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Anno's Math Games II
Author: Mitsumasa Anno
Illustrator: Mitsumasa Anno
Publisher: Philomel Books
Copyright: 1982/1989
ISBN: 0-399-21615-4
Number of Pages: 104
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–8

Anno's Math Games II is a whimsical collection of puzzles based on applications of mathematics that help students understand the world around us. Two characters, Kriss and Kross, guide the reader through 5 stand-alone chapters. Some chapters are better suited for lower grades while others are for the upper elementary grades. Explanations of the mathematics involved in each chapter are provided in the Afterword.

The first chapter, "The Magic Machine," describes a contraption that systematically changes items that are placed into the machine. From the examples described in the story, readers are asked to figure out how other objects would be changed by the machine.  The magic machine is similar to a "function machine" often used by mathematics teachers to simulate relationships between two variables.

The next two chapters furnish opportunities to think analytically about art.  "Compare and Find Out" asks students to compare two pictures for similarities and differences such as shape, characteristics, and size.  "Dots, Dots, and More Dots" shows various ways dots can be assembled to create pointillist artwork. Students will easily recognize the comparison to pixels on a TV or computer screen. 

The last two sections allow readers to explore quantity by counting or measuring.  "Counting With Circles" involves counting discrete quantities and representing the quantity in our base 10 numeration system.  "Counting Water" shows a way to count continuous quantities by measuring with volumetric units.  


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

 


How to Use This Book

  • Use the ideas presented in the book as hands-on activities that inspire the imagination while learning mathematics.
  • For younger students, read small vignettes and have them engage in the corresponding activities.
  • For older students, use vignettes to provide journal prompts.
  • This book is a must for the classroom library. Students and teachers alike will refer to this book throughout the year. "Remember in the Anno book when..." will keep students thinking about the rich mathematics all around us!
  • This book is excellent for differentiation in the classroom. Anno gives hints for many different ways to solve any one problem. Thus the problems become very accessible to a wide range of students.

Highlights and Insights

  • The author does a nice job providing puzzles that address hard-to-teach areas (e.g., functional relationships).
  • Chapter 4 can be used as an introduction to using abstract symbols in simple charts rather than pictures of the item being counted.
  • Chapter 5 is an excellent resource for observing Piagetian conservation. Students could try the different volume comparisons to distinguish what looks like more from what is actually more by measurement.

Related ORC Resources

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Ohio Standards

Number, Number Sense and Operations Standard

Measurement Standard

Geometry and Spatial Sense Standard

Patterns, Functions and Algebra Standard

Data Analysis and Probability Standard

Mathematical Processes Standard