Mathematics for Beginners
Illustrated by Paul Boston & Robert Samuel Hanson
Reviewed by Barbara Braxton
Ask your students what they believe maths to be and you will get answers such as ‘numbers’, “measuring”. “counting”… and probably emotions like “hard”, “boring”, “waste-of-time”. There are more groans and moans than jumps for joy.
But mathematics is known as the “queen of all sciences” and the word itself comes from the Ancient Greek meaning “that which is learned” or “what you can know.” And, indeed, it takes but a short investigation to see that maths concepts pervade every aspect of our lives and that is the focus of this book for those who have mastered the basics of counting and calculating, to demonstrate the application and extension of those skills in solving almost every problem we have, from the mundane such as knowing the using a bus timetable to extending our knowledge into areas we are yet to explore to solving mysteries that have confounded generations.
Over the 50+ years I’ve spent in education, many of them helping young children understand the basic concepts through several maths-focused books, I know the key to success is showing them that what they are learning is relevant to their lives and something they will use again and again, and that is also the focus of this book. So as well as looking at what statistics and probability are, it shows how they can be used to predict which sports teams will win. By understanding shapes and scale, Lego models become more adventurous. By understanding pi we can share the pie equally…
With the usual appealing layout and reader-friendly language we associate with Usborne publications, this is one that will take those with an interest deep into the realm of possibilities and, as usual, there are also the Quicklinks which fascinate further.
Reprinted with permission The Bottom Shelf