When I first looked at Amazing Visual Math by DK books I was all ohhhhs and ahhhhs. I wasn’t at all sure how I would use this book but I could just tell that if I (mom and teacher) was completely zoned in by what the book had to offer, my kids (both home and school) would be too!
I think that one of the things I love the most about DK books is how accessible they are to a range of people. As an adult I love how concrete ‘Amazing Visual Math’ makes basic math concepts. I love how the information is straightforward and the language is easy to understand. I love that most of the page is filled with colour and picture which kids can manipulate and interact with and the text is clearly there to support the visual information. I think I just lapsed into teacher-talk. Please forgive me.
As an elementary teacher I am face with the challenge of making numbers ‘real’ for my students every day. We all hear about buzz terms like ‘making learning concrete’ and ‘teaching physical learners’ but really how do we do that? I brought ‘Amazing Visual Math’ in a small remedial math group that I teach every afternoon and I casually offered the book to a student who had finished early. It took about 30 seconds for the entire class to abandon their work and crowd around. Amidst the “so cool” and “oh wow” I could hear the beginnings of true understanding. Their chatter became focused and they began to connect concepts that we had previously discussed. One of my students that has struggled her entire school career with math started ‘teaching’ the others about the fraction strips. Watching this little girl light up with information explaining the connection between fractions strips and pieces of pizza was truly a moment I’ll never forget.
When I brought this book home for my 5 ½ year old daughter (and budding numbers girl) she was transfixed. She moved slowly through the book asking questions: “why did they chop up the triangle?” and “How come the triangle looks different?” Sometimes she even answered her own questions as she explored: “wow, it turned into a stop sign!” Even though information was probably intended for older kids, it was still of interest to her because the pictures helped her infer the meaning: “does split mean cut it up into pieces?” I’m so happy to have this book for my eager learner. More and more she is drawn to non-fiction books and ‘Amazing Visual Math’ has become a favourite for her – and me!
Up until now I had not had a lot of experience with the math resources DK Books offers. I am so impressed with how accessible the information is in these books as well and how well it parallels what I’m teaching in my own class!
While it might feel like school has been back for awhile DK Books is celebrating Back to School with 30% off for a limited time.
Enter to win a copy of Amazing Visual Math
Contest open to residents of Canada – ends Oct. 31, 2014.