Created by Mary Smale
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Assessed by Janet Esposito
More and more kids are giving up on math. Some think it is boring; others believe it isn’t applicable to their daily lives. No matter the reason, math can become a daily chore in many homes. Instead of returning to the same boring math text, parents should try offering lessons that are not only fun and engaging, but are full of key content, applicable across multiple standards for a variety of ages. Math Drawings: Good Stuff for Teachers delivers on that promise.
The latest edition of Math Drawings includes five separate lessons, with completed illustrations. Students can draw “Tin Cans,” “City by the Sea,” “Roman Arches,” “Country Road,” and “Eagle.” Each one can be completed independently of the others and does not need prior knowledge to complete any of the illustrations. Students learn how to draw the images through a friendly and fun math lesson. The lesson begins by introducing the vocabulary used to create the drawing and provides step-by-step instructions to ensure student success. Because students use and apply geometry and math vocabulary, the words become “real” instead of abstract concepts in a book.
The vocabulary is woven into every lesson and is an essential component to successfully completing the illustrations. Parents can choose how to cover the introductory vocabulary before beginning the lesson. Older and more advanced students may only need a quick review, while younger students — and those struggling with math — may need an entire lesson on each word. The pace and coverage is entirely up to your discretion. And rest assured, you do not need to be an artist to teach these lessons. Anyone can teach students to draw these beautiful illustrations using the user-friendly and detailed instructions provided in Math Drawings.
Lessons offer students the chance to learn about measurement, perspective, angles, and shapes. Parents begin with the vocabulary introduction, including a “key” using a picture to identify each word. These pictures are the building blocks that students use to create their own drawings. Every lesson offers “short cuts,” or modified instructions for younger and less-advanced students. These tips often exclude exact measurements and the more difficult concepts, while incorporating all the essential skills and ideas needed to successfully draw the image. There are also “Differentiations” sections in each chapter, providing instructions and resources for more advanced students. These sections encourage and challenge gifted students with additional tools and refined measurements. The entire book is filled with ideas to ensure success for every child at any skill level.
In addition to the math and art content, every lesson offers suggestions for further exploration across subject areas. Beyond the mathematical and artistic value, parents can use the “Tin Can” lesson to investigate the origins and impacts of the tin can. You can create an entire science lesson discussing the forces behind the canning process. Or discover the historical significance and the health impacts of mass food production in modern society. Use the lesson “Country Road” to explore the spread of mass communication with the telegraph. Parents can help their students explore how this new form of communication had a significant contribution in history, or learn about the science of communicating through the telegraph. Again, every lesson offers wonderful suggestions to spark your imagination, but parents are encouraged to use their personal creativity in making interdisciplinary connections to other subjects. For more information on Math Drawings: Good Stuff for Teachers, including samples and pricing, visit their website at www.mathdrawings.com. JE