Some arithmetic books omit the sugar—which is like lemonade without any sweetener. They give you a couple of examples followed by a zillion identical problems to do. And they call that a lesson. No wonder students aren’t eager to read those books. At the other extreme are the books that are just pure sugar— imagine a glass of lemonade with so much sugar in it that your spoon floats. The pages are filled with color and happy little pictures to show you how wonderful arithmetic is. The book comes with 1) a teachers’ manual, 2) a computer disc, 3) a test booklet, and 4) a box of manipulatives. And they are so busy entertaining the reader that they don’t teach a lot of math. This second approach is also usually quite expen$ive.
We’ll take the Goldilocks approach: not too sour and not too sweet. We will also include a lot of mathematics. (Check out the Contents on page 10.) How many arithmetic books include both forms of the Goldbach Conjecture? (See chapter 17.) The reader will be ready for algebra after completing this book.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Life of Fred
How is it that in all these years I have not encountered the Life of Fred series by Stanley Schmidt until today?