Math Lab for Kids: Fun, Hands-On Activities for Learning with Shapes, Puzzles, and Games

RAPOPORT, Rebecca & . 144p. chart. diag. ebook available. index. photos. websites. Quarto/Quarry. Jan. 2017. pap. $24.99. ISBN 9781631592522.
Gr 2–6—Harvard mathematics graduate Rapoport and engineer Yoder have provided exciting enrichment opportunities to bring elementary math to life. This compilation of fresh, hands-on STEM activities explores a variety of mathematical concepts, from basic geometric shapes to parabolas, fractals, and puzzles. An introduction explains how the book is designed and meant to be used. While much of the text is written for children, librarians and educators could easily incorporate this work into their curricula or programs. For instance, the "Think About It" section at the start of each chapter would work well as essential questions for educators to gauge student understanding prior to lessons. The chapters are easy to follow and clearly identify each step of the process. The labs require inexpensive materials (toothpicks, gumdrops, balloons, thread) as well as ones likely already in the classroom (rulers, graph paper, pushpins). Illustrations, definitions, and detailed procedures are included for every lab. While chapters build on previous experiments, each is also presented with a stand-alone work-around so educators can make modifications to best suit their students. Occasionally chapters also offer a collaborative exercise for a small group. The book concludes with pullouts (reproducible items for some of the labs), as well as "Hints and Solutions" for the puzzles.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries and educators seeking a tactile approach to elementary mathematics.

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