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Math Potatoes: Mind-stretching Brain Food

Last updated Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Author: Greg Tang
Illustrator: Harry Briggs
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 9780439443906
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2019

Synopsis: Greg Tang is back with his bestselling approach to addition and subtraction: problem solving. By solving challenges that encourage kids to "group" numbers rather than memorize formulas, even the most reluctant math learners are inspired to see math in a whole new way! Math Potatoes is full of Tang and Briggs' trademark humor, wit, and extraordinary creativity.

Note to readers:
•  This is a fun book that gives smart tips on counting more efficiently. You can skip around or do a picture-walk first, and ask the kids to pick pages that look interesting.
•  The answers to the math problems are at the end of the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do math and potatoes have in common?
•  What is "brain food"?


•  Milky Way - galaxy which contains myriads of stars that create light of the Milky Way
•  mingle - means mix together
•  ashore - on the shore
•  tangled - twisted together untidily

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Count objects with students during the reading.
•  Did you notice any math tips you can use again?
•  What is a favorite tip or page from the book?

Craft ideas:
•  Create a page you would like to add to this book using similar approaches to counting the objects in your own drawing.
•  Draw "animated" numbers. See examples in the book.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!