Math for Smarty Pants

Book review by
Tanya Smith, Common Sense Media
Math for Smarty Pants Book Poster Image
Solid lessons packaged as jokes and games.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that many activities will require adult assistance or prompting.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bysoccer_chick May 5, 2009

i have to love this book

this book is a very good book for maath projects in 8th grade and down.

What's the story?

MATH FOR SMARTY PANTS promises a commonsense way of tackling basic math problems including logic, arithmetic, statistics, and geometry. This overview volume is jam-packed with kid-friendly activities that can be done using everyday objects such as cards, pennies, pencils, and notebooks, but a lackluster presentation diminishes its value.


Is it any good?

Full of useful exercises, MATH FOR SMARTY PANTS gamely takes on an almost impossible mission: endearing math to kids who fear it, hate it, or want nothing to do with it. It is not a skills text. It is jam-packed with solid math lessons packaged as tricks, jokes, and games, and it will be most useful to readers who will soon encounter these subjects in school or are already having a problem with them. Readers in either camp probably will need some adult help, encouragement, or insistence to work through the activities.

The book's dense design -- thick text blocks with dark ink illustrations -- results in a monotonous look that may bore already dubious readers. Despite its visual limitations, the book has other highlights. The "Math Trickery" chapter contains several activities kids can do on their own and should get a kick out of, using calculators to perform "magic."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lessons in the book. Pick a few and apply them to other everyday, real-world situations.

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