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Spaghetti And Meatballs For All! (Scholastic Bookshelf: Math Skills) Paperback – August 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4?Mr. and Mrs. Comfort decide to have a family dinner and invite their children, parents, in-laws, and neighbors. To seat the 32 guests, eight square tables and the appropriate number of chairs are rented and arranged according to a plan devised by Mrs. Comfort. However, as the guests arrive, they rearrange the furniture so they can sit together, resulting in mayhem until Mrs. Comfort's original configuration once again evolves. Subtitled "A Mathematical Story," the focus of this picture book is math concepts, not story. A note for adults suggests exercises in shapes and perimeter. Somewhat humorous, sketchy cartoons are busy and cluttered as guests of various ages and ethnicity rearrange furnishings, table settings, and food. While teachers might find this title useful for conveying math ideas, it is not a necessary purchase for most libraries.?Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Author and math teacher Marilyn Burns is noted for her many books that instill an interest and enthusiasm for mathematics into her school-age readers. Her books use traditional and original literature to address mathematical concepts. In addition to her instructive children’s books Marilyn is the author of many books for teachers. She has also written books for children about food, time, and Hanukkah. She says that her writing career began as a “fluke” when a friend asked her to write a book about math. This was the jumping off point for her literary career, during which she has written about a dozen books for children and the same number for teachers. She currently gives lectures and lessons in schools. Burns was born in 1941 and resides in Sausalito, CA.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 420 (What's this?)
  • Series: Scholastic Bookshelf: Math Skills
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545044456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545044455
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marilyn Burns is a renowned math specialist and has been teaching for more than thirty years. She is the creator of Math Solutions and the author of numerous books and articles.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ah! If spatial relations had been taught like this when we were all young, everyone would be fluent mathematically.
Instead of all those problems about two trains rushing towards one another, this book takes a practial problem and uses it to illuminate spatial problem-solving.
Mr. and Mrs. Comfort decide to invite their family and neighbors over for dinner. Pretty soon, 30 people have accepted so they will be feeding 32, including themselves. In a role reversal from the sexual stereotypes, Mr. Comfort is the cook and impractical one while Mrs. Comfort is the left-brained problem solver. She knows what needs to be done, but everyone else has to work it out for themselves by moving the furniture around.
Mrs. Comfort figures out that they don't have enough tables and chairs for this many people. So she rents some. She correctly figures out that 8 tables seating four people each will do the trick (8 times 4). She rents 8 tables and 32 chairs (but they deliver only 31, and she has to find an extra folding chair).
All is well, until the guests start to arrive. They don't want to sit at separate tables. They want to eat at one big table so they can be closer to everyone else.
That creates a problem. Each time two tables for four are put together, two places are lost (you now have only two ends, while you had four before with separate tables). That's not immediately obvious to the guests, because most of the chairs and tables are unused in the beginning and they don't know how many people are coming.
Mrs. Comfort tries to warn everyone that it won't work, but they ignore her. She finally gives up.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I am a student at the University of Arizona South, majoring in elementary education. I recently read this book to a class of 3rd grade students. The children anjoyed watching as the guests arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Comfort and re-arranged the tables and chairs each time someone else showed up. They also enjoyed the fact that only Mr. and Mrs. Comfort's names were given and everyone else was referred to by their relation to the hosts, "Mrs. Comfort's brother's daughter's twin sons". The children loved the chaos as more and more people arrived and fewer and fewer place settings were left available, while "extra" chairs piled up in the periphery. Every student was engaged in the book because each and every one of them knew what Mrs. Comfort knew, that without a seating arrangement of eight seperate tables each seating four people, there would not be enough room for everyone to sit down. And by the end of the book, they found out they were right! The extensions available at the end of the story increase the possible learning to be attained, illustrating how to actively engage the children in hands-on activities to learn about area, perimeter, multiplication and division. Children can find out how many seats are available for each table formation in the book. They can also determine how many meatballs everyone can eat. This is a lively and interesting tale that evolves into spirited and animated discussions involving mathematical concepts. The children had a wonderful time listening to the story, then engaging and actively participating with their eight squares and 32 paper clips (tables and chairs) as we went through the story page by page with them arranging and re-arranging the seating. It was fantastic to see them so happily involved with LEARNING MATH!
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Format: Hardcover
I just used this book to teach my daughter (8) and son (5) the same exact lesson on two different cognitive levels. Late last night, I sat down with a paint program and drew two diagrams just like Mrs. Comfort's. I folded and cut a piece of paper into eight squares of approximately the same size. I used multicolored paper clips as chairs. Tonight, we had so much fun that we spent almost five minutes per page, counting guests as they arrived, counting chairs as they dissapeared and reappeared from around the table perimeters and following the detailed chaos as garlic bread, salads, vases and pasta flew around the room. I have one question. Did Mrs. Comfort get the last meatball?
Comment 30 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I used it in my 4th grade classroom as the basis of a formal observation by my prinical. The kids were enthralled by the book and activities I made using this book to reinforce ideas about area and perimeter. Just as important, my principal liked it too!
1 Comment 57 of 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent tool for introducing perimeter and area to an elementary school class. The story is engaging and funny. The children can easily move colored tiles to imitate the movement of the tables in the story.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my sister's kids (ages 4-8) and they all really enjoyed it. They had a lot of fun with the story (and didn't even know they were learning). This book is great for kids.
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By M. Kiel on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used this book for years so I needed a new copy. This is a great way to teach kids about area. It can also be used to discuss arrays.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to accompany my new Common Core geometry unit. It went beautifully. I read most of the book to the kids, then I assigned the seating chart as homework. What's the best configuration? The next day, I had kids share their ideas on the doc cam, and after kids shared, I read the end of the book. Nice discussion starter.
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