Math enrichment

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Math enrichment
13
Fri, 12-23-2011 - 6:06pm

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for math enrichment for my middle schooler. I'm NOT looking for anything competitive, or any drudge work. But, I feel l ike he has some talent and I wonder if I should be doing anything to develop it. He just took the AMC8 math test, with almost no prep, and got the highest score in his middle school. Now, he was nowhere near perfect, and there are a score of really competitive kids at our local college (a math group there) who nailed the test.

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Sat, 12-24-2011 - 11:54am

I'm sorry I can't remember how old he is or what grade he's in. This might not be challenging enough for him. But my dd8 is enjoying Ed Zaccarro's "Challenge Math" book. It teaches problem-solving strategies explicitly and introduces math concepts like large numbers, scientific notation, exponents, the basis of calculus, trigonometry, graphing and the like. It's friendly, fun and low-key, perfect for enrichment rather than for tracking kids into math competitions. It's marketed as being good for gifted middle-schoolers, so it might still have something to offer your ds. My dd is only scratching the surface of it at this point and I expect it will suit her for at least another couple of years. (She's doing ~ 7th grade math.)

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 12-24-2011 - 12:05pm
Has he seen the "Life of Fred" books? They are pretty fun reading, have practice problems and show real life types of situations (as much as a 5 year old college professor can be real life, anyhow.)
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Sun, 12-25-2011 - 2:30pm
My kids really enjoyed books like "The Number Devil", "The Man Who Counted", etc. Also Kin Platt's "Sinbad and Me" (very hard to get now, because they were, possibly because the writing is a little dated) purged from public libraries), a mystery story with lots of food for thought, including forays into architecture, numismatics, ciphers, enigmas, and badmen. The last time I read it, I was determined to track every thread to its logical end, but I STILL ended up feeling like a dolt compared to its twelve year old protagonist, who gets embroiled in danger because he has to go to summer school after failing sixth grade (I think) science. We also like playing with Islamic geometrical designs and origami...we found instructions for a fabulous "open" star of David made from a dollar bill...the "landmarks" for the folds are for a US bill, but apparently other folders have adapted the design so that any rectangular paper of the correct proportion can be used.

Deborah
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sun, 12-25-2011 - 9:30pm
Would he get into origami? This movie, along with showing the art of it, also shows the mathematics. http://www.amazon.com/Independent-Lens-Dr-Erik-Demaine/dp/B002NWRMO0/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1324866395&sr=1-2 (It is called "Between the Folds" - really amazing, our library had it and my kids loved it.) One of the guys got his doctorate based on the math in origami.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 12-25-2011 - 9:48pm

Ds is 11 and in 6th grade (doing pre-algebra in school, which is relatively easy, but the highest level at his MS). The book sounds great - I want to keep him challenged but in an engaging way. Thanks for the recommendation!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 12-25-2011 - 9:53pm

Has he seen the "Life of Fred" books? They are pretty fun reading, have practice problems and show real life types of situations (as much as a 5 year old college professor can be real life, anyhow.)

Yes, we have them through Beginning Algebra. I have thought about getting the Advanced Algebra, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to stray too much from his (ds11's)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 12-25-2011 - 10:02pm

My kids really enjoyed books like "The Number Devil", "The Man Who Counted", etc. Also Kin Platt's "Sinbad and Me"

I put the first two on hold at our local library, but the third does indeed seem hard to find. Amazon has copies for over $100-

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 12-25-2011 - 10:06pm

Would he get into origami? This movie, along with showing the art of it, also shows the mathematics. http://www.amazon.com/Independent-Lens-Dr-Erik-Dem​aine/dp/B002NWRMO0/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8... (It is called "Between the Folds" - really amazing, our library had it and my kids loved it.) One of the guys got his doctorate based on the math in origami.

You guys all have such interesting suggestions!!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 12-26-2011 - 5:26pm

What is middle school range in your area?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Mon, 12-26-2011 - 7:13pm

What is middle school range in your area? I ask because I'm surprised that pre-algebra is as high as the school offers. Our middle schools are 6th-8th with algebra an 8th grade standard (though a good start middle school in pre-algebra... they offer through algebra II.)

I didn't phrase that well. He's in pre-algebra now, with Algebra I next year, and Geometry in 8th (here, algebra is not an 8th grade standard, so he is two grades ahead, or "gifted"

Pages