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Elementary School Mathematics for Parents and Teachers, Volume 1

Raz Kupferman
World Scientific
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Mark Bollman
, on

In 1965, Tom Lehrer introduced his song “New Math” with the following passage:

Some of you who have small children may have perhaps been put in the embarrassing position of being unable to do your child’s arithmetic homework because of the current revolution in mathematics teaching known as the “New Math”.

With the rise of Common Core, we are seeing a resurgence of this disconnect between mathematics as parents learned it and as it’s now being taught. In that spirit, the time is surely right for a book such as this. The author sets out with parents in mind as his audience, but there is much here for elementary school teachers as well.

Volume 1 of this planned two-volume set covers elementary arithmetic and geometry as they appear in the K-2 curriculum. The exposition is exceptionally clear, and keeps its audience in mind: in the end, this is “a book for adults on mathematics for children”, to quote from the preface.

In considering elementary school mathematics as professional mathematicians, we often forget about parents in our necessary concern for how students and teachers will respond to new ideas about content and teaching. A book that is tailored to their concerns and interests might well serve the entire community by helping to enlist them as classroom allies, and Raz Kupferman has written an excellent book for that task.

Mark Bollman ([email protected]) is professor of mathematics and chair of the department of mathematics and computer science at Albion College in Michigan. His mathematical interests include number theory, probability, and geometry. He is the author of Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon. Mark’s claim to be the only Project NExT fellow (Forest dot, 2002) who has taught both English composition and organic chemistry to college students has not, to his knowledge, been successfully contradicted. If it ever is, he is sure that his experience teaching introductory geology will break the deadlock.

  • Counting and Natural Numbers
  • The Decimal Representation System
  • The Four Operations of Arithmetic
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Even and Odd Numbers
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Regrouping
  • Addition of Multi-Digit Numbers
  • Subtraction of Multi-Digit Numbers
  • Give Me Five!
  • Introduction to Geometry
  • Planes and Lines
  • Length
  • Angles
  • Polygons
  • Area