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The Grapes Of Math Hardcover – February 1, 2001
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Every two-page spread features cheerful computer-generated art by Harry Briggs, depicting rows of camels, beaches full of seashells, and vines laden with grapes. Tang's witty little accompanying verses tickle the fancy even as they challenge the mind. Guided by hints in the verses, readers find solutions to each math riddle, by looking "askew" to find a pattern, subtracting in order to add, or adding numbers that have easy sums before clustering them to add in groups. Solutions and explanations are provided in the back of the book. With a little creativity and common sense, as opposed to formulas and memorization, Tang believes that all kids can do well in math--and have fun while they're at it. Readers of The Grapes of Math are already ahead of the game. (Ages 6 to 10) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The riddles have fun names (like Fish School, Grapes of Math, Win-Doze, and For the Birds). My favorite riddles were Ant Attack and It's a Jungle Out There.
The left hand page contains a colorful computer illustration provided by Harry Briggs. These are large and appropriately ambiguous to hide the patterns a little. Color and shape are especially used well to complicate the counting problem. On the right hand page is a riddle, containing a clue at the end. "To help you find the right amount/Group by fives before you count" is one such clue. At the back of the book are the solutions to each riddle.
Pattern recognition riddles help you to see squares and rectangles within more complex designs. You are also encouraged to see diamonds as being squares rotated by 45 degrees. Many times a pattern is repeated, and that becomes the basis of multiplication.
Grouping encourages you to add common sums. An example would be sets of (8 + 3) + (6 + 5) + (4 + 7) = 33. By seeing that you can add to common subnumbers, you quickly find three elevens and then multiply by 3 in your head.Read more ›
The rhymes are catchy with the question in a different color font to help students when learning to decipher word problems. There is also a tip to the mental math solution following the question. The goal of this book is assisting students in learning to manipulate groups of objects in their mind.
I would suggest using a few poems as examples with real manipulatives and demonstrating to students how and why the solution can be found mentally. Read the solution along with them and physically move objects to show how they can multiply and then add or subtract, or even regroup objects. When students begin to catch on, invite them to try some more from the book, and write out the solutions before checking their answers. Advanced students may even want to create their own puzzles and illustrations. As an extra challenge, they can write the poems to go along with it. All of Tang's poems are written in couplets and this has the potential for being a good integration with language arts.
Why 5 stars?:
Tang has crafted a wonderful set of thinking exercises for students to explore mathematical properties through the use of patterns. By practicing with these poems, hopefully they will change the way in which they "see" difficult problems and be able to visualize in a way that makes sense to them.
A teacher could use The Grapes of Math in many ways. One could post a problem each day, or week, on the board for children to solve at the beginning of a math lesson, to get students thinking mathematically, and on a higher level. Instructors could also break a class into pairs or small groups and photocopy the sixteen different problems, passing out a different problem to each pair/group. The children could have an allotted amount of time in which to come up with creative ways to count the objects on the page. After the pair/group has found several ways, they could vote on the most efficient method. Then the students could take turns sharing their solutions with the class. Furthermore, a teacher could share the book with his/her class, taking suggestions for the various problems and solving as a whole-class group. As a follow-up activity, children could design their own "counting problems," making colorful pictures with accompanying poetry to give their readers hints - such as the layout of The Grapes of Math.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. I am designing some great curriculum with a friend around the theme of perseverance (for HS students) and we are using this book as the foundational text. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Smashintwo
Math posing as fun rhymes, my 5 year old loves it. This is not a textbook or a workbook, It is a whimsical introduction to the idea of playing around with numbers rather than... Read morePublished 26 days ago by J. Holbrook
Arrived quickly. Book l looks as if it will be a fun way to think about math for my 7 year old grandson.Published 7 months ago by Freida Hasek