We come back after a long time with the book Maths with Mummy by V. Zhitomirsky and L. Shevrin.
About the book
Maths with Mummy introduces young children to mathematics. What should a child learn during this first introduction? Obviously this basic information must include numbers from one. to ten, simple mathematical operations using them, and the main geometrical figures. At the same time the modern approach to teaching mathematics is in favour of extending the range at this traditional information to include new concepts such as multitude, relationship (including comparing numbers of different magnitude) and the unknown, We also believe that this initial stage should teach children to distinguish
and classify objects according to different characteristics and to add up these combinations when necessary. Children should also learn to develop simple measurement skills.
The authors took all this into account in writing the Maths with Mummy. With regard to the form of the book, the authors proceeded tram the assumption that the material at this early stage must be as interesting as possible. The book has been written in the form of a story about an ordinary family, so the child absorbs the rudiments of mathematics
not in special lessons, but in real situations together with the main characters, Petya and his little sister Olya. The many colour illustrations and cartoons about Lyapa the Donkey also help to arouse children’s interest and hold their attention.
Another feature oi the book must be mentioned. Unlike ordinary school textbooks which can be used only with the direct participation of a trained teacher, this book has been planned and written so that the necessary explanations, commentaries and discussions are contained in the text itself. This means that any adult using the book to teach children does not need to prepare the material in advance or worry about how to present it. We believe that the book will enable children to absorb the basic minimum oi mathematical knowledge irrespective of where they are taught and the degree to which the parents or teacher are familiar with mathematics and teaching methodology. We have included British measures as well as the metric system for the convenience at the English-speaking
The book is intended primarily tor use at home with children of live and six. It can also be used as a textbook with the older groups at pre-school establishments and tor home reading in primary schools. It is so designed that it can simply be read aloud, but naturally it is to be hoped that adults will play a more active part, supplementing
it with their own explanations, questions and as
much discussion as possible.
The text is divided into ten parts which we have decided to call notebooks. Each notebook is self-contained, consisting of a separate mathematical subject and episode in the story. This does not mean, that it must be covered in one lesson. Children should not be given too much new information. In most cases the text of each notebook can be
split up into smaller sections.
The questions and tasks tor the child and the exercises are most important. They will help the child to absorb the mathematical content of the book and acquire certain practical skills more consciously and effectively. The child must answer all the questions and do all the tasks that are set. With regard to the exercises. Some at these may be omitted, particularly as they include some fairly advanced ones. Adults should decide themselves which exercises to set depending on a child’s individual ability. The same applies to writing down numbers and mathematical formulae. Do not insist that children should write them down, particularly it it is likely to affect their attitude towards learning maths. We should be grateful tor any information as to how this book has been used, with what age group, over what period and with what results. We should also be glad to receive any comments and suggestions for improving it.
The book was translated from the Russian by Katherine Hamilton. The wonderful illustrations were done by M. Romadin and B. Chuprygin. The book was published in 1987 by Raduga.
Many, many thanks to Guptaji for this wonderful book!
You can get the book here.