At Growing with Science blog this week, I’ve teamed up with Sarah at Share It! Science for a week long tribute to STE(A)M. Today we are focusing on math. Sarah is looking at the golden ratio in her garden and I am reviewing the You Do The Math series.
The expert team of Hilary Koll and Steve Mills have developed a unique series of math books illustrated by Vladimir Aleksic. Each feature gritty, real world applications of math with problems to solve embedded within the story. The challenges vary in difficulty and math skills needed.
In Solve a Crime Alex, an undercover police detective, shows how math can help catch a criminal. For example, on one page the reader is asked to use co-ordinates to map the evidence and then look on a grid to calculate the distance between certain items.
Fly a Jet Fighter follows pilot Katie as she handles data, interprets tables, and reads dials and scales. The goal is to create a squadron of jet fighter aces and complete the mission.
Launch a Rocket into Space follows each stage of a space mission to make sure the rocket blasts clear of the atmosphere and returns safely. It features astronaut Michael who helps the reader compete the math exercises and learn about everything from fractions to timelines. A few problems will require a protractor to measure angles.
The questions in these books are real math and will require a pencil and piece of paper to do the work. “What About This” sidebars on most pages give more challenging problems, as well. Fortunately the answers for all the questions are in the back matter.
The graphic-novel-style illustrations are bold and serious, adding to the true-to-life feel.
Although recommended for ages 6-8, these books could also be useful for older children who are struggling with math concepts or don’t quite see how the math they are learning might be useful. The books in the You Do the Math series would be perfect for homeschoolers and after school math clubs because they can be entirely child-directed reading. They would also be useful for children researching certain careers.
Stop by Growing with Science for the full review, as well as more suggestions for activities and resources to accompany the books.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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