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Let's Play Math: How Families Can Learn Math Together and Enjoy It Paperback – 18 Feb 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Tabletop Academy Press (18 Feb. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892083205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892083203
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 929,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Denise Gaskins is a veteran homeschooling mother of five who has taught or tutored at every level from preschool to undergraduate physics. She loves math, and she delights in sharing that love with young people. "Math is not just rules and rote memory," Denise says. "Math is like ice cream, with more flavors than you can imagine. And if all you ever do is textbook math, that's like eating broccoli-flavored ice cream!" As author of the popular blog Let's Play Math, Denise helps parents and teachers open their students' eyes to the variety and richness of mathematics. Her articles and books explore the adventure of learning math as a mental game, playing with ideas.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read this book some years ago and it was a big part of revolutionising the way I think about mathematics. Denise Gaskins provides a way of seeing maths that opens out a whole new world, both for those like me who enjoyed a more traditional approach and those like my daughter who hated it. The book begins with a discussion of the different ways we think about maths, and a myth-busting of assumptions that many of us have, for example the idea that in mathematics answers are always right or wrong. This is a real eye opener, especially the descriptions of what it means to be a mathematician - playful and creative, not blindly following rules and performing repetitive calculations. I loved the analogy to music - would you teach music by spending years memorising scales before you played an actual piece? In the same way children can love playing with ideas such as fractals and infinity even if they have yet to memorise their multiplication tables.

The next part of the book is a more practical guide for ways to 'play' at maths. There are descriptions of games, from those as simple as noughts and crosses to adapted card games. There are suggestions of manipulatives and ways to use them - exploring geometry with tangrams, games with graph paper or compasses. I love the ideas for verbal games and chats you can have any time, like guess the number - "Add half of me to myself and you get six - what am I?". We play these in the car, or at the table - and the most important rule is always let your kids ask the questions too! Of course you learn even more from posing a question than from trying to figure one out. Mine love to use huge numbers like a million googleplex, assuming the bigger the number the harder the question!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a creative and inspring challenge to the way maths is usually taught in school. It is packed full of ideas and resources to help children (and definitely adults too!) develop their learning about the art of numbers. In a culture where maths anxiety is now a diagnosable problem, this book shows the way to maths joy.

I bought Let's Play Math because I am home educating my 6 year old daughter and wanting to get more confident with maths as her interest in numbers and ideas was growing. I know the way maths is usually taught in schools is limited and unhelpful but I didn't know what the alternative was. Denise Gaskins writes in a very clear, encouraging way, offering games and resources that my daughter loves. Reading this has changed the way I think about maths forever and I feel so much better resourced to support my daughter and her friends to explore the exciting world of maths.

This book is written for home educators and I believe it is an essential resource for us all. However I think it is also hugely relevant for school teachers and other educators - it could revolutionise the way maths is taught to children.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend 8 Aug. 2016
By ATLAS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my new favorite math book. I was afraid to buy "another math book," that also was not available from our library and did not have many reviews yet, and was written by a veteran homeschooler with a math background (-that should be a good thing, and in this case it is, but I've been burned before). But I'm so glad I took a chance. If you like Jo Baoler and the like, this book is even better as it is chock full of practical advice, ideas and resources for learning at home. It will take you through grade school. Keith Devlin gives exceeding endorsement in the forward.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Classical Students 2 Nov. 2012
By Rafael Falcón - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I happen to be a scholar in Classical Studies and I loved how this book reframes our concepts of Math to recover an intuitive, living sense of numbers and the real world. Math is not a human creation, but a discovery. Math is about reality. Solving algebra problems won't help children understand Math unless they are acquainted with it this way.

The book helps parents understand what Math really is about, what fun there is in it, and how school managed to kill our potential love for it. Along the way, readers will learn games and kinds of behavior they can adopt to develop a Math sense in their children. They will also realize that if a person has the "Math feeling", no academic subject will be harsh to her, and they will want their children to have this singular advantage.

Classical students or homeschoolers will love this book, because it is about using Math to develop intelligence, to make the mind stronger, to be better, so to speak. A motto for this book could be "be a Math genius, content will follow". Naturally, classical students think this way about every academic discipline, and will find a friend in this astounding work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas to make math fun 17 April 2017
By Sasha Alyson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a crime, really, that school makes math so boring, when there are so many ways to do the opposite, for anyone who wants to. Denise Gaskins's book is full of ideas. Pattern Blocks are one that we've put to use at Big Sister Mouse, where I work in Laos. Older students spent an afternoon making a giant batch of the tiles from corrugated plastic, then we gave them to kids who had never seen such a thing. They created everything from pictures of elephants to geometric patterns like this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for parents 15 Mar. 2014
By helena t - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely enjoyed this book. It brought back childhood memories when my older brothers were challenging our mom to solve algebra problems. I remember how much fun they had!
Now, being a mom myself, I was looking for ideas of how to teach math to my son. It's really nice to get so many resources in one book. I have being using suggested games and websites right away with a great success. This is a great resource for parents,who actively participate in their children education. It's very inspiring.
Thank you for sharing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well kept secret! 21 Feb. 2016
By Emma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great. It explains in a simple doable way, with examples, how to do mathematics at home that is fun and natural. No special equipment is needed, only things You will have around the house. This book is a must for every parent, especially homeschooling parents, who want to liven up maths in their home and make maths a joy rather than drudgery. Both the why and the how are clearly explained with pictures when appropriate.
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