# Money.

## Description

Contains Photos, Index

$7.95

ISBN 978-0-7787-4360-6

DDC j513

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## Review

My Path to Math* *is a series of eight books aimed at introducing children to the following basic mathematical concepts: *Geometry*, *Graphing*, *Fractions*, *Place Value*, *Measurement*, *Time*, *Estimation*, and *Money*. Each text is 24 pages long and includes a table of contents, a two-page glossary, and a one-page index. The books are brightly coloured, use large clear fonts, and appear uncluttered. The illustrations are simple and clear; they mostly utilize photographs of people and include a good representation of gender, age, and ethnicity. The books all follow the same standard layout: an explanation of the concept on the left side with an illustration of it on the right side. An activity box that is meant to reinforce the lessons being taught accompanies each new concept.

These books are expensive for what they are. The target age is unclear, nor is there any indication of what order the books should be read in. This is problematic, as clearly some concepts, such as fractions, can be used to illustrate other topics, such as time or money. Also, in several instances a concept (skip counting) was referred to without adequate explanation in several texts (*Money*, *Estimation*, *Time*). The definition of skip counting was provided in *Place Value*. The texts are uneven in terms of both content and pedagogy; some are well explained and useful, such as *Fractions*, while others, such as *Geometry*, are not. All of these books require the assistance of an adult.

*Money* primarily uses American currency in its examples. Money concepts are introduced through the story of Karen, a little girl on her way to the library. The contents begin with an explanation of money and devote a chapter to denominations from pennies to one dollar. There is a separate chapter for large bills, another for even larger bills, and one for other money, where Canadian is discussed.

*Place Value *introduces skip counting, how numbers past 10 work, greater than and less than, and number order. The text is not built around a story, and the cover picture implies a discussion of place holding from 1 to 1,000, which does not occur.

*Measurement *is also not constructed around a story. It describes in simple terms ways to measure, measuring tools, mass, and capacity. There is a particular focus on what mass and capacity are and how to measure them.

*Fractions *is built around a story of preparing a fruit salad for lunch. The fruit is used to illustrate different fractions: equal parts, halves, thirds, fourths. There is also a brief explanation on different sizes of fractions.

*Graphing* is explained through the story of Miguel and his family’s gardening centre. Concepts such as data gathering and counting, picture graphs, bar graphs, and Venn diagrams are introduced.

*Estimation* is the story of a girl, Sima’s, attempts to guess how many erasers are in a jar. Modelling and chunking as ways of producing estimates are explained, as well as why we estimate and when it is appropriate to do so. In one of the activities boxes, readers are told to skip count by 5, without an explanation of what skip counting is. The picture on the cover has nothing to do with the text.

*Time* attempts to cover a lot of information in a short period. Clocks, parts of clocks, telling time with a clock, calendars, the parts of a day, months, years, and the concept of the past and the future are all covered. The section on clocks is quite extensive, but oddly the pictures are only of analog clocks. This text also mentions skip counting without further explanation.

*Geometry* discusses plane shapes and three-dimensional shapes. It spends about half the time on each. It does not talk about angles, which are a basic part of geometry and integral to understanding its usefulness. The shapes include circles, squares, triangles, cubes, spheres, and cones. This series is not recommended.

## Citation

*Canadian Book Review Annual Online*, accessed August 9, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/32573.