Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finally Splurged On These Books

...for our homeschool.

I heard about these two or three years ago and the titles sat on both my PaperBackSwap wish list and my Amazon wish list. The other day I was in the mindset of thinking about homeschool math lessons and wishing I could convey more to my kids about the everyday real-life application of math and decided to just splurge and buy these books (at a discount) from Amazon.

Real World Algebra by Edward Zaccaro

Becoming a Problem Solving Genius by Edward Zaccaro

The Ten Things All Future Mathematicians and Scientists Must Know by Edward Zaccaro

I bought them all sight unseen. I just sat down and read the Introduction and first chapter of the "Ten Things" book and am impressed. That book has over 50 real life stories of mistakes made that caused problems and how and why they could have been avoided if the workers had just followed one of the ten things on Zaccaro's list. The book is approachable and easy to read but is not dumbed-down. I would estimate this is find for an interested reader or student in grade 4 and up. A less internally-driven student would be more of grade 7 and up. I see no reason why this is too easy for a high schooler and as an adult I found it interesting. After the stories there are a few discussion questions which are well-written and useful should they be used.

I plan to read these before using them with my kids. Honestly I'm looking forward to the algebra book because in all my public education and college no one has ever explained to me how algebra is truly used in real life. I can't wait to be enlightened.


Nanette said...

I am very interested in your book reviews - all of these look like potential additions for our library as well!! Thank you!

Liz Ditz said...

Somewhat off topic -- I noticed on your tweet stream that you are going to review Rief & Stern's The Dyslexia Checklist. Mine came in the mail & I am ambivalent about it. Feel free to email me for further discussion.

I am composing a review of Margolis & Brannigan's Reading Disabilities: Beating the Odds. The review is taking a long time because M&B's book is more like an encyclopedia than a handbook.

On topic -- two math teacher blogs you may find useful, esp. in the algebra arena:

Dan Meyer's blog, http://blog.mrmeyer.com/ -- he has a LOT of algebra insights.

Can't remember the author's name, but:


The mission of the Republic of Mathematics is to to provide solutions of value to teachers and learners of mathematics.

The credo of the Republic of Mathematics is that mathematics can be learned deeply and joyfully when it is taught and approached in an open spirit, with an inquiring mind and heart.

The study of mathematics can, and should, enrich and empower the human, mind, heart and spirit.

Crimson Wife said...

I love Edward Zaccaro's "Challenge Math" series and have had my eye on his Algebra book for when my kids get older. Happy reading!

Enbrethiliel said...


I think of these books as "Pop Maths" and used to love reading them in high school. (My actual Maths textbooks? Not so much!) I wish I had done more "real world" Maths in school, though solving abstract problems is its own sort of fun, too. =)