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# Summative Math Project

Kayla Mutch
February 24, 2014

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Anderson, C., Anderson, K., Wenzel, E. (2000). Oil and water dont mix, but they do teach fractions. Teaching Children Mathematics, 7(3), 174-178. This article ties together math and science, which is important because the two subjects often have overlapping concepts. Here, the mathematical thinking is in fractions. The lesson described consisted of visually demonstrating fractions to students using water and oil. Students were given clear beakers, two cups of yellow cooking oil, and one cup of blue water. The students were able to think and see in thirds, as they could visualize what 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3 physically looks like. The authors included samples of student work, so that teachers can anticipate similar responses from their own students. Some students thought the water and oil would mix, to make a green color. Other students knew that oil and water do not mix, but did not know oil, when mixed with water, would rise to the top of the beaker. The students were then given time to extend their learning through group work and their own fractions, water, and oil. The end of the article provides further uses for oil and water when teaching fractions. I particularly thought teaching addition and subtraction of fractions through using this hands-on technique was brilliant, and am glad the authors shared this idea. Fractions are a difficult mathematical concept for students to understand. The article states that according to the National Center for Educational Statistics reported that only 46% of twelfth grade students who wrote the National Assessment of Educational Progress could consistently solve mathematical problems including fractions. This is alarming and as a teacher, shows that more time and creative methods of teaching fractions need to be taken to ensure our students grasp these fundamental skills. Moone, G. & de Groot, C. (2006). Fraction action. Teaching Children Mathematics, 13(5), 266-271. I thought this was a great article and supported evidence on fractions specified in other articles found in my research. The authors stated that fractions are often difficult mathematical concepts for children to grasp. They identify a potential reason for the problem, which I felt to be one of the most important aspects of this article. According to Moon and de Groot, the rules that students learn for working with fractions go against their sense of whole numbers. This is evident when children add numerators and denominators, and for example, believe that 1/6 is smaller than 1/12, because 6 is less than 12. As a teacher, knowing that this is a significant problem when learning the concept of fractions, it is important that I take the appropriate steps to help students correct this mistake.

4 Roddick, C. and Silvas-Centeno, C. (2007). Understanding of fractions through pattern blocks and fair trade. Teaching Children Mathematics, 14(3), 140-145. Roddick and Silvas-Centeno discuss the difficulties students experience learning fractions, and how those basic issues prohibit learning in other areas of mathematics. The authors give possible reasons for the difficulties learners experience with fractions: the material is taught too abstractly, too procedurally, and outside any meaningful contexts. Also, some problems with the understanding of fractions stem from learning fractions through rote memorization of procedures without connecting or building on the means of operating. This article was interesting, as it followed two teachers that wished to address the flaws in students understanding of fractions. These two women believed that a successful teacher should guide their students in exploring ideas and concepts, so they can develop their own knowledge, along with encouraging student-generated strategies. The teachers came together to discuss the issue with Silvas-Centenos sixth grade math class unable to retain an understanding of fractions. The conclusion was reached that the presentation of fractions was too abstract and focused on procedures. Therefore, it was decided that her students could benefit from a more handson approach. The inclusion of this point made this article interesting to me, not only for the strategies of teaching fractions, but also because it shows that good teachers do need to look at their methods and reflect on how they are approaching subjects and actively seeking ways to help their students gain understandings. The teachers employed a technique of using pattern blocks, to build the foundation for understanding concepts and computation, and fair trade, a notion that represents equivalent fractions and gives conceptual meaning to the procedures related to fraction operations. Furthermore, the teachers also included real-life problems to generate thinking. These techniques would be another very helpful strategy to implement in a classroom when teaching fractions, so that the challenges surrounding the topic can be combatted.

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Using Sudoku Bulletin Boards to Teach Mathematical Reasoning
The title of this article intrigued me. I was interested by the use of Sudoku bulletin boards and its success. The author implemented these Sudoku bulletin boards as a choice assignment in the form of a tic-tac-toe instructional strategy, where students were given opens and had to select three across, diagonally, or up and down. She states that the students were immediately interested in Sudoku puzzles. Buckley articulates the need for clarity and simplicity when teaching primary aged students thinking and logical skills. Modeling a constructivist teaching style, she guides inquiry-based lessons to facilitate discussions and independent thinking. Sudoku puzzles allow students to develop logic and reasoning skills independently. To set students up for success, Buckley introduced students to a Sudoku made from a 2x2 grid of four basic colors. By eliminating numbers and only focusing on colors, this allows for students to begin from basics. I thought this was interesting. All too often, we tie Math to numbers, when in actuality developing logic and reasoning skills builds beyond numbers. Colors could more likely be processed simply for students as opposed to numbers. I thought this was a creative way to introduce Sudoku bulletin boards to young students. Buckley emphasizes the importance of considering how to explain Sudoku to students so that the instruction is clear, but fostering their ability to think autonomously. After administering puzzles to the students, those familiar with Sudoku quickly finished; peers helped students unfamiliar with the concept of the puzzles. It was interesting that Buckley discusses that students who were helping their peers had them model behaviours to aid in their solving of puzzles, such as using their finger to guide them or holding a finger on a specific place to mark it. In no time at all (209) students had completed all prepared colored 2x2 Sudoku, Buckley created a more difficult 4x4 grid, using four letters (M-AT-H). Students found these too easy and exhausted them quickly. It was from this that Buckley created the Sudoku bulletin board. Initially, Buckley states some students were confused. She did not detect any correlation between age and gender. Through strategy teaching to small groups of students experiencing difficulty, she allowed them to be eased back into the responsibilities of the puzzle. Incorporating differentiation into the Sudoku bulletin board was something I felt was needed and appreciated that Buckley included it. Those who are experienced can be given puzzles that challenge their abilities, but students who are less comfortable are given the option to complete the puzzles. All students were given the choice to complete the puzzle independently or with a partner.

6 What was interesting was to hear students verbalize their thinking during their solving. Buckley discusses the various strategies that the students employed, such as beginning at the top and going across, attempting to focus on a singular color at a time, using visual numbers that could be possible solutions, etc. Buckley discusses that the success in completing the Sudoku has been mixed with the second and third grade students, however their reasoning and persistence impressed her. In my opinion, I do not believe at this age that it is important if the answers are necessarily correct, as long as students are beginning to explore their problem-solving and reasoning skills. I thought this article was an interesting idea to use in a classroom. Buckley accentuated how this task appealed to gifted students and students who were mathematically advanced. With this in mind, I would be eager to use this as an enrichment project. I would not overwhelm students struggling to grasp basic mathematical concepts, yet as Buckley did, teach the strategies and skills and allow it to be an option or an activity outside of classroom instruction. Reference Buckely, C. (2008). Using Sudoku bulletin boards to teach mathematical reasoning. Teaching Children Mathematics, 15(4), 208-211.

## Identify Fractions and Decimals on a Number Line

We often ask students to show us a fraction through a pictorial example. They give us a shaded piece of a pizza or a chocolate bar. What we do not often ask students is where fractions fall on a number line. A more concrete and flexible understanding of fractions could be achieved through showing students that fractions have a place on a number line. Shaughnessy says that rather than giving your students a fraction and asking them to place it on a number line, have them use the fractional notation to label points on the number line. This requires the student to strategize. One way includes determining the number of parts of equal distance from 0 to the target, then marking the number line. To investigate the nature of the students difficulties when labeling fractions on a number line, the author interviewed students in California. The protocol included various number line tasks, asking students to label marked points on a number line as fractions and decimals. More students correctly labeled number lines using decimal notations, as opposed to fractional notations. Also, more students appropriately labeled when the interval from zero to one was equally divided than when the interval was unequally divided. Four common reasoning for incorrectly labeling a number line are summarized. The first is using unconventional notation. Labeling a marked point on a number line requires an understanding of the conventions of fractions. The representation the student may use to convey their answer may not be the standard convention. An example of this may be a student using 10/8 when they meant 8/10. Secondly, is redefining the unit. When given a number line in which the shown distance is not the unit distance, they may redefine the unit distance on the number line and treat the entire distance shown as the unit distance, rather than the distance between zero and one. Such as labeling 8/20 on the number line, reasoning that there should be ten tick marks from 0-1, and ten tick marks from 1-2. Thirdly, a two-count strategy that focuses on tick-marks rather than distances was also reported. This occurs when the denominator becomes the number of tick marks and the second count, the numerator, is the number of tick marks from zero to the target point. Finally, a one-count strategy that focuses on tick-marks rather than distances may be seen when the number of tick marks from zero the largest point become the denominator. Meghan Shaughnessy is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigans School of Education. She designs and studies innovative professional development materials for practicing teachers and teaches methods courses. Her research focuses on the teaching and learning of rational numbers. From a critical perspective, I felt that this investigation would need to be repeated several more times before these four common errors can be truly narrowed down. The author only conducted the

8 investigation in an urban city school in Northern California, using students only in grade 5, However, the information is a red flag for teachers to be aware of in their teaching. The instructional implications at the end of this chapter are especially useful. Identifying these errors and explaining them to students can show them how to correctly label a number line using fractions. As a teacher, understanding mistakes students may make when working with fractions can better prepare you to make sense of their own reasoning. Therefore, you can find the issue and show them the correct way. Students flexibility can be increased when given a variety of number lines, ones that are equally divided and ones that are unequally divided, as well as being asked to label number lines using fractions or decimals. Reference Shaughnessy, M. M. (March 01, 2011). Identify fractions and decimals on a number line. Teaching Children Mathematics, 17(7), 428-434.

## Mathematical Adventures with Harry Potter

10 what they believe the mystery substance is and experiment with mixing proportions of the two substances together to find the best recipe. The recipe could then be adjusted to be served to the entire class. By practicing their measuring skills, students are developing their sense of fractions, along with discovery-based learning. Similarly, this exploration could be adapted and made into a creative project or science/math centre. My greatest concern with this article revolves around the content of Harry Potter, as it may be on a banned-list in some schools due to the subject of magic. However, the ideas put forth in this article could provide any teacher with great stepping-stones to creating their own mathematical adventure with another novel character. The topics are extremely flexible and could be customized for a book of class interest. The authors had very great ideas and demonstrated creativity in doing so. As teachers, it is important to consider that meaningful learning often takes place when children do not realize they are learning at all. By making lessons engaging and tailored to their interests, it is more likely to reach the students and have them take something away! Reference Wagner, M. M., & Lachance, A. (2004). Mathematical adventures with Harry Potter. Teaching Children Mathematics, 10(5), pp. 274-277.

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Snap Cubes

Snap cubes are a fantastic manipulative for reinforcing foundational concepts, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, patternmaking, fractions, and so on. In the primary grades, I recommend giving each student 10 snap cubes to work with, so they can visualize thinking in base ten. As a student, I loved when the teacher allowed us to use snap cubes, and as a teacher, I love letting students use them. Snap cubes help students visualize concepts, with the added bonus of being fun! During my internship in grade 2, we used snap cubes often. I used them to demonstrate addition problems, and to emphasize that when adding, the two numbers can be reversed but the answer is still the same (for example, 4 + 3 = 7, 3 + 4 = 7). Also, while teaching how to find the missing addend, students loved to use these cubes to have a tactile object to count with. They were also given during a pattern test, so students could make patterns and describe them. Personally, I recommend giving a few minutes at the end of class to allow the students to build creations with their snap cubes. This is fun and they may build on their pattern or geometric thinking on their own!

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Miras

Miras are a core tool that can be used to teach symmetry. To reach its full potential, each student should be given a mira to use, so they can explore the concept of symmetry at their own pace. Miras are wonderful because they visually show students what symmetry is. When I was a volunteer in a grade 4 math class, students created symmetrical masks using miras. First, the students were allowed to draw one half of their mask however they wanted. Then, using the mira, they made their mask symmetrical. To introduce symmetry to kindergarten students, the grade 4 students used buddy teaching. Here, each partner colored half of the mask. Although the colors may not have been the same, the mask was symmetrical. The kindergarten students were amazed with the miras and practiced symmetry with their buddy after their masks were finished. This was a great way to integrate art into math!

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## Base Ten Blocks

Base ten blocks are widely used to teach students the concept of place value. Since 10 is so easy to work with, mathematical methods and strategies emphasize the value of teaching students to think in 10s. Students enjoy using base ten blocks because they are a tactile method of representing numbers, and they can visually see what numbers they are creating. Furthermore, base ten blocks are essential for teaching students greater than, less than, or equal to. There are countless ways of using base ten blocks in a math lesson. The simplicity of base ten blocks is what makes it so useable and students begin to think this way. Due to the high cost of physical base ten blocks, once students become familiar with them, they can draw them or they can be printed from resources! There are also interactive base ten blocks available online. The concept is very transferable. During my internship, our classroom had base ten block magnets. We used these every morning, when we discussed the number of the day. This really pushed students to think about place value. They were able to tell how to build the number of the day, add 3, and subtract 3. Once I got into the routine of doing this, I began to challenge them by adding a 100s flat, and so on. Students quickly understood the concept and it was unbelievable.

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Pattern Blocks

Colored pattern blocks are great manipulatives that can be used across elementary grade levels. Beginning in kindergarten, they can be used to teach basic 2-dimensional shapes and colors. Following on, students can be introduced to more complex shapes, such as a hexagon, rhombus, or trapezoid. Concepts learned from these shapes can be built on when teaching students about 3-dimensional shapes. Outside of geometric thinking, students can use these blocks to build patterns and explore their algebraic thinking, even at a young age! Students can create patterns and sort the blocks by shapes and colors. The fantastic aspect of these manipulatives is that they are universal. All shapes are assigned to their own color. So it allows students to associate orange to square, for example. In my own teaching, I have used these blocks to show students how they can create simple and complex patterns, and how to identify the core of a pattern. It helps them to be able to have a tactile representation in front of them, rather than a pattern always be drawn on paper.

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Dice

Dice make wonderful mathematical manipulatives because students are familiar with them. A great tool does not need to have a single purpose, but the ability to reinforce numerous concepts. Furthermore, children often associate a die with games, which are fun! Engagement is a fundamental component of learning and sometimes students need to learn without being told they are learning. Dice can be used to teach addition, subtraction, probability, place value, and basic counting skills. They also can help students learn number sense. They are inexpensive tools that every elementary classroom should have plenty of. With SMART Board technology and the copious amount of resources available online, you can use activities in class that only require interactive die as well. In my internship, dice were used in games to learn about the missing addend, as well as help solidify the concepts of making doubles. In a game called Doubles, in pairs, students were each given pre-made cards of all the even numbers from 2-12, along with a die and bingo markers. The students had to roll the die and double the number that number. Then, they were to put their bingo marker over the number on their card. This game was later adapted to Doubles + 1, with all the odd numbers from 3-13. The students really enjoyed this game and were practicing their doubles without truly realizing it!

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SMART Board Resources

## Add. Regroup if you need to.

Drag your tens to the tens column. Drag your ones to the one column. Regroup your ones to make more tens. Show your new number.

Work space

26+ 17=

Tens Ones

Work space

59 + 16=

Tens Ones

## Add. Regroup if you need to.

Tens Ones

Tens Ones

17 This SMART Board activity allows students to build on their regrouping skills, place value, and adding two digit numbers. Through infinite cloning of the base ten blocks, students can add given numbers and show them in the workspace provided. By modeling, students can see that you have workspace to represent the numbers and regroup. Then, you present your number in the given tens and ones columns. I used this activity as a warm-up in my internship classroom with grade 2. This activity could also be modified from this technologically based version, into a physical system, so students could show regrouping with the actual base ten blocks.

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## February 08, 2014

Let's see what you know. Do you know the names of these coins? Click the black circle to see if you are correct.

quarter
nickel

penny

dime

quarter penny

quarter dime

nickel

"loonie" \$1 coin
dime

"Loonie"
dime

quarter

nickel
"Loonie"

"Toonie"

## penny penny penny

dime

"toonie" \$2 coin

nickel

"Loonie" dime

"Toonie" quarter

nickel

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19

After introducing grade 2 students to money, together, we played these activities based on Canadian money. First, students had to guess the names of the coins, and then checked their answers by clicking on the black circles. Secondly, students took turns working together to fill the game board. By clicking the spinner, a coin is chosen. You then have to match the coin to its name on the game board. The goal is to fill the entire board with coins. Thirdly, the last slide shows an interactive multiple choice activity about the names of coins and their descriptions. This allows students to begin to make connections about the appearances of coins and how to recognize them. This SMART Board file has been adapted from the original version, found from SMART Exchange: (http://exchange.smarttech.com/details.html?id=c113e811-932d-4c1a-8a2ab3b7464ded47).

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## February 08, 2014

Hundreds

Tens

Ones

Which is Bigger?
Using the first set, roll the three times. The first roll is the hundreds, the second is tens, and the third is ones. Drag the appropriate base-ten blocks into the place value chart. Do the same for the second set. Which number in the place value charts is the largest?

Hundreds

Tens

Ones

Hundreds

Tens

Ones

Hundreds

Tens

Ones

Hundreds

Tens

Ones

Hundreds

Tens

Ones

21 This SMART Board activity is an interactive way for students to practice place value. We used this activity in my internship class as a model, and then the students were given their own physical versions to play with as a math center with a partner. Firstly, you roll the dice three times and place each number in the hundreds, tens, or ones column, respectively. The base ten blocks are infinitely cloned, so the students can build their three-digit number. Then repeat, filling in the second chart. It is then up to the student to use their knowledge of place value to determine which number is bigger. This game could be adapted to figure out which number is smaller, as well.

22

Dinosaur Dentist: http://ictgames.com/dinosaurDentist/index.html This game helps students utilize doubles as a mental math strategy to solve problems that are near doubles. You begin by clicking the top of the dinosaurs head. The addition sentence is presented on the left. Considering the closest double, in this case, 10 + 10, you remove one of the dinosaurs black teeth, making number of teeth in his mouth 10 + 9, in this case. Then, you are given three options and must select the correct answer. If the correct answer is selected, the dinosaur does a boogie. If the incorrect answer is selected, the dinosaur cries in pain. Students benefit from this game because it allows them to visualize their mental math strategy of using doubles, and identify these addition sentences. Plus, the sound effects and humor of the game keep students engaged and they find it fun. In my internship, students would beg to play this game!

23 iXL: http://ca.ixl.com iXL is a wonderful mathematical website. It is broken down into grades and into a list of all of the skills students learn in the specific grade! These skills are organized into categories, which can be aligned with each provincial curriculum. iXL allows students to log in and then keeps track of their progress. Therefore, teachers can view the students work. Students love using iXL because it makes math fun. I have worked in grades 2 and 4 math classes in which the teachers used iXL as math centers.

ABCya: http://www.abcya.com ABCya is a great website that is all game-based. This website includes games that appeal to all subjects, including math. Games are categorized by grade and are tailored to the age-groups corresponding to those grades. All games are easy to use in a safe online-environment and are child-friendly, as well as parent-friendly. This website would make a great recommendation for students to play at home. There are also apps available through ABCya to download.

## Music and Videos

What Makes Ten? http://safeshare.tv/w/NacGOnRJjI I showed this video to grade 2 students during my internship and they went wild over it. This video reinforces the mental math strategy of making ten. It first shows students the different combinations that make ten, then asks them to fill in the missing addend. We did this as a class, danced around, and shouted the missing addend and used our fingers to represent the number. The kids begged to do it almost every day and loved it. Since it was something we could physically jump around and dance to, while listening and singing, students were committing their combinations that make ten to memory, while having fun!

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This was my interview with an 11-year-old student about math. I conducted this interview to show what real students think about math, what they struggle with, and what they think about teaching practices and what they want in a math teacher. This was an eye-opening experience, because it made me reflect as a teacher (I was not this students teacher), and my own teaching philosophy and practices. Math is oftentimes a difficult subject for students to feel confident in and master. If we can pinpoint the areas of struggle, we can increase our students success. Q) Do you like math? Why or why not? A) Nope, because it is hard. I think that sometimes teachers make it hard to like math. Q) If you could make up the best teacher on earth, how would he or she teach math? A) He or she would be nice and not strict and never give any tests. Q) Why dont you like math tests? A) Because they are hard. Q) What is your favorite part about math class? A) Getting to use the SMART board because it is bright and we get to play games on it. Q) Would you like math more if you played a lot of games? A) Yeah. Q) What grade did you enjoy math the most? Why? A) Grade 1, because there werent tests and it was a lot of games. Q) Of all the topics you have learned so far, what has been the hardest for you? A) Measurement and geometry. Q) What was your favorite topic that you learned about so far? Why? A) Patterns. I didnt find it hard. I like to make patterns. Q) Do you think you would like math more if you got to pick a project and show what you know, rather than doing a test? A) Yes. As long as it isnt a test or an assessment, I would like it a lot more. Q) Do you like to do math with a buddy or alone? Why?

25 A) A smart buddy. But sometimes when you partner with a smart buddy they dont let you talk. They just say to copy off their work and I dont get to do anything. Q) What kind of homework does your teacher give you? A) She gives us a lot of worksheets and if you dont get them done you get detention. Q) If you had trouble with your math homework, do you think you could get help at home? A) Yeah.

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Dear Math Diary,

Today I found this resource on Pinterest. This is a fun way to introduce adding to students, so they can visually see adding, and it allows them to kinesthetically do addition. This activity is made from a piece of Bristol board, two Styrofoam cups, paper-towel tubes, and a basket underneath which is where the answer is, and uses marbles. I would use this activity in K-1. I like this idea because it is interactive and would probably engage students in their addition. I would have students count their marbles, record the number, count the next set of marbles, record the number, then count the number in the basket and record it as the answer. This develops addition awareness and counting skills. Marbles available would have to be limited so the students do not get carried away into facts beyond their ability, but they should be challenged.

## 27 Dear Math Diary,

Today, I found an activity called, I Have, Who Has? make great warmups to get students thinking in mathematical terms. This version teaches students time. The first player is chosen by their card, which says I have the first card. Who has 12:00? Then the players must all look at the top of their cards, which has a clock. The person whose clock shows 12:00 goes next, by saying I have 12:00. Who has 3:30? This continues until the game is finished and all players have gone. I like this idea, because it presents students with reading time from an analog clock, as well as reading written time. I would like to use this someday if the need arose. I found this resource on Pinterest.

## 28 Dear Math Diary,

Today I found an activity called, The Fractions of Me. On six strips of equally cut paper, students write on thing that makes up who they are, and labels the strip correctly. For example, 1/6: I am a daughter. Once the students write 6/6 strips of paper, they can create construction paper versions of themselves. In the centre, as the body, the students can transfer what they wrote from their strips of paper onto a stationary page. This activity crosses with Language Arts. I would like to use this activity with a math class, because it furthers the foundational understandings of fractions being parts of a whole. The number of strips could be adapted, depending on grade, level of readiness, or differentiation. This activity allows students to think critically and plan, as well as reflect on themselves as a person.

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Students will continue to develop their depth of understanding of 3-D objects. Grade 2 students need many varied opportunities to manipulate 3-D objects. Activities in which they describe, compare, and build 3-D objects, and discuss their observations help to develop essential geometric skills. It is through such activities that students will learn the names of 3-D objects and begin to recognize their characteristics. This book is about identifying basic shapes throughout the story. During this book, the reader is asked to build the shape of a tent (using the manipulatives provided). This book and activity were designed to be implemented early in the school year, as a review of basic shapes with the introduction to 3D shapes. Another potential Math assignment could be to introduce this book at the beginning of a lesson, then have the students make their own books about shapes. The back of the book includes instructions and the materials needed to complete the math assignment, suggested within the book. The manipulatives are the jelly candies posed with the toothpicks to make and show how to create 3D objects, and such as the tent. The lesson could be taken further by asking the students to build other 3D shapes, as well as using it to form a lesson on vertices, faces, and correctly identifying shapes.