Saturday, March 28, 2009

Books: curing math phobia ...

... or at least geometric phobia!

Here are some books we've been using to study regular geometric shapes, both two- and three-dimensional shapes. These books show that math, at least geometry, can not only be interesting and fun, but also artistic and creative!

Hewavisenti, Lakshmi – Shapes and Solids: with games and puzzles – great overview (with fun projects) for learning all about shapes and solids (tessellations, reflectiosn, moebius strips, tangrams, etc.)
Kohl, Herbert – Insides, Outsides, Loops and Lines – now this is a fun book for exploring closed and open shapes made completely with lines; lots of great games and activities for all ages.
Micklethwait, Lucy – I Spy Shapes in Art – this is another great art book for kids from Micklethwait. Here, the focus is on regular geometric shapes (so, the 14 paintings are primarily modern art) and the kids can really investigate these individual paintings looking for the shape to “spy” and also looking for other shapes in the paintings. Great cross-curriculum stuff here!
Pluckrose, Henry: Math Counts: Shape – cute picture book about regular geometric shapes and looking for (and finding) them everywhere. Just because this is written for the littles, doesn't mean you can't use it if you just have older ones -- have them do a full picture using as many regular shapes as possible; or search for shapes while driving in the car; or create 3-d sculptures based on shapes.
Wilson, John – Mosaic and Tessellated Patterns: How to Create Them – this is a great Dover book that gives wonderful illustrations of tessellation and mosaic patterns (with great overviews of how to create a myriad of designs). The book includes 32 “plates” to color … which copy wonderfully so you can color, and color and color!

Geometry can be a bit scary -- but make it interesting and creative and you will all have fun!

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