How do you approach a math problem that challenges you? Do you keep trying until you reach a solution? Or are you like Amy, who gets frustrated easily and gives up?
Amy is usually a happy and enthusiastic student in grade five who loves to dance, but she is struggling with a tough math assignment. She doesn't think she is good at math because her classmates always get the answers faster than she does and sometimes she uses her fingers to help her count. Even though her mom tries to help her, Amy is convinced she just cannot do math. She decides not to do the assignment at all since she thinks she wouldn't do well anyway.
As Amy goes about her day, her experiences at ballet class, the playground, and gym class have her thinking back to how she gave up on her math assignment. She starts to notice that hard-work, practice, and dedication lead to success, thanks to her friends and teachers. She soon comes to understand that learning math is no different than learning any other skill in life. With some extra encouragement from her math teacher, a little help from her mom, and a new attitude, Amy realizes that she can do math!...
Alice Aspinall, B.Math(Hon), B.Ed, is a Portuguese-Canadian secondary mathematics educator in Ontario, Canada. She loves spending time with her husband and two children reading books, playing math games, and exploring the outdoors. Alice is a strong advocate of the growth mindset. She is continually looking for ways to build young people’s confidence in math and to make math fun, challenging, and satisfying. Her innovative lessons and her dedication in the classroom have made a positive impact on her students’ attitudes toward math. Her YouTube channel, “MrsALovesMath,” exemplifies her commitment to her students’ learning. Alice is also a champion for females in STEM by encouraging girls to pursue science and mathematics both in high school and in post-secondary education. Alice believes everyone can learn math and she is on a mission to prove it.
This is more than just an encouraging math book for kids. It showcases the power of perseverance and teaches the reader that we are all more capable than we believe. Excellent story for kids of all ages.
The Power of Perseverance in “Everyone Can Learn Math”
After reading “Everyone Can Learn Math” to my four-year-old daughter for the first time, I asked her what she thought. She replied, “I love it. Can we read it again?” I can think of no better endorsement for Alice Aspinall’s book. Nonetheless, here is mine:
This book, inspired by Jo Boaler’s work on creating a growth mindset, sends an imperative message to young children: math is a language everyone can learn. Young Amy, the math-frustrated protagonist, soon realizes she does possess the skills to succeed in math, and they are determination and perseverance. The skills to do math are not some elusive math gene that she simply wasn’t born with; they are skills that she has already developed in other areas of her life. After seeing friends achieve goals with hard work and recognizing her own hard work in completing an arabesque, Amy realizes her “brain is a muscle, you know,” and she just needs to “make it grow.” With a fresh perspective, Amy succeeds.
“Everyone Can Learn Math” is an accessible book with an important message for young and old alike. Bring this book into your homes and read it to your young children. Let this essential children’s book, sweetly illustrated in gentle watercolour by Alexandria Masse, show the beauty and joy in recognizing the value of a positive attitude toward math.
"Everyone Can Learn Math" by Alice Aspinall is a picture story book about a little girl named Amy who does like math. Each night, Amy and her mother sit at the kitchen table as Amy works to complete her math homework. Although she is trying, it never seems to click and she says that she "is just not a math person" (pg. 4). As the story goes on, Amy realizes that persistence is everything, and relates her math assignment struggles to other things such as; getting better at ballet, playing on the monkey bars, and Miles free throws in basketball. After she continually compliments her peers for excelling at various things, Miles tell her that "everyone is able to get better at something if they try really hard" (pg. 8). The next day in math class, Amy is about to give up when her math teacher Mrs. Garcia comes to collect her assignment. Instead of complaining and saying she is "not a math person", Amy asks for extra time working on her assignment. In the end, she comes to understand that you can do anything you set your mind to, and that she just needs to think of problems in a different way to complete them.
This book was an absolute gem, and I give it five stars. As a child, I struggled with math and wanted to give up on myself. Without the help of my tutors and supportive family, I would not have gained the confidence to work a little harder, and study a little longer to gain an understanding of the material. I would recommend this book for elementary students because it has a beautiful message about gaining self-assurance.
Love love love this book! In today's educational climate where too many kids believe that if they struggle that they're therefore incapable, Alice's book reminds kids and parents that nothing is more instrumental to learning math than cultivating a growth mindset. An amazingly accessible story which uses Carol Dweck's philosophies and translates them into everyday language, certain to make the most math-phobic kid warm up to the idea of learning to love math!
I had the honour and pleasure of reading ''Everyone Can Learn Math'' to four classes during our school's Math/Move/Read-a-thon. The students had already had a long day by the time I was rotating through the grade 3s and 4s, but they were engaged in the story, and really seemed to enjoy the experience. I think https://www.youtube.com/mrsalovesmath will also be seeing a spike in followers this week... Thank you, Mrs. A.!! :)
What an impactful book which illustrates the concept that your brain is like a muscle, which can be worked, pushed and strengthened to maximize your learning potential. Since the story clearly emphasizes the power of perseverance, Everyone Can Learn will appeal not only to families with children who are struggling with math, but to all children who may need encouragement about taking on a 360 approach to learning.
Lynn McLaughlin Your child(ren) won't say, "I can't!" after reading this book. The focus is about overcoming a defeatist mindset in math, but the lessons apply to life. Alexandria's illustrations are wonderful and portray Amy's (main character) emotions beautifully. Each experience that takes Amy from a place where she thinks she "can't" to "I can when I keep working at it". I'll read this to my great nieces/nephews and put it aside until I'm a grandma! LOVE IT!
Such a wonderful growth mindset based book that encourages children to think differently when solving mathematical problems. Read this story to my grade 3 students who loved it, felt inspired and related to the characters in the story.