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86 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun applications of elementary math skills
The book is organized into chapters, with each chapter presenting a type of problem and the ways to think about that problem. And then there is a series of related story problems to solve, divided into 4 levels. For example, one chapter is about calculating whether an item (rope, building, etc) is strong enough for the intended use. Another chapter is about figuring...
Published on January 1, 2007 by Carol M

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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not organized corrrectly with respect to grade level
The book should have organized itself to separate what's intended for a 1st grader and what's intended for a 4th grader (or 2nd, 3rd grader), but it does not. This makes the book confusing in its presentation as it mixes grade level knowledge. This is entirely confusing to a student at a certain grade level reading this material by herself without an adult pointing out...
Published 17 months ago by toolperson


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86 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun applications of elementary math skills, January 1, 2007
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
The book is organized into chapters, with each chapter presenting a type of problem and the ways to think about that problem. And then there is a series of related story problems to solve, divided into 4 levels. For example, one chapter is about calculating whether an item (rope, building, etc) is strong enough for the intended use. Another chapter is about figuring out how much change you'd get in a store transaction. Another is percentages. Midway through, the concept of algebra is introduced and applied to the later chapters. The chapters are presented very conversationally, and explain how to think about the problem and approach the solution. They are illustrated with cartoons, and with characters discussing the problems.

My second grade daughter loves this book. She is gifted in math, and I was looking for some way to add extra challenge without "teaching ahead" in the normal curriculum. This has been great. It's not teaching new methods of computation (which she'll get in school thru the years), it's teaching approaches to problem solving. She usually does the level 1 problems with no help (but has to think fairly hard), but needs help on level 2. She is very proud of herself after conquering these questions. Levels 3 and 4 are beyond her for now. I can see us revisiting this book every year, and using it through about 5th grade.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent supplement for gifted children, November 24, 2009
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A. Allen (Upstate New York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
I presented this book to my 6 and 8 year olds (both reading, both with great math minds). My independently motivated 8 year old learned several grades' worth of math in a few weeks mostly on her own with this book. The fun pictures and presentation style even engaged my usually apathetic 6 year old, who is now so proud of his uncanny skill with fractions. As a parent, I love that the four levels of questions in each chapter made it possible for them to go through the same chapters but at different levels. I love that the chapters are called things like "Oh no, I have to change the recipe!" and "How many legs?" instead of "Ratios" and "Multiplication". I love that very little is told TO the student; most of the ideas are generated by the student via the carefully presented questions.

The book does not do drills: there are only five questions per level per chapter. For a gifted student who grabs the concept quickly and is ready to move on, this is perfect. Other students may want/need more practice. Also, for example, although it introduces the concept of multiplication, it does not require that students learn the multiplication facts. This is an excellent approach because it lets kids explore more advanced concepts that would be inaccessible to them if they don't know what 6x4 is off the top of their head; my 8 year old did some problems using her memorized multiplication facts while my 6 year old used the multiplication table or a calculator. Both got to develop the same concepts.

It is because of this approach that I think this book is the perfect supplement for gifted students; they will still need some drill in addition and multiplication facts, but they will do more than enough of that in school. This very interesting and fun material will keep them from losing interest in math.

I can't say enough about this wonderful book and author. I rarely take the time to review a product on Amazon, but as you can see I think this deserves it.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing!, November 16, 2006
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
This book is fantastic for a young student gifted in mathematics, or even a solid student who would like a bit more of a challenge. It's math of a more advanced level but the language holds the interest of a younger student, without talking down to them. And it explains the higher mathematical concepts in the way a younger child's mind would work! It's like the author remembers well how he thought when he was a kid and wrote the book from that POV. You can see the light go on in the child's eyes when that algebra or logic concept clicks!

This is the way math SHOULD be taught and if we gave kids a solid foundation and then gave them a challenge like this, and taught them like this, they'd be far and above students anywhere, I think, because it's not a book of tricks, it's solid math, and FUN.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Awesome", January 17, 2004
This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
I walked into my son's room and my mouth dropped open. My son was reading his Primary Grade Challenge Math Book ON HIS OWN. When I asked him how he liked the book he replied, "It's awesome!" Later he found me to tell me about about a problem he had just solved. He had such a proud look on his face. I have never seen my child so excited about learning math. What a great idea to write a math book that actually makes learning math fun! I can't wait to get my hands on the author's other books.
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning for those living outside the US of A, April 11, 2005
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P. M. Gittings (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
This is a great book. It has lots of word problems and the strategies to solve them rather than just learning by rote.

However, those living outside the USA should be aware that many examples in this book use inches, feet and miles for distance and pounds and ounces for weight, with the metric system been treated as a special subject. So the weighting of questions for a metric country is the wrong way around.

Money problems are of course in dollars and cents which is not a problem for most countries using a decimal currency. However, the references to nickels, dimes and quarters might throw some kids (in Australia we have 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces, with no colloquialisms for them).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars challenging AND fun, December 5, 2007
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
What an exciting way to present additional math problems: the writing and illustrations capture one's attention, and the subsequent problems are at four distinct levels (from easy to very difficult. The student may solve all of the problems, or the parent/instructor can "save" those difficult levels for later (perhaps next year?) after the student has conquered certain tasks to facilitate success.

Although this may be implemented at various grade levels, I suggest second grade as the youngest starting point. You know your child best, however, and it would be wise to preview book pages at this site before purchasing.

I highly recommend this book for children in all types of classrooms: "regular" school, gifted school, and home school. It is a great supplement for students, and offers a challenge to all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect supplement for homeschoolers!, November 10, 2008
This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
I use this along with Math-U-See for my three children (grades 1-6) and it is perfect as a fun and challenging addition to our math workbooks. The word problems are interesting and fun. They really engage the children so they are primed to WANT to figure out the answers! I like the way the book lists different levels of problems so all three of my children can participate. We do one chapter each week during our together time and it doesn't add too much to our already full schedule. I highly recommend this one, and I intend to use the Challenge Math as well!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book, October 30, 2007
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
I'm teaching Challenge Math to 2nd graders and found this book to be very helpful in my preparation. This is my first time teaching this program, so, the examples, structure and illustrations in this book have come in quite handy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Primary Grade Math Challenge, January 15, 2007
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
My son's gifted teacher gave him homework from this book in third grade, and now his 4th grade gifted teacher gives him work from Zaccaro's next book for in-class enrichment this year. He enjoys working through it and I like the straight-forward approach and graphics. I teach and I bought it for my parent volunteer to use with our school's first grade math enrichment group. My kids love to go to group!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars staying mom, October 22, 2009
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This review is from: Primary Grade Challenge Math (Paperback)
Our local public school uses this book for gifted children. My 4th grade girl is not in that program. But she loves this book. She basically reads it herself and enjoys solving the problems. A very good book to sharpen kids thinking skill. I think this is the best I have so far.
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Primary Grade Challenge Math
Primary Grade Challenge Math by Edward Zaccaro (Paperback - June 2003)
$24.95 $21.99
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