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The Fly on the Ceiling: A Math Myth (Step into Reading)
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The Fly on the Ceiling: A Math Myth (Step into Reading, Step 4)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Kids are sure to love this funny and very accessible tale--based on one of math's greatest myths--about Rene Descartes, the father of modern geometry. Full color.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published May 19th 1998 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1998)
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Jul 29, 2012 Suchitra rated it it was amazing
i bought this book for my nephew during a landmark sale. I am so impressed that I will try to find the rest of the series.
I learnt about Rene and the Cartesian system of coordinates that we use to this day. It is an interesting story, written well, aimed at kids.
Sylvia Ulmer
Aug 04, 2013 Sylvia Ulmer rated it liked it
Shelves: cartesian-plane
We used this read-aloud to begin our unit on CCSS.Math.Content.5.G.A.1 - Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far t ...more
Jul 16, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rene Descartes is so important for the development of math that our early grade school children would benefit from meeting him in this funny story. I've read this to many classes from K through 6. They love hearing of Rene's battle with sloppiness and his discovery of the rectangular coordinate system to help him find order. This prepares the students for learning how the coordinate system works. I've used this book in kindergarten classes to prepare them for graphing problems. With a little mor ...more
Wooden Horse
May 04, 2011 Wooden Horse rated it it was ok
I liked this book better before I read the Author’s note on the last page. It might have been better if they had completely made up the story instead of trying to weave Rene Descartes into the storyline. The premise is that Rene is a messy person so he invents the Cartesian Coordinate System to get his things in order.
Feb 17, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was extremely interesting, and can be used to integrate literacy into math. While teaching about history of the cartesian plane, it also shares how to plot points and provides an idea that you can use to introduce plotting points to students in the classroom through a hands-on approach. The book is very informative and useful.
Rachel Inbar
Oct 14, 2012 Rachel Inbar rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guli-read-alone
My 7-1/2 year old daughter read this to me and we both REALLY enjoyed it. The story is cute, funny and teaches something and the illustrations are fabulous. I also found that there was a good balance between long (somewhat intimidating) pages to really short, easy-to-get-through pages. Highly recommended!
Jayetta Carter-mcfarlin
Mar 03, 2012 Jayetta Carter-mcfarlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ece-3601, math
This is a level 4 reading book that is recommended for Grades 2 - 4. The book has a challenging vocabulary that leads young learners into reading paragraphs. This book is also for a math reader, it introduces the Cartesian System of graphing coordinates. Though it is part fact and part fiction, I would use this book to introduce the Cartesian Coordinate System to 4th graders.
Oct 19, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it
This is an easy reader aimed at the AVERAGE 2nd grader that tells a funny story about a real philospher from long ago who was also a math wizard. It taught my 7 year old about a couple of math terms I thought we wouldn't see till the middle school years. I like how now when he does arrive at his first philosophy or logic class he'll feel like Descartes is an old friend.
LOVED this book about Descartes and how he created the coordinate system. Would make a cool introduction to math concepts. Could create an activity using coordinates to find things in a room just like Descartes.
Feb 28, 2011 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how this book was interdisciplinary -- it touched on reading, mathematics, and history! This is a fun way to teach students about Cartesian coordinates. The story format may help them understand the concept better too.
I am such a sucker for these sorts of books! Introductory fun reads about important people in history, in this case Rene Descartes mathematician and philosopher. This humorous, possibly true, telling of how he discovered graphing is perfect for young readers.
Jul 31, 2014 Rodolfo rated it liked it
An introduction to the Cartesian coordinate system through a silly, largely (entirely?) fictional narrative.
Oct 25, 2013 Kandi rated it it was amazing
Level 4 book, big words. All about the coordinate system. I love how they are entertaining yet teaches kids something in a way they can understand.
Feb 22, 2015 ABC rated it really liked it
Explain who Rene Descartes and his creation of coordinates. The story itself is fictionalized. Good book, so much more interested than just telling your child the plain facts.
Sep 11, 2009 Devin rated it liked it
Good way to present graphs for reading x, y axises.
Aug 26, 2011 JaNeal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-readers
An interesting and creative approach to a story about Math. I love the leaps the author makes to create a fun and engaging story about math.
Alondra rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2011
Aiden Camire
Aiden Camire rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2015
Rachel Geen
Rachel Geen rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2013
Kristi rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2010
Novelynne rated it it was amazing
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Eric rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2009
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Dec 16, 2011 Alan rated it it was amazing
it is a good book
Wanda rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2016
John H Bishop
John H Bishop rated it it was amazing
Jun 03, 2012
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