ten items. This book is perfect for a child learning to count. Suzie Olsen also offers activities and more ideas to go with this book on her Pinterest board

The book also includes an author's note that explains that Annie is named after Annie Easley. Annie Easley was a mathematician, computer programmer and rocket scientist at NASA. She also tutored students and outreached to them especially female and minority students. I can see how she would be proud to have this aardvark named after her. I hope you will check out the book!!

Our next book is Find the Dots by Andy Mansfield. This fun book has places that pop-up, pull out, turn and more to find a certain number of a color of dots. It involves counting, visual skills as well as spatial relationships. 

There are "tricks" to each problem and each one is different, but they all contain lots of dots. It is a combination of a find it book with counting and geometry skills. Personally I love the cube that jumps off one page with tabs to pull rows of dots out of the middle as well as the dots covering the entire cube. This book is just a fun book that will have even older kids searching for the dots. 

Our next book is a Peg + Cat book. I miss watching Peg + Cat with Hazel on television. She has outgrown the show (and the books). This book is Peg + Cat: The Lemonade Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson. As with the show the book is drawn on graph paper and Peg and Cat are always finding something that involves math in their daily activity. This time they are going into business with a lemonade stand. They decide to charge ten marbles for a glass, but the Teens don't buy any because they think it is too much. So Peg and Cat lower the price. This book lends itself to a lesson of less than and greater than. In fact on the Candlewick website there is a link to download a teacher's guide to the Peg + Cat books

I also love how the book has a bit of diversity in it. There are a couple of sections that introduce flamenco dancing (as well as the usual diverse characters that are in the show like Viv the neighbor and Ramone). It is a fun book and perfect for a lesson teaching young kids about greater than and less than. I hope you will check it out.

Our final book for today is Mind-Blowing Modular Origami by Byriah Loper. This book has easy to follow instructions to make some amazing polyhedra origami projects. 

Now besides the polyhedra and the various names and such, the origami itself can be used with various lessons. I decided to start to make the Triakis Module which is a triakis icosahedron (a 20-faced polyhedron). 
I used square memo paper since it was suggested to use 3.5" squares. I use to use origami in my geometry lessons and often used this type of paper since it is inexpensive. I often would buy it on sale or clearance. 

In the instructions the paper is held to look like a diamond or a rhombus. The first fold is a diagonal. This of course can be used to review or introduce vocabulary. (By the way when doing origami for a group you can use wax paper squares on an overhead projector.) The fold of course makes a right triangle. It is the perfect time to demonstrate the Pythagorean theorem and also how special right triangles work for the length of a square's diagonal.
Hopefully your student(s) will recognize the diagonal as the hypotenuse of the triangle. The next folds make the shape a parallelogram with more right triangles. 

Flipping the project over you can see the diagonal of the parallelogram.

If not continuing the full Triakis Module you could fold the other diagonal and show how the diagonals bisect each other but are not the same length in a parallelogram but they are in the square. 

The math keeps going with the project and the folds. With any origami there is always geometry that can be added as a lesson, but it is even more when you are making polyhedra since you are making geometrical shapes. I found this book easy to follow and full of fun geometrical projects. I hope you will check it out!

Those are some math lessons for you. Stay tuned for different subjects this week!