Making Math Fun With Eat Your Math Homework ~ Review
I love finding ways to make math meaningful and practical to our children. We enjoy living books about math and many hands on real life problems. I have always found that giving a child a REAL connection to a math concept helps them to understand it better and gives them a reason to want to learn it.
Living Math Books
Eat Your Math Homework by Ann McCallum is a wonderful living math book for children. The intended age range for Eat Your Math Homework is 7 to 10 years. It teaches children math concepts with recipes and I think this is a wonderful idea.
The book contains an introduction and kitchen tips, 6 fun recipes that teach a math topic, a review section of the math topics covered, and a glossary for math terms.
The recipes/ math projects include:
Fibonacci Snack Sticks (Fibonacci number sequences)
Fraction Chips (Building and comparing fractions)
Tessellating Two-Color Brownies (illustrates what tessellation is)
Milk and Tangram Cookies (make tangram shapes from cookies!)
Variable Pizza Pi ( learning about pi, circumference, constants & variables)
Probability Trail Mix (probability)
Each recipe, I mean math lesson introduces the concept being taught in a very easy to understand way. The language used is not dry and boring but fun and interesting. After you’ve read this section it’s time to create a fun recipe to experiment with the math concept you have just learned!
The recipes are formatted very well on the page to make it easy for children to follow. All tools and ingredients are listed and that makes it easy to gather them before hand. I love this because when working with children in the kitchen I don’t like having to stop and “hunt” for missing tools!
The recipes are all of varying difficulty. Some like the probability trail mix are very easy to put together and young children likely wont need much help. Other’s involve cooking and cutting so a parents help is needed.
There is fun trivia questions called “appeteaser” and we used these while we waited for our recipes to cook. After the recipe is ready there are suggested experiments to try.
In addition to the fun ideas in the book Ann McCallum has a FREE guide for teachers and parents to use.
This includes a little information about the author and illustrator and extended information for each chapter in Eating Your Math Homework. There are more challenging questions to try and printable notebook pages to work out the math questions on. These would be a great addition to your math journal.
Hands On Math Practice With Eat Your Math Homework
We have been using Eat Your Math Homework for family fun projects! Although the book is intended for ages 7 to 10 it is fun for all ages. Some of the math concepts used are pretty hard but doing a hands on recipe makes it easy to explore and understand the concept. Our children using the book are ages 6, 8, 9, 11 and 13 they’ve all been able to learn from these fun lessons.
One of our favourite projects was the fraction chips. The recipe in the book says to use taco seasoning mix on the tortillas but many of our children do not like that seasoning mix. We instead adapted the recipe to use a cinnamon sugar mix. Fractions for dessert, yum!
All of the kids helped to coat the tortillas in melted butter and cinnamon sugar and then the older 2 fried them following the recipe directions. Then we cut up the fried tortillas into fraction slices as directed in the book. The smaller slices were really hard to cut, so I had to help a little.
After the cutting was done we had fun building fractions and answering the math questions in that unit. Then of course they got to eat them!
Fun Living Math Practice
I think that Eat Your Math Homework is a wonderful way to introduce or practice math concepts. The way that it teaches takes what could be a difficult math topic and breaks it down into an easy to understand and fun lesson.
This is one math book the kids were ASKING to do next! We’ve enjoyed it so much I’m going to be adding the other Eat Your * Homework series books to our home library.