Kids Books with Jessica – Maths Books
I’ve previously talked about how much I love maths. And how powerful reading can be for developing mathematical skills. And I’m back for more. In a previous incarnation, when I was a school teacher, I read a study about children’s perceptions of maths and science before they came to school. And it talked about how children will hear things like ‘maths is boring’ or ‘I’m no good at maths’ or ‘maths isn’t important’ and it will affect their attitudes to maths when they reach school. But…today’s blog post is for parents and for children at school who might need some help with maths. Or who love maths and just want to do more maths (can you guess which category I fit into?)
Times Tables! (a pull-the-tab book)
This book is for children who are trying to learn their times tables. Times tables is one of the fundamentals of later maths and it is so important for children to know the whole equation – 5 x 6 = 30 and not confuse skip counting (5 10 15 20 25 30) for actually knowing their times tables and how multiplication works. To effectively learn and teach maths you need to use a range of tools and books like this where there is an interactive element are a great addition to the other things that are being done.
First Sums (Lift-the-flap)
From multiplication to addition. This book is great for children who are developing their addition skills but still need lots of visual cues and who like to be able to count out what they are doing rather than holding the numbers in their heads. I love lift-the-flap books especially the way they are used in this book to give children the opportunity to work it out by themselves and then check their answers in a safe way (meaning that if they are wrong they might be the only ones who know).
Telling the Time (Lift-the-flap)
Time can be a tricky thing to master but with this book using diagrams, flaps, and explanations, covers everything from digital to analogue and from weeks to 24-hour time. This book is a great option for children who need a very visual example of time and how it relates to all of the different ways we talk about it and use it. It would also be a very worthwhile book for any child who is mastering understanding time.
Parents helping out their children
The dictionary focusses on children in the 11-16 year old range. This is also a great resource for parents who are trying to help, or understand, what their children are talking about. There is a section on how to use the book, a separate area for abbreviations and mnemonics, and information on everything from algebra to quadrilaterals.
Cooking is an amazing way to see maths in action:
- units of measurement,
- multiplication, etc.
My niece and I watch cooking shows a lot. We (along with her mum/my sister) make a habit of watching Nailed It, Great British Bake Off, Sugar Rush, Zumbo’s Just Desserts, etc. together and she was deeply interested in baking macarons. My sister really dislikes macarons and they are naturally gluten free so Aunty to the rescue!
- 175g icing sugar
- 125g almond meal
- 3 large eggs
- 75g caster sugar
- food colouring
With the help of my niece we made these and I took photographic evidence as we went along so the instructions are under the pictures.
Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan).
Blend almond meal and icing sugar in food processor until very fine.
Sift in a bowl.
Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl with a pinch of salt to form soft peaks.
Slowly whisk in caster sugar until thick and glossy.
You can add 1/2 tsp of flavouring to meringue mixture and add colour to match taste.
NOTE – we used mint flouring but my niece wanted to make purple macarons so we have purple mint flavour.
Fold in half of the almond meal/icing sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well.
Add the remaining almond meal/icing sugar, cut and fold until mixture is shiny.
Spoon into piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle and pipe onto the baking mat (this one is for macarons).
Stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to form a slight skin.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on the tray.
I think our mixture was a touch too dry. Or we over mixed it at the folding stage but as you can see it didn’t settle into the dome shape. I did one lot of piping and my niece did the other. The piping in place without moving did result in slightly more shaped macarons.
Regardless of the errors, they tasted amazing.
As we had mint macarons we filled them with chocolate ganache to make mint chocolate macarons.
I really enjoyed them, my niece not so much – she didn’t really like the texture of the shell.
- 250ml thickened cream
- 250g of cut up chocolate
What to Do
- Heat up the cream and chocolate in the microwave on 50% power, pausing often to stir with a wooden spoon.
- When mixed cool for at least an hour.
- Spoon onto one macaron shell and sandwich with another one.
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