Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Review: Marshmallow Math: Early Math for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Primary School Children

Marshmallow Math: Early Math for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Primary School Children  by Trevor Schindeler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I originally picked this book up to get ideas for simple counting and math games for Scientist. I was pleasantly surprised to find, not only the games I was looking for, but a philosophy about teaching math to young children that I agree with.

This book focuses on how to teach solid math principles instead of just memorizing equations and rules. It encourages using objects (i.e. marshmallows, pennies, jelly beans etc.) over written numbers in the early stages of math so that children can see and physically manipulate the numbers they are trying to work with, and gain a understanding of what they are actually doing with each equation. Most importantly, it does this in game format to make it fun.

Other things I liked about the book...it encourages short, focused, fun time periods for doing math, instead of long stretches with lots of "work". It is easy to read and simple to understand, as in, they don't spend pages and pages trying to convince you why their method works or is better. In fact, each chapter is only about a page long. The book itself is only 153 pages, which includes charts and game boards that you can print out to use. Also, the concepts start with simple things for toddlers, and gradually advance in difficulty to about a 1st or 2nd grade level. So the book and it's ideas will be useful for awhile.

I would recommend this book for anyone out there with younger children looking for fun ways to include math into your everyday playtime activities.

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1 comment:

  1. Looks like an interesting book! I'll have to check it out!