Math Mentor Text: Math Curse

Happy Sunday!

I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Math Mentor Text Linky. =]  I briefly mentioned this book in my Five for Friday post this week.  My mentor text is Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.  Now, I am not going to lie...I have not yet used this book in my classroom...but I am gearing up this week's lesson plans with this book...and I am SUPER excited!

Traditionally I have a "problem of the day" set up for Math class.  I deliver this in a variety of different ways ranging from colored index cards at each group table, to a large display on the SMARTBoard, or me simply verbalizing the problem to the students.  However, I have yet to use a book to introduce the problem of the day....which is where this new mentor text will come into play. Check it out...

Math Curse is a story about one little girl's problem...her Math teacher tells the class that everyone should start thinking of the world as one Math problem or challenge to solve.  And so, she faces the Math Curse (insert scary music here...)  Suddenly, she is overwhelmed with math challenge after challenge. How much time will it take her to get ready for the bus?  How can her class divide birthday cupcakes evenly among friends? How can she figure out what fraction of the pizza or apple pie she will get at lunch if she hasn't even learned fractions?!  With one dilemma after another, you cannot help but feel a little dizzy from all that problem solving...

There are a number of things I love about this book.

A) It really does a fabulous job of showing students that Math is all around everything we do.  I continuously get groans and moans when it comes that time of day to tackle Math.  Although I talk to my students about the inevitability of needing to learn Math because they will encounter it every day...for the rest of their lives...I still get the standard..."why do we need to know this?"  "This is too hard!"  Well, HA! This book does a fantastic job of putting Mathematical concepts into real life context.

B) I love that each page has multiple problems for the students to figure out...some pages even have challenge questions which can be used as writing prompts to incorporate into an ELA lesson.  This definitely earns this book some bonus points for cross-curricular content. Wahoo!

C) Since each page deals with a different Math concept, this book can be referred to continuously throughout the year.  It can be used as a fun spiral review...or used as a challenge problem for when teachers are focusing on that particular skill.  Also, I love that this book is really just several word problems disguised by a fun, silly story with wacky illustrations. =]

I am still working out the kinks for how I will use this in my classroom this upcoming week, but I am super excited to dig into this little gem.  If there are any other teachers out there that have used this book, I would love to hear some of your thoughts!  Leave your comments below.  Thanks for the link-up, Amanda and Stacia!

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1 comment

  1. I love that you are going to use this for problem of the day! I have this book and I've never used it. I will have to steal this idea! Thanks so much for linking up!


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