This book is a compilation of activities and puzzles for students in both elementary and secondary school (grades 4 – 12). It explores a range of interesting math concepts like the history of numbers, famous number patterns, and math that can be found all around us. Each page could really be made into a full size poster; the colourful and bright pages are packed with pictures and text that encourage the reader to explore each idea further (whether it is through a puzzle, an activity, a brainteaser, or a magic trick).
The concepts in the book are also great because they have a range in complexity, (for example, in the “Shaping Up” chapter that explores shape and space, the book explores common shapes in nature, packing problems, mirroring, mazes, and conics). The range within the book means that while it’s accessible for younger mathematicians, it is still interesting for older ones as well! Within each chapter, there is guaranteed to be something that peaks an elementary and/or secondary student’s interest! The book also does a great job of highlighting famous mathematical patterns and discussing the history behind mathematics discoveries within each concept.
I think this book is a great addition to any math teacher’s bookshelf. I can see using many of the pages as a hook for a lesson, having it as a resource for students, or using it to convince the “unconverted” that math really is more than just operations! I would definitely recommend this book to teachers, parents, and students!
Review by Katie Awadalla
Fun for grade two, too!
I've been reading bits from the beginning pages of this book to spark discussion on the history of numbers. The kids really enjoyed the pictures of various cultures' number systems (ie. Ancient Egyptian, Mayan, and Roman numerals).