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Polar Bear Math: Learning About Fractions from Klondike and Snow Hardcover – August 1, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5–Following the lives of two cubs that were born at the Denver Zoo and abandoned by their mother, this book provides information about polar bears and fractions. Right-hand pages tell the story of Snow and Klondike, with excellent, full-color photos showing how zoo personnel raised them from newborns until their first birthday. On each left-hand page, a lesson on fractions incorporates data about the animals. The explanations, which combine text with pictographs, are clear and well formulated. The first lesson, for example, defines fractions and their parts, and compares the one-third of polar bear mothers that have twins with the two-thirds that have single births. Other lessons deal with preparing formula for the cubs, milk consumption, hours in a day, and polar bear weight. Although this title would be helpful as reinforcement for youngsters who have had some prior exposure to these concepts, those unfamiliar with fractions are unlikelyto grasp the ideas without some adult guidance. However, readers can appreciate Snow and Klondike's interesting history without reading the other sections. This thoroughly enjoyable offering has many worthwhile features, and teachers and children alike can make good use of it. Lesley A. DuTemple's Polar Bears (Lerner, 1997) provides more details about these animals, while David A. Adler's Fraction Fun (Holiday, 1996) teaches the basic principles in a slightly less technical way than Nagda and Bickel's volume.–Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 3-5. Like Nagda's Tiger Math (2000), this book has dual texts and purposes. Illustrated with color photos, the right-hand pages present the story of two polar bear cubs, Klondike and Snow, who were born in the Denver Zoo, abandoned by their mother, raised by zoo staff until their first birthday, and sent to their new home at SeaWorld. On the left-hand pages are mathematical expressions of fractions in graphs, charts, and formulas, as well as explanations of how to interpret the visuals. These math pages, which may be difficult for students with little knowledge of fractions, demonstrate aspects of the bears' care, such as the proportion of their allotted formula drunk at each feeding, the hours each day spent at the zoo hospital and at keepers' homes, and a comparison of the bears' weights. Though teachers may find ways to relate the math concepts to the curriculum, it's the narrative and appealing color photos that will hold children. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
The trick is to find out what interests the children and then adapt all lessons to the theme. I use animals to teach about the continents, map skills, reading, writing, science, and math. I am going to use the Tiger book next and read Mother to Tigers aloud to them. I also have the students read the Magic Tree House Books that match the animals of the various continents. Douglas Florian's poetry books about animals also bring a fun element to the lessons.
My struggling readers often turn out to be the best readers in their class!