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4.2 out of 5 stars
40 Fabulous Math Mysteries Kids Can't Resist (Grades 4-8)
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90 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2007
I used a couple of these mysteries in my 5th grade classroom. The students enjoyed them because it was different then the way they usually practiced problem solving. The only downside to this book is that I think it is more challenging than the ages suggested. There were only a few stories that were appropriate for my 5th graders and those were still very challenging for them. I wouldn't reccommend this book to someone with a general ed. 4th grade classroom but it is perfect for junior high (6th, 7th, 8th) students!
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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2006
Both of my sons (ages 6-7 and 11) have profited from and enjoyed this book. I think many kids of differing abilities would as well. The problems are fun and interesting, and they build skills that can be used in real life situations.

The problems are phrased as mysteries so you must first read the story and then figure out how you can solve it. After this you go back to the story to collect the facts and apply the math. This is excellent practice for more real-life problems as well as for less-fanciful math story problems kids will see in school. Use Amazon's Search Inside feature to see some of the stories.

For the just-turned-7-year-old we usually helped him work the problems out - but he really likes math and has some understanding of probabilities and combinatorics. We expect him to help figure out what the necessary facts are and give some ideas on how to put them together to solve the problem. Sometimes on his own he reads them, thinks about them, and then reads the answer. My 11-year-old is in the highest level at math at his school (top 5% or something), but still considers the stories interesting and challenging for doing on his own. (Please note that I am not trying to brag about my kids' abilities, but attempting to give you an idea of the age and ability range.)

If you are looking for some fun math for your kids to do - I think it's likely they'll enjoy this book. I am very happy with my purchase.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2008
I'm a private math tutor and am using this book as a Friday reward for two sixth grade girls who are studying algebra one with me. It is challenging in some interesting ways. It is full of story problems to be unraveled, about two kids who are detectives. I had given it to my daughter, who was the first year teacher and she said her kids loved it more than any other part of math. They can be solved alone or in groups. I really recommend this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2009
The quality of the questions in the book are good for middle school students. However, I was hoping to get shorter word problems. The problems in this book are set up as short stories (between one and two pages of text). The students are to read through the stories to find clues that will help solve the problems stated in each story.

This may be a very good enrichment activity, but not for students who struggle with both reading and math as it involves "too much" to come up with a solution: reading skills, comprehension, math skills, and deductive reasoning.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2008
Nice and challenging. My kids are happy with it. I give them one challenge from this book on the drive to school every morning and give them 10-15 mins to complete. It's nice to have books like this. They're only 8&9 but they cover most of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2009
Some of the activities were not clear in understanding but overall a fun and different way to understand math. This book would really benefit 6th, 7th, and 8th graders well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2009
The text can be confusing and the problems sometime refer to ones that came before, so it can be hard to skip some of them. I think I will have to paraphase rather than read outright and choose the problems carefully to avoid those that are too easy, too hard, or just sort of odd.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2008
This is a book your kids will enjoy, as far as you would ever expect your kids to enjoy a math workbook. The puzzles do build up a bit of suspense, and I like the problem solving approach. Recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I had hoped to find an enjoyable math resource. We just started this book and could not handle how difficult AND confusing it was. There is no natural progression in difficulty as I was expecting. There is no reason that I could not figure out one of the first problems after seeing the answer AND being on internet seeking a formula to use. My son was in gifted math and blanched at the way the problem was even presented. I can only hope that this will get better.

On page 8 it states:" "...Not every mystery is appropriate for every class or for every student. Pick and choose as you see fit. Feel free to adapt or adjust problems to suit the ability levels and interests of your students." Maybe we picked a "dud," but these problems are not labeled by level of difficulty. You would have to attempt each one to find out what works for you. Unfortunately, this does not foster "a love of learning" in this household.

It's great to be challenging-I got it, but there is a fine line between challenging and discouraging. My children will be more than a little hesitant to continue working with this math book. For that reason, I would not buy again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2009
this booms my kids' interests even higher on problem-solving scenarios. it leads them to think and solve problems. Good book!
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