Thursday, March 20, 2014

The M&M's Addition Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath

The M&M's Addition Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Rating: 4 stars

I should probably wait until summer to post a book that has so much potential for math, but...I'm not known for my patience!  So today it is.

Ben has found his brave (must have previously leaked through a hole in his pocket or something) and now writes lists of books he wants to get at the library, then goes up to the information desk to ask the librarians where these books can be found.  He walks up with his big notebook with carefully written, creatively spelled words and asks, "I'm lookin' for books on _____.  Can you help me find them, please?"

So cute.
Kiefer makes rows of tens...

Our librarians are so, so gracious and so, so patient as they figure out a) what exactly he's talking about and b) if they have any books on the subject.  (Two days ago he asked if they have any Crossfit books, and I had a funny, five-minute conversation with an elderly female librarian about Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning.  She said, "Oh! Really?" a lot.  Turns out that there are, in fact, no Crossfit books in the system, but she did chuckle when she admitted that when she put in "Cross" and "fit" separately that something about cross-dressing came up, and she correctly assumed that's not what 5 year old Ben was looking for.)

ANYWAY, he asked Mr. Steven last week to help him find math books.  Mr. Steven showed him the math section, wonderfully far from the children's section, and Ben came back smiling with this book.  It was sort of like hitting the jackpot--he was brave, he got a math book he could read all by himself, AND it involved candy.  SCORE!

...while Ben graphs his M&Ms.
So, last weekend when our family headed to West Virginia for a last-hurrah ski trip, we brought along this book and three bags of M&Ms, and one cold afternoon after skiing we did all of the math problems the book suggested we do--guess how many there are in the bag (about 50, but Ben was overjoyed that his bag had 60), count them all, sort by color, graph them, make fractions by color, then add two colors together until you got three sums, then add the three sums together.

And then the kids had a wonderful time subtracting them right into their mouths.

This is a great little book--and there are others involving M&Ms, some involving Skittles, Gummi Bears, Cheerios, and Goldfish that are worth knowing about and remembering during Spring Break trips and long summer days when you're looking for something fun to do.  Just Google "M&M math worksheets" and you can use teachers' worksheets to help you or you can be like me and make your kids do most of the work!

Either way, enjoy!  (But you have to get your own M&Ms, as your kids will know if you swipe them...)

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