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Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail Hardcover – August 2, 2007
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"McKellar... may well have done more to encourage girls to stick with math than any government task force... the wildly enthusiastic response [her books] have received speaks to the effect that can be achieved by reworking the contents of standard math and science problems and countering the perception that boys won't like girls who are smart."—Eileen Pollack, The New York Times
"Exhorts her female readers not to fall prey to others' low expectations, especially expectations that are based on deeply ingrained stereotypes stemming from one's appearance... McKellar genuinely wants to change the way girls view intelligence and, more importantly, themselves... McKellar hopes to revise the girly image of dim-bulbs with a new formulation: Smart is sexy. And that's an equation we all can understand."—Erica Stalnecker, National Review
About the Author
Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and The New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem, which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.) Her passion for promoting girls’ math education began in 2000, when she was invited to speak before Congress on the importance of women in math and science. Since then, Danica has made it a priority to find time in her busy acting schedule to promote math education, often appearing around the country as a speaker at national mathematics conferences.
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I will tackle each book as I come to it, even if it takes a six months at a time. (Let's face it I have lots of other things to do.) And I will rate each one as I work it. This one, Math Doesn't Suck, is a five star, first class teaching book and here's why:
Over the years I've noticed most formal texts teach a subject from the viewpoint of the author's understanding of it. That may seem to make sense, if you don't think about it too much. But the best texts on any subject -- the most successful at teaching the subject -- are the texts that teach from the viewpoint of the STUDENT NOT KNOWING ANYTHING YET, and FROM THE STUDENTS COMMUNICATION LEVEL (not life experience level, but in words and examples the intended student can already understand coming up on the subject, even if that is 'zero').
If you think about it, you've probably noticed that yourself. The texts you always learn the best from are those that teach "in layman's terms", "in terms you already know", or "in the simplest, easiest to understand explanations". In other words, from the viewpoint of you not already understanding anything on the subject matter yet.
Sweet 'tween' talk aside, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE BOOKS. And an EXCELLENT one at that.
You can safely stop wondering about it and just buy it -- and get busy learning math -- like me.
I am hoping Danica McKeller adds Trigonometry and Calculus to her collection.
I would prefer she leave out the 1950s-esque expectation that every girl thinks first and foremost about her attractiveness at the expense of achieving academic success. Essentially, the book gives the reader the feeling that she is trying to tell young girls that they can still achieve popularity and attain the romantic attention of the 'guys' (Christ... wtf) despite being smart. So yeah... didn't rub off well on me.
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And loves Danica's Math books And her Hallmark Movies ♡
We Love you! ! Thank you so much!!