Monday, November 9, 2015

A TOS Review: Eat Your Math Homework

Math is our struggle. I am always on the lookout for tips and tricks to help Josiah conquer whatever math challenge he might be facing.  He is not only dyslexic, but has dyscalculia, as well. He has always had more success with hands on activities. This is no surprise to me. He is a busy boy and some of his best learning is done in concert with wiggling. I recently had the chance to review Eat Your Math Homework from AnnMcCallum Books.  And because I was once the proud owner of a goat…this one left me curious.

I feel like I do need to do a little explaining about my goat comment. If you know anything about the critters you will know that they will eat anything. Instead of “the dog at my homework,” I could easily have given the “my goat at my homework” excuse.

Eat Your Math Homework is not a book of proven excuses for failure to produce homework. It is filled with fun, “real” recipes that are intended to bring a variety of math concepts to life.

It is an easy to manage paperback book that is recommended for ages 7-10. Obviously, Josiah is 13, so I feel that is for anybody who wants to “Eat Your Math Homework.” Goats not invited.

The lessons include;
Fibonacci Snack Sticks
Fraction Chips
Tessellating Two-Color Brownies
Fibonacci Snack Sticks
Milk and Tangram Cookies
Variable Pizza Pi
Probability Snack Mix

The recipes are easy to follow and I didn’t find any of the ingredients to be particularly funky or hard to find. The book also contains kitchen tips, a review of the math concepts involved and more.

I love having Josiah in the kitchen. It is not always easy, but I firmly believe that our kids need to know there way around the kitchen and learn how to prepare good, healthy food.  I love that this book not only helps me along with that, but it also assists in teaching those math concepts.

I let Josiah look through the book and pick out a few recipes to try initially. Of course, one of those recipes was the Tessellating Two-Color Brownies.

The boy is a brownie fiend!

Just a little shot of things that might happen in your kitchen. I would say "when cooking with a boy." Yes. Josiah was responsible for this little disaster, but I have had plenty of my own. 

I love that the recipes in this book are easy to follow. Each step is numbered and helped keep Josiah on track.

A little cocoa powder never hurt anybody.

Chocolate. It makes for a happy guy.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of the final product. 

 For some reason, we had trouble getting the brownies out of the pan so we couldn’t perform the tessellating experiment. I think the pan was greased enough. However, they were delicious and I didn’t count the lesson as loss. He followed a recipe…which included lots of reading, following directions, measuring, etc.

The next activity we tried were the Fraction Chips.

He loved this one too! And this was a perfect lesson for him. He did it entirely by himself. I don’t know if younger children need to be trusted with frying tortillas, but Josiah can handle it. He can make pancakes unaided. His flipping skills are pretty awesome. 

So are his "taking a bite" skills.

I do have a confession. On this lesson day, I didn't have any taco seasoning (one of the ingredients). I usually make my own, but I found out I was out of chili powder. What? How can I consider myself a cool weather cook without chili powder?

We quickly regrouped and made a cinnamon sugar mixture.

The illustrations in Eat Your Math Homework are darling. They were done beautifully by Leeza Hernandez.

After Josiah was finished cooking his allotted number of tortillas, he started cutting them into fractions.

Such effort! I wish he would put that much effort in the pile of clean dishes. (That's one of his daily chores)

He cut tortillas into 1/4's, 1/8's...even 1/12's.

And snacking on a few along the way.

This was such an awesome lesson to demonstrate fractions. The book also contains a few more challenging activities for those kiddos who can be stretched. Josiah and his Dad enjoyed an afternoon snack. Josiah was quite impressed with himself....I was impressed, as well. It was such a fun lesson.

Ann McCallum is the author several other fun books. I am so pleased with this book...I can't wait to try more! I think this book is a wonderful addition to any homeschool room or family kitchen! 

P.S. I need to tell you that there is a teacher's guide and free lesson to download on the website! Just look under the Downloadables Tab. 

 Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews! 

Ann McCallum Books Review

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