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Math: Facing an American Phobia

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  52 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Challenging negative attitudes and delivering a positive message about what math can and should mean to all of us, this resource is both an entertaining and invaluable read. From “Talking Turkey About Arithmetic” to “Making Math Make Sense,” the 13 chapters help everyone conquer their fear of math.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Math Solutions (first published January 1st 1998)
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Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math
I began my "math makeover" with a book by Marilyn Burns, entitled Math: Facing an American Phobia. It was a fantastic start, written by a math educator who finds delight in real-world applications rather than in rows of "right" answers on a worksheet. For me, she put to death the myth that there is only ONE way to come up with the answer to a math problem. If you had to quickly tabulate the sum of 37 plus 50 would you first add 40 to 50 and then subtract 3? Or would you make an addition problem ...more
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math, read-in-2010
I was reading part of this book for an assignment at school and Burns was so funny, I just kept reading for pleasure. Burns analyzes why the vast majority of the country "hates" and "can't do" math, and also points out that any efforts to teach math in a different, possibly more accessible way, are often loudly protested. It seems that people want their children to learn math in exactly the same way they did, even if the result was that they themselves hate math and describe themselves as not ve ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think the author makes a lot of good points about how Math has been taught poorly in the past (based on formula memorization) instead of teaching kids to think and reason. However, since this book was written over fifteen years ago, I would like to read an updated version. The author may have written something more up-to-date that addresses how teachers are pressured to "teach to the (state) test." If so, I suggest one reads it instead of this book.
Aug 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who get nervous at the thought of calculating a tip
You assume correctly- this is a book about math and therefore will probably generate less sensationalism than oh, say Dan Brown. But for what it is, it's really good. Burns makes excellent points, its easy to read and can be digested either in increments or one whole sitting. (See, math IS everywhere, even in this half-assed review.)
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by a professor as a must read, so I picked it up. I really liked it! It completely changed the way I feel about mathematics and how I will look at teaching it. Children must learn to understand the 'why' behind the 'how.' Very interesting.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book. Started reading it to get an idea of how kids learn math...and pretty soon little blank places in my math background started to get filled in (or challanged). Also "Math Power" by Patricia Kenschaft.
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm a math geek, what can I say...
Mary Christensen-cooper
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
All educators should read this!
Josh Fish
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Many great insights to teaching math to kids. Memorable ones are that it is okay to use calculators, and that math is messy but so useful to life if we teach people how.
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Marilyn Burns is one of today’s most highly respected mathematics educators. Over the course of 40 years, Marilyn has taught children, led inservice sessions, and written a variety of professional development publications for teachers and administrators.
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