I had the wonderful opportunity to be a guest reader in Mrs. DeGroot’s grade 5-6 classroom this morning. She was ready to start reading the novel Jayden’s Rescue by Vladimir Tumanov aloud to the class, and I had the privilege of starting it off. (See my previous post on the novel for more about the story and the math involved in it.) The students each had a copy of the Four Quadrants processing strategy (created by Susan Close and Carole Stickley) on which to jot ideas, important words, sensory information, and pictures that came to mind as the story was read.
We were also prepared to do the mathematical questions that would arise in the story as part of the rescue task. The first problem that comes in the book is this:
I am the father of nine sons, all one-eyed monster boys.
I keep an eye on all my lads as they play with their toys.
A three-eyed monster once dropped in and brought his sons along.
Three bulging eyes were on each guest.
Oh! What a blinking throng!
Together all the monsters had exactly forty eyes.
How many three-eyed kids were there?
The numbers tell no lies. Jayden’s Rescue, p. 24
It took a bit longer than I had anticipated getting to that question on p. 24 (not to mention that that the lunch period began 15 earlier than I had expected it to!) so the students ended up not having a chance in the morning to share their solutions/strategies to the question. I left that in Mrs. DeGroot’s capable hands to finish up.
I believe the book is presently out of print, but copies are available from used-book sellers. It is definitely a book worth tracking down and reading to a class in the grade 4 to 6 range.