Pre-K through 3rd grade
Mathematical literacy for young learners

Work-a-Book 1 – 155 pgs, 8.5 x 11, soft cover
Work-a-Book 2 – 149 pgs, 8.5 x 11, soft cover
written by Ed Fava & Diane McDonald
Kit comes with a set of 74 wooden Cuisenaire® Rods and 10 colored Crayola® Markers
Assessed by Joseph Grayhaim

Mr. Fava and Ms. McDonald have developed a math-learning system that is parent-friendly, self-pacing and is designed to achieve mastery, not failure. It goes beyond simply using tried-and-true manipulatives – the Cuisenaire® Rods – and created a way of “seeing” and understanding math from a new viewpoint – as a language. The Numbers Revolution approach teaches numbers as an alphabet and basic vocabulary, using 10 codes (single letters) symbolizing 10 colored rods of varied lengths and 10 numbers that all correspond to each other. Orange “O” = 10; Blue “B” = 9; Brown “N” = 8 and so on, down to White “W” = 1.

The program begins by teaching children addition by relating longer colored rods (larger numbers) as combinations of shorter rods, so 7 (black) can be made of a 3 (light green) + a 4 (purple), 7 1s (white), 6 (dark green) + 1 (white) and the reverse combinations as well. One of the main points of the program is to get the child away from rote memorization and instead teaching the child to remember, using the much more powerful means of play. The work-a-book has coloring projects that reinforce the number-color-code connection by showing an uncolored flower with the codes (alpha letters) for each area’s designated color. This constant reinforcement of the Code-Color-Number sequence is a mainstay of the authors’ teaching philosophy.

Another primary pillar of practice is that assessment after each new concept or project is essential. A child should never be expected (or allowed) to move on to the project or concept until s/he has demonstrated mastery of the present level. This ensures that a solid foundation is laid for the later levels to be built upon. Of course, the program is self-paced to accomplish this mastery of each level. This attention to assessment will ensure that the math skills developed will last a lifetime.

In Book 2, the math problems ask for answers in numbers or Colors – sometimes both, so that the reinforcement of Code-Color-Number continues. The ingenious use of the 3 expressions to communicate number sense seems like a very solid way to build the foundation of true math understanding by the end of 3rd grade.

Please visit the website for more information and to order. JG