Review: This is a Marilyn Burns Brainy Day book and was written to pose some geometric problems about piecing together cloaks in patterns. It is a good story about a tailor and his three sons, two of whom make beautiful cloaks out of rectangles, squares and triangles. A third son uses circles which remind him of the globe and of maps, but which do not work well for a cloak. Two-page illustrations by Kim Howard help to make this a lively book. Additional geometry ideas for parents or teachers are presented at the end, but the story is not overly focused on math topics. Many good conversations with children could develop from this book.
Although they realize they need to learn to work with boys on problem solving in mathematics, the third and fourth grade girls participating in this class value time doing mathematics without boys around.
In today's classrooms, the "three R's have been joined by the "three C's": Communications, Connections and Community. These elements, so vital to daily practice, have been woven into the fabric of many new math programs, including Bridges in Mathematics, a comprehensive K-2 math curriculum. Like other standards-based programs, Bridges is conceptually oriented and activity-based. Over the years, we have found paper quilting to be a wonderful vehicle for promoting the "three C's" while teaching geometry in the primary classrooms.