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Math for the Real World Early Emergent (K-1) Pack Review by Maggi Beardsley

Rosen Publishing
29 E 21st Street
New York, NY 10010

Math for the Real World is a group of 18 paperback, colorful books with reproducible blackline masters and an answer key. It is intended for early emergent readers, usually kindergarten and first grade students. The set covers identification of zero to ten, counting zero to ten, telling time by the hour, adding by one, the concepts of heavy and light, length, subtracting by one, simple shapes, simple picture graphs, numbers in word form zero to ten, near and far, place value for ones and tens, simple geometric shapes, collecting data, comparing two objects, comparing volume, and the concepts of taller and shorter.

The student reads the small books together with the teacher. (Or the teacher can read them to the student.) The engaging photographs are of real people and real places. For example, the book "Count the Ways to Get Around" shows a picture of a train and the number one. Under the photograph it says, "We see one train moving on the tracks." The last page of each book has smaller photos for each of the key words with the word typed underneath each picture.

Then there is a reproducible worksheet for each book. The page for "Count the Ways to Get Around" included five pictures of items that the child saw in the book. The student needs to write the number of the items that he sees in the box on the master page. The student doesn't need to recall the number of objects from the book.

In my opinion, children need to early exposure to math just like reading. They need to fall in love with numbers. They need to enjoy playing with the concepts of numbers. I think Math for the Real World can do that. Kindergartners and first graders are just learning mathematical concepts. The parent can read these books to the child, and once the child can read, he or she can read them over and over again. Even a non-reader would enjoy the pictures and be able to identify the numbers. I also like the reproducible masters. You can use it for more than one child. There is just one page per book so that it is not too much. If I discovered that my child wanted more worksheets, there are many websites that provide them.

Math for the Real World would not be the best program for a parent or a child that thrives on worksheets. Nor would it be a good fit for traditional textbook teachers. I recommend Math for the Real World for kindergarten students. The mathematical concepts are presented well, and the books are a great addition for both math and reading. The books answer some of the "Why do we need math" questions early in a child's education so that the student can start off with an "I love math!" feeling rather than "Why do I have to do more math?"

-Product review by: Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2008.