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Math For All Seasons: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Harry Briggs
Publisher: Scholastic Bookshelf
Copyright: 2002
ISBN: 0-439-75537-9
Number of Pages: 40
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–2

This book teaches problem solving through the use of riddles, rhymes, and colorful illustrations of fanciful problems based on the four seasons.  Students aged 5-8 are encouraged to think intuitively about numbers and to apply various counting strategies. There are four problem-solving techniques suggested in the riddles.  The first is to be open-minded and consider many approaches.  The second is to think strategically by grouping numbers in ways that make adding easier.  A third approach that works for some problems is to add easy groups and then subtract off a few items to arrive at the total. A fourth technique is to look for patterns and symmetries. Suggestions for ways to solve each problem are provided at the end of the book.

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How to Use This Book
Highlights and Insights
Related ORC Resources
Ohio Standards

 


How to Use This Book

  • This book can be used as a special resource when introducing seasons of the year.
  • Use the book as an introduction to problem-solving methods. Some of the 16 problems lend themselves to certain strategies more than to others.
  • Each problem is presented on two facing pages, so the problems can be discussed individually or in groups, according to the time available.
  • The riddles may be presented as cross-curricular material and can serve as the focus for interesting class discussions.

Highlights and Insights

  • Students too often rely on memorized patterns or counting as their only approach to problem solving. This book promotes alternative thought patterns and counting methods that occur naturally to some, but not all, students. 
  • The illustrations suggest easy groupings for counting and can help students move from counting groups of 5 and 10 in pictures to looking for groups of 5 and 10 when adding numbers.
  • The technique of counting "groups" first and then subtracting a few individual items is another device students can use to simplify addition problems later on.

Related ORC Resources

Do It with Dominoes 1: Counting to Find Sums
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ORC# 4309
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–1
Professional Commentary: Students get acquainted with dominoes, count the dots on each half, and write the numerals for the numbers of dots. They then find the sum of the dots on both halves and write the addition sentence to represent the sum....
Do It with Dominoes 5: Seeing Doubles
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ORC# 4313
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grade 2
Professional Commentary: Students engage in two activities using dominoes to reinforce the "doubles" addition combinations. The lesson includes a list of children's counting stories, discussion questions, suggestions for assessment, an extension of the lesson, and questions for teacher reflection....
Do It with Dominoes 6: Finding Fact Families
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ORC# 4314
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–2
Professional Commentary: Students find different dominoes that have the same total number of spots. They write fact families for each of the different dominoes....
Let's Count to 20
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ORC# 3759
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–1
Professional Commentary: This six-lesson unit features activities in various modalities in which students work with progressively larger sets containing 10-20 elements. They count the elements, write numerals, and make sets with more or fewer elements....

Ohio Standards

Number, Number Sense and Operations Standard
    Benchmarks (K-2)
    F. Count, using numerals and ordinal numbers.
    Grade Level Indicators (K)
    3. Count to twenty; e.g., in play situations or while reading number books.
    Grade Level Indicators (1)
    2. Recognize and generate equivalent forms for the same number using physical models, words and number expressions; e.g., concept of ten is described by "10 blocks", full tens frame, numeral 10, 5 + 5, 15 - 5, one less than 11, my brother's age.