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How It Works: How Math Works Hardcover – 1 Jul 1996
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Aspects of subject included Number and Algebra. Shape, Space and Measure. Handling Data. Using and Applying Mathematics.
Structure and organisation of the text The text is organised into categories, i.e. number. Each double page spread has a Title, a main paragraph, and lots of related but independent sections. Most pages feature a piece of maths history or an interesting unusual application of maths. The Pictures and diagrams all add lots of information, and are not just decorative. Activities
Ways in which information is presented Text in different sizes. Key points bulleted. Photographs and diagrams. Step by Step instructions using both words and pictures. Separate sections are framed. Background for the same section (i.e. Discovery) is the same colour on different pages.
Helpful features Contents, glossary index and heading. Activities and problems. Categories and sections mean that the information can be dipped into. Emphasis on the place of maths within society. Lots of concrete maths.
Potential difficulties Lots of information to take in. Activities require a lot of equipment. Lots of mathematical vocabulary
Reading skills required Use of contents index and glossary. Heading, subheading. Reasonably difficult general vocabulary. Being able to skim the page and select relevant or interesting information. Lot's of mathematical vocabulary to take in.
Implications for teaching
Ideas for lessons. Introduction / reference for teaching. General background reading. Display. Extension work / reinforcement ideas.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I sat down with this book and went through every page, reading here and there, looking at the experiments. My very first thought was, No way could a typical kid create these experiments, much less complete them. But then after just a few pages, I decided, yes, they can with a little help here and there. If you (the adult) help a little, a lot of math will come back to you. This book is designed to be enjoyable for kid and adult alike.
For example, remember the Golden Mean, or special ratio in art and architecture, used in creating the perfect ratio "look" to the Parthenon and the Pyramid at Gizeh in Egypt? There is an experiment to learn just how the mean works. On the next page is an experiment to make the Golden Mean! How cool is that?!
Try using algebra to solve this puzzle: A friend said that on his birthday, his mother's age was three times his, but in 15 years, she would be twice as old as he. How old are the boy and his mother today?
There's a section on chances and probability. Did you learn those in school. Didn't think so. How about the various personal measuring systems used through the ages? Or how to economically wrap a package? In another chapter children will learn how to find true north, make a spirit level, create a leaning tower, use trigonometry to find the height of things, and create curves with straight lines.
They will learn about Nobel Prize winners in mathematics and create a double helix, create an envelope tetrahedron, make a flying machine, and study asymmetry using their own faces.
The last chapter concerns philosophy and logic. Two fabulous experiments involve making a paper logic chain and the other constructing the Tower of Hanoi. Have you ever seen those long flow charts where a steel ball travels along a mix-max of chutes and tunnels? Your kids can make one out of normal household products. The last activity is testing the chaos theory, which deals with dynamics or changes within a system.
I skipped the beginning, so let's go back. The first chapter shows what tools are needed for the entire book--all simple, easily obtainable items.
The history of numbers, major mathematicians, and enough games, puzzles, and tricks in this book will enable your child to have enough things to do for a very long time, or at least until the end of summer.
Meanwhile, the book is so mixed with visuals, facts, diagrams, information, and experiments, that it is highly likely for this book to create a supreme interest in mathematics. I'm personally allergic to math, but I think I want a copy of this book for myself. I suggest every parent who loves to work with their children and, indeed, every elementary teacher who provides instruction in math must own a copy! This is a must-have book!