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Hard Math for Elementary School Paperback – May 29, 2013
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"The author has excellent taste ... The book is full of great insights and tricks which would make even a professional mathematician smile. ... I wish that the book would replace all other books currently used to teach math to elementary school kids."
"... well written based on Prof. Ellison's invaluable experience teaching and achieving wonderful results in every single stage: elementary school, middle school, and high school."
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Top Customer Reviews
I can not go far enough in complimenting the book. It introduces very challenging and interesting material in a fun way. What I like about the textbook is that it really expands the kids' understanding of what one can do with math. (It is not uncommon for kids to say "Wow" once they understood an especially cool concept). For example, one of my favorite chapters in the book is on "base 8" or how the number system would look like if we counted by eights instead of tens. The book refers to this as Bart Simpsons' world since the Simpson characters have four fingers only. This material is usually not covered in school curriculum. Introducing this to relatively young kids fulfills many functions: 1) it is pretty cool in a mind-blowing sort of way, 2) it forces kids to be flexible in their thinking, and 3) it makes them realize that math requires deep thinking and not just memorization. The fact that the author is able to explain this sort of material to young kids is amazing, but it really does work.
The textbook also comes with a workbook - Hard Math for Elementary School: Workbook - which has a bunch of challenging and fun problems. The problems are leveled -- the first few are relatively easy to do if the student understood the basic concept, but the problems get very challenging in the end. I would highly recommend the workbook. What I typically did was explain a small section of a chapter and then had the students do a worksheet.Read more ›
That has all been said by other reviewers but the reason why I felt compelled to write a review was my experience with the chapter on "base 8" arithmetic. I have some background in computer science and am very familiar with a binary system (base 2). I (and possibly the kid as well) absolutely loved the chapter - both from a mathematical as well as a sociological perspective (different people can talk and think differently based on their unique cultural experiences). However, there was one unintended consequence. The chapter uses Simpsons as an example of a society that might use a base 8. At which I felt obligated (encouraged by endless stream of "pleases") to introduce my kid to the Simpsons show. Not a wise parenting decision :-). I hadn't watched much of the show myself and even shows I watched before feel very different to me now as a parent. Simpsons is not an appropriate show for an 8 year old (or even a 10 year old for that matter). So, if you are in a similar situation I would recommend you to skip that chapter until the end of the book. Even from a complexity of concept perspective, I think it belongs much later in the book.
Having said that I must say that I truly am grateful for Glenn Ellison to have taken the time to put this book together. Chances are that any money he's making from this book is not commensurate with the value of his time. However, Glenn you do have a bunch of indebted parents.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a great new way to really learn math and understand how it works. We use it a supplement and it really is easy to follow, makes my kids think and is so worth the investment... Read morePublished 4 months ago by G. Stahl
So far, we've gone through the 1st chapter, and it's really well-written. Thanks, Glenn and Glenn's youngest daughter (Glenn's muse)!Published 5 months ago by Kirit Sarvaiya
Amateur writing like a hobby. As a result, poor quality book design and very poor organization of contents.Published 6 months ago by Sun-Hong Kim
Pretty good, good be better at explaining certain things and could leave out certain things..like the Simpsons mathPublished 10 months ago by Michael Wagner
Since my daughter started using Beestar online math, she often asks very hard questions about math problems. So I found this math great math enrichment book for her. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Emma