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Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss Paperback – June 30, 2009
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"A new pre-algebra survival guide."—USNEWS.com
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
McKellar takes a lightweight approach to math, but is deadly serious about it. In the prologue, she writes that "lots of people change their majors and abandon their dreams just to avoid a couple of math classes in college." Girls in particular, she emphasizes, often use their fear of math to keep them from learning the skills they'll need to succeed in life, and they start backing away from the subject in middle school.
And it's not just fear. Girls often don't see how they'll use math once they get out of school. Testimonials in Kiss My Math fight this. Stephanie Perry, the finance director for Essence magazine, explains how she uses algebraic formulas to stay on top of the magazine's financial performance. Jane Davis, financial strategist at Polo Ralph Lauren, was hired as an assistant buyer because of her facility with math. She describes determining inventory over time by finding the mean of a list of numbers.
McKellar -- famous for playing Winnie Cooper in the "The Wonder Years" but also a summa cum laude math graduate from UCLA -- uses simple language and lots of illustrations to teach pre-algebra. Each chapter covers a single topic, such as the distributive property or exponents. She clearly explains each topic, and includes problems for the reader to solve (answers are in the back). The author is generous with helpful notes and shortcuts.
A lively, breezy writing style makes it seem as if McKellar is sitting next to the reader. She uses examples girls can relate to, like clothes shopping, working on the school play, blind dates, parties, kissing and breath mints. It's like having the perfect math tutor.Read more ›
One of the first things Danika does is that she gives us the order of operations: parentheses, exponentiation and so forth, spelling the acronym PEMDAS. She calls these pandas and shows some pandas doing some math. She even expands PEMDAS into "Pandas eat mustard on dumplings and apples with spice." She makes functions into sausage factories. (for veggie sausages, let's hope). Silly analogies like this have been shown to enhance memory of things. So this would be a good book to use for studying for a test.
She explains the math well. Her use of a cutesy daisy for an unknown shows that there is nothing particularly special in alphabet letters. I like her way of dealing with word problems. Sometimes you get an equation with a large number of minus signs; this can be kind of hairy. Her remedy is to multiply everything by -1. Most textbooks say to clear complex fractions by multiplying by a common denominator, but few have this type of advice. She tells us that word problems involves English grammar as well as mathematics, and lists the mathematical equivalents for such expressions as "is less than" or "three times".
The book is not entirely about math. Math for some reason causes stress in people, including high-school girls. So she includes plenty of material on how to relieve stress. She tells girls how to deal with boys in an assertive and positive way. And she has plenty of testimonials from girls who deal with mathematics in some way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent! Multiple family members able to use. Makes math understandable.Published 2 days ago by Fish sticks
I will be homeschooling my daughter in the fall and this series was highly recommended by my cousin, who also homeschools her kiddos. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrea Phillips
Another great book from Ms. McKellar that helps everyone -- and not just middle school kids -- understand math better.Published 2 months ago by Hillari Hunter
Seriously love Danica for writing this series! Every book she's done - from "Math Doesn't Suck" to "Kiss My Math" and "Math X" are all amazing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Grace Hayden
This is a fantastic book for simplifying math for your children or grandchildren. I bought it and read it as I always loved math. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Thomas Horsman M.D.