Guest Author - Lorel Shea
More Math Puzzles and Patterns for Kids, by Kristy Fulton, is a new 2008 release from Prufrock Press. This book is designed for students in grades two to four. Though it doesn't say so outright, I feel this book is just right for kids who are bright or gifted, yet not radically accelerated in math. Rather than rewarding advanced students with more of the same, this book allows students the opportunity to discover new concepts and play around with ideas. The author is an award winning first grade teacher.
Concepts are introduced with a minimum of written instructions. The information is presented in a visually uncluttered format, with small black outline cartoons accompanying some of the puzzles. The challenge level does vary somewhat , but should be enough for kids working at the top of their class or up to about two years ahead, depending on age. Instruction involves tangrams and sudoku puzzles. Other topics introduced include Fibonacci numbers, the binary sequence, multiplication patterns, Pascal's triangle, The Eight Queens puzzle, and the loculus of Archimedes, among others. The old magic square puzzle is accompanied by magic triangles and hexagons. Sudoku is shown with shapes, numbers, and color names. There are logic games as well, that require careful thought for correct completion. The final page contains a short fill-in the blank quiz to remind kids what they have learned through completing the exercises.
All in all, this is a fun little workbook that might be provided to a student in need of some math enrichment, thrown into a bag for a homeschooler on the go, or used as an afterschooling resource. It's an enjoyable collection of math and logic problems that kids can really have fun doing. My one complaint is that at 42 pages, it is a wee bit slim for the $14.95 cover price.