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65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! (One Minute Mysteries


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Few things zap the fun out of math quicker than a worksheet full of numbers. The mysteries in 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math! are word problems that stress cross-curricular reading comprehension, Core Curriculum focused real-world application and a hint of out-of-the-box thinking. They engage students and make math fun! Think Teachers Magazine, January 2014 Math resources are no mystery! This father-daughter team has created a charming collection of one minute stories that describe real-life situations where mathematical thinking can be helpful. Characters matter-of-factly invoke mathematics to address all sorts of scenarios. Some present clever ways to estimate, other stories dispel common misconceptions. The mysteries are enticing and often have an unexpected twist. They are relevant, everyday situations, and children can likely picture themselves in similar circumstances. Anticipate that students will turn to their mathematical toolboxes to tackle their challenges. -- Perla Myers Teaching Children Mathematics, October, 2012, Vol. 19, No. 3, p.207 Math truly is the star of One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! The Yoders have created a multitude of real-life situations with solutions that would make Encyclopedia Brown jealous. Parents and students will enjoy the fun situations, and math teachers will appreciate the serious math behind the solutions. You'll be inspired to start thinking up your own math situations before you know it! -- Clay Kaufman, Co-Director Head of School., The Siena School, Silver Spring, MD Many kids equate math with drudgery, but this book skillfully meshes humor and excitement with challenging problems. While kids have fun and solve the mysteries, they actually develop important deductive reasoning skills that they will use throughout their lives. One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! helps kids discover and experience the joys of math! -- Rachel Connelly, Ph.D., Bion R. Cram Professor of Economics, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME Keep this book around, and take a moment each day to solve a math mystery puzzle. Yoder and Yoder, a talented father-daughter team, have managed a fine variety of high-energy math stories- from breakfast cereal to a pet iguana, from hula-hoops to the no-longer-planet Pluto. The mysteries are entertaining, and you'll speed along, solving mysteries and sharpening your math skills. What could be more fun? -- Margaret Kenda, Ph.D., Author of Math Wizardry for Kids What a fantastic way to introduce the application of math to the real world! I've always loved math and, as an architect, I know how applicable it is to the constructed world. But, for my kids, math is not intuitive. One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math! engagingly introduces the language of math: fractions, geometry, and algebra. Better than a DVD player for the family van...! -- Michael E. Burns, AIA, Architect for Capital Projects, George Washington University One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! is a fun way to get people thinking about math as a way to find solutions to real problems-not just those you see on a standardized test. These mysteries are the perfect bridge to help the math-phobic embrace the subject as a fun, human endeavor rather than a school chore. Get this book for your children and give them a chance to love math! -- Patrick Farenga, Co-Author of Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling Math often gets a bad rap for being hard and unpleasant. Mysteries, on the other hand, are fun and exciting. The joy of One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! is that each mystery is a math problem in a lively context. Readers get to use their logic and reasoning skills while playing Sherlock Holmes! What a clever way to help young mathematicians hone their sleuthing skills! -- Ryan McAllister, Ph.D., Biophysics, Georgetown University One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! is a fun and exciting approach to word problems! The mysteries in the book are entertaining, but their real value is in presenting math concepts and quandaries that are approachable, learnable and solvable. A perfect tool to laugh your way to knowledge! -- Cheryl L. Stadel-Bevans, M.S. Mathematics, Washington, D.C. One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math! is almost as cool as video games! Really! My dad and I started reading problems while walking to school every morning. Then, we talk about them at dinner before checking the answers. The stories are things that could actually happen to me. They lead to some pretty interesting conversations with my parents. I totally recommend this book for other families! -- Jacob Weiser, 8th Grader, Gunston Middle School, Arlington, VA Math is a big priority in our household, so it is really important for me to have examples of how it is actually used. This book uses real life examples and gives thorough explanations. The nuts-and-bolts of need-to-know math will serve the middle school student well in life-not only on standardized tests. It is also a great refresher course for parents who have lost touch with their own math skills. -- Marion Babcock, Mother of Four One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math! is a wonderful resource for teachers who want to provide real-life math problems for their students. Each story problem is conveyed in a one-page format that asks the reader to draw a conclusion. The stories provide an insightful look into how math can be applied in the real world. Problems include discovering how much it would cost to either replace a book at the library or pay the late fees; the score you would need to win a gymnastics meet; and how to modify a recipe to accommodate a large group of people. Bonus sections include five extra math mysteries and five science mysteries. Most of the problems require higher-order thinking and may be difficult for students to complete independently. My sixth-grade classes worked in small groups with this book, which helped the students work toward a solution. Some of the stories are slightly fanciful, but they are completely math based and do not lend themselves to giving students the answer. I believe that the book would have been more coherent and beneficial for teachers if the stories had been better organized. Rather than arranged by story line, the stories could have been organized by concept (i.e., algebraic reasoning, geometry, probability, and so on). Overall this book can provide intriguing, useful, and challenging problems for a variety of students. -- Jennifer G. Martin, NCTM, Mathematics Teaching in Middle School WASHINGTON, DC It's a typical situation. A mother has to run an errand and leaves a note for her kids telling them to help themselves to lunch. There are eggs in the refrigerator, it says; but, some are hard-boiled and others are raw...and they look the same. How can the kids tell which is which without cracking them open?The students in the fifth grade science class at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. have to think scientifically to solve the mystery. Samadhi says she had to try more than one idea to differentiate between the eggs.It was kind of difficult, but it was fun too," she explains. You get to do things yourself. You need to try new things, you don't have to do what the teacher tells you. You get to try stuff that you think might work for what you're doing."Samadhi discovered that spinning the eggs solved the mystery. Raw eggs spin more slowly than hard-boiled ones because the liquid inside slows them down.Think, solve and learnThis puzzler - The Eggcellent Idea - is one of 65 in the "One Minute Mysteries" educational series. Each mystery takes about a minute and half to read and requires students to solve it using their math and science knowledge. Mundo Verde teacher Karen Geating Rivera notes that the series was created by Eric and Natalie Yoder, a father-daughter pair. And when they were first written, the daughter was still a middle schooler. So it's not just written for children, but it was actually written in part by the child herself."Every single mystery is written with characters that are children, and children that are facing real world situation that they need to solve using their background knowledge on math and science," she explains. So they're not expected to have a bunch of formulas in their head that they already know. It's just things that happen every day and that you just think from a scientific or mathematical perspective to resolve."WATCH: Video report on project: http://www.voanews.com/a/minute-mysteries/3628608.html'Minute Mysteries' Help Kids Solve Math, Science Problems0:03:120:00:00/0:03:12Science teacher David Levin says the mysteries get the children excited. If they enjoy what they're doing, they will learn. That's my philosophy. I like having the opportunity of having them in small groups, sharing their ideas, feeling the experiment in their hands."Kids have also to discuss the facts among each other before declaring the answer. Ten-year-old Dante finds these group discussions useful. You might come to an agreement," he says. You might come to disagreement. But sometimes once you share your opinions, you can find out which one is the right response and which one isn't."Creating learning opportunitiesThe latest addition to the series is bilingual: English and Spanish. The authors are trying to provide a resource for dual-language education, which is a growing trend in many schools around the country, including Mundo Verde. School instructional guide, Berenice Pernalete says having bilingual instructions helps the students who come from different backgrounds. I think that for a language immersion school, one of the things that teachers do in order to foster engagement in students and to be really creative is that they have shared experiences."Teacher Karen Geating Rivera says bringing the mysteries into the classroom allows her students to develop several skills at the same time, and learn from each other. The kids who don't speak Spanish at home, and who are learning Spanish as a second or maybe a third language are able to hear the native speakers in a natural, authentic setting and start picking up some of that language and vice versa," she says. The fact that they are leaving the classroom still talking about what we've done tells me that I really made it an authentic experience, something that they can walk out and continue using in real life."The "One Minute Mysteries" series, she says, is another tool to keep her students engaged and foster their math, science and bilingual skills. -- Faiza Elmasry Voice of America, December 9, 2016

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