Synopses & Reviews
In "Probably Pistachio, the math concept is probability: predicting the likelihood of any given event. Learning to make astute predictions helps children analyze data in order to make informed decisions.
If you would like to have more fun with the math concepts presented in "Probably Pistachio, here are a few suggestions: Read the story together and ask the child to predict what he or she thinks will happen and why. Ask questions like: " Do you think Emma will have pastrami for lunch? Why do you think that?" As the child's understanding of probability grows, ask questions like: " Why didn't Jack's prediction come true?" " What question could Jack have asked Emma so that he might have made a better prediction?" After reading the story, ask questions like: " If Emma had a pastrami sandwich only once a week, would Jack expect pastrami when he traded with her?" Have the child keep track of what is served for school lunches for one week and then predict what will be served the next week. Ask your child to decide if certain events are likely, possible, or unlikely. Suggest events like: " You will go to bed at 8:30 tonight." " We will all go swimming this Saturday." " No one in your class will be absent tomorrow."
Following are some activities that will help you extend the concepts presented in "Probably Pistachio into a child's life:
Weather: Watch the weather report on TV for one week. Make a list of the forecaster's predictions and then record the actual weather. Have the child decide how accurate the weather reports were.
Shopping: When getting ready to check out at the supermarket, have the childmake a prediction about which line will go faster. Ask why she thinks so, and see if the prediction was correct.
Button Game: Put 6 red buttons (or other similar small objects) into a paper bag. Shake the bag and ask the child to take 1 button without looking and predict its color. Now replace 2 red buttons with 2 blue ones. Ask the child to predict which color button he would get if he were to choose a button 10 different times (replacing the button each time). Do the experiment to test the prediction. Try the activity again with 4 blue buttons and 2 red ones.
Nothing goes right for Jack all day long. He can't find his favorite sneakers, he spills milk on his math homework, and worst of all, he gets tuna fish for lunch. Will things ever get better?
Readers will learn how to tell when something is certain, more likely, less likely, or impossible as Jack keeps hoping his streak of bad luck will break. Maybe, just maybe, pistachio ice cream for dessert will do the trick. But will it happen? Considering how Jack's day has been going, PROBABLY NOT!
About the Author
Stuart J. Murphy is a visual learning specialist. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has a strong background in design and art direction. He also has extensive experience in the world of educational publishing. Drawing on all these talents, Stuart J. Murphy brings a unique perspective to the MathStart series. In MathStart books, pictures do more than tell stories; they teach math.
Stuart J. Murphy and his wife, Nancy, live in Boston.