“Danica McKellar is a great teacher! Kids will feel like she’s right by their side.”
– The New York Times
“Danica is a perfect role model… improving the math education in this country.”
– NSF (National Science Foundation)
“Danica McKellar is now on a mission to make math fun for even the youngest of kids.”
– L.A. Parent Magazine
About Do Not Open This Math Book
New York Times bestselling author Danica McKellar is back with a fun and accessible introduction to the essentials of math. Addition and subtraction are a joy in this funny and educational book that will have readers embracing math instead of fearing it.
Finally, a FUN book to read with kids that helps bridge the gap between what’s being taught in school and how today’s parents learned math back in the day. Giggle your way through entertaining lessons on addition and subtraction involving muffins, turkey sandwiches, kittens, googly eyes, and more!
Actress, math whiz, and New York Times bestselling author Danica McKellar uses her proven math techniques to give children the solid grasp of addition and subtraction that will be key to their success and unlock their potential in the classroom and beyond!
You will WANT to open this math book!
One of my favorite books as a child was “There’s a Monster at the End of this Book,” where Grover begs readers not to turn pages – so I pay homage to that book when Mr. Mouse begs readers not to open this book. Also, I love my son more than anything in the world, but he’s 7, and that means that if you tell him not to do something, he can’t help but want to do it! And that’s how this book got its name.
What’s with the “New Math,” Anyway?…
A Note to Parents
As kids, many of us learned addition and subtraction with drills. We weren’t taught much “method,” so we came up with our own ways of thinking about it. Some of us would look at 9 + 5 and first change it to 10 + 4 in our heads, some of us would count on our fingers, and some of us would simply memorize that 9 + 5 = 14. As it turns out, if we change 9 + 5 to 10 + 4, we’re thinking more about the nuts and bolts of what’s going on, which is at the heart of the methods being taught in the “new math” today.
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the idea of a nuts-and-bolts approach, but these days, even first- and second-grade math homework often looks overly complicated, even unrecognizable at times—especially to parents! Why? Partly because many of the new methods try to re-create subtle thought processes on paper for what could be very simple problems. Often, kids are even asked to think about problems in a certain way—which may or may not match up with your child’s way of thinking.
Is there value in enriching our children’s understanding of these basic math skills beyond pure memorization? Of course! But there is a danger in making things too complicated, and we must remember that every child learns differently….
In this book, I bridge the gap between the straightforward techniques we learned in school and the more involved methods being taught today. Mixed in with the kid-friendly humor and silliness, this book decodes new math techniques and brings the new methods into easy, fun, and familiar territory—with a bonus that your kids’ math homework won’t look so foreign to you in the future! Sometimes it’s as simple as translating new words—for example, in subtraction, instead of “borrowing,” today’s term is “ungrouping.” I’ll also explain how to work with the newer tools like ten frames, number bonds, fact families, and more, in plain (and fun!) language that we can all relate to. When it comes to adding and subtracting, students will be empowered to choose which method to use, or no “method” at all.
So here’s to giving our kids a solid understanding of the basics of addition and subtraction (and number sense!) to prepare them for math success in elementary school, high school, and beyond—whether the new methods are just fads or are here to stay.
Congratulations… and have fun reading this book with your child!
PS: While some advanced readers might enjoy this book alone, most children will benefit from an adult reading it to them—an adult who just might have a lot of fun with the antics of Mr. Mouse.
Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, and lately for her popular movies on Hallmark Channel, Danica McKellar is the New York Times bestselling author of “Math Doesn’t Suck,” “Kiss My Math,” “Hot X,” and “Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape,” books aimed at middle school and high school readers. She is also an internationally-recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and the New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a ground-breaking mathematical physics theorem which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem).Read More