December 17, 2010

Math Doesn't Suck by Danica McKellar

While Danica McKellar may be best known for being an actress (you may recognize her from The Wonder Years or more recently, The West Wing), she is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education.

In recent years, much media coverage has been given to the fact that the math scores of students in the U.S. are lagging behind their peers around the world. Studies show that girls' scores in particular start to fall in middle school.This could be due to some of the negative social messages girls receive - that math is hard and that it is something they should be afraid of.

McKellar's book, Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, challenges the notion that girls can't do math. The author serves as a great role model for girls because she used to be terrified of math before she started to finally understand it and even enjoy it. In this book she shares stories of real women who overcame their math phobia and went on to successful careers. McKellar provides instruction on middle school math concepts that cause the most confusion and includes plenty of real-world examples that demonstrate why these concepts are important.She also includes several memory tricks she created throughout the years for remembering tricky math concepts. Reading this book is like having your own personal tutoring session with the author.

Also included in the book is a troubleshooting guide and a "Smart Girl's Resource Guide" for more help and inspiration. This informative and visually appealing book is a must-read for any young girl struggling with math. I wish it had been around when I was in middle school! Parents, teachers, and tutors may also be interested in this book and other books by McKellar, including Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss and Hot X: Algebra Exposed.


Anonymous said...

Saw your picture. You don't look like no librarian I remember!

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