Unexpected Lessons from the Life of Fred Math Books

Math people are awesome. I’m always amazed at how my husband sees things so Mathematically, while I reach for a calculator. My first son and I do not possess that gift. Math time used to require miracles at our house, you guys. It was uhhh-gly early on. Eventually, we’d both stop crying, pick up the pieces and turn to page 2. (Yes, we also used games, manipulatives, nerf guns). One day, I heard about the Life of Fred Math books. Parents’ testimonies of how it had changed their Math-hater’s life had me intrigued. I purchased the first book in the series, Apples, and when it arrived I set it by my son’s other “fun” readers. He read the first page and couldn’t put it down. These books became his “recreational reading”. Yes, as in VOLUNTARY! Honest to goodness, I never would have believed it. He walked around with one of the books and a notebook to work out the exercises at the end of each chapter. When a not-so-Mathy kid takes his Life of Fred books on vacation, you know you need to write the author a thank you note. These books are a GREAT Summer Learning Loss help! They’re also ideal to add to any curriculum for the cementing of Math facts with the fun factor, much like we have. Life of Fred is like NO other Math program out there! This Math book series is known for weaving Math concepts into exciting stories about Fred Gauss, a child prodigy Math genius, during his exciting adventures which encounter every day Math situations. The books were developed by former high school teacher and college professor Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt. If your student can’t complete a lesson on his/her own, have them email Dr. Schmidt and he will respond! How seriously cool is that? The author has tossed in valuable lessons that kids wouldn’t typically find in a Math textbook. Many of Fred’s readers will say that these books are super fun to read. But why? Kids LOVE the quirky extras in each book! My son still recalls the recipe for how to make 800 gallons of ice cream, from the appropriately named Ice Cream book. He laughed out loud through every book, learned about the Titanic in the Apples book, and was highly amused by SO many tidbits that are tied to complex Math concepts he would have been miserable learning without Fred! Fred books are full of UNEXPECTED LESSONS beyond Math concepts! Here are just a few of our favorite unexpected lessons from the Elementary series: Unexpected Lesson #1 In the Life of Fred Butterflies book, students will learn linear measurements, time, geometry, and specific numbers! In Chapter Nineteen, “Mysteries of Life,” Fred and his buddy Kingie receive a pizza delivery. Kingie proceeds to chomp down his half of the pizza (Kingie says he is so hungry because “being an artist is hard work”). But Fred takes a moment to set the table while the pizza cools off. He shows the reader how to set a table: Place mat goes down first.

Then the plate and the napkin.

Then the fork on top of the napkin.

Knife and spoon on the right with the knife next to the plate.

The cup above the knife. One page later, your child receives practice sheets for addition and subtraction! Unexpected Lesson #2 In the Edgewood book, students work with concurrent lines, the commutative law of addition, touch on quadrilateral shapes, and more! The materials covered in this 128 page book are parallel lines, right angles, functions, quarter of an hour, half dozen, six examples of functions, math poems, the four kinds of sentences, firearm safety & more! In Chapter Fourteen, “Food and Warmth,” your student reviews how to calculate half of a number, measurement of distance, counting calories in a meal, and the phases of the moon. Fred’s bus breaks down outside of town, and he was determined to run to town to get help. It was 6 p.m., and Fred did not want to run in the dark. “Maybe there will be a full moon, Fred thought. Then there would be enough light to keep on running.” Unexpected Lesson #3 In the Honey book, students work on fun math activities with Fred as he goes through fractions, multiplication facts, unit conversions and more! Perhaps your child hasn’t thought about starting their own business yet, but it’s never too soon to spark the idea to become an entrepreneur. In Chapter Fourteen, “Starting a Business,” Kingie puts on his businessman hat. (Fun Fact: Kingie sells his own art.) Kingie explains the risks of starting your own business. He then goes over the “Checklist for Starting a Business” with Fred. At the end of the chapter, the reader is asked to check Fred’s business calculations. Will his business be profitable? Later in the book, Fred continues to follow his dream of becoming an apiarist. (Yes, the book explains what an apiarist is too!) More about the Life of Fred Elementary Math Series: Who is it for? Kindergarten to 4th grade Titles in this series: Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs, Edgewood, Farming, Goldfish, Honey, Ice Cream, Jelly Beans Concepts covered: time, types of numbers, geometry, measurement, facts about stars, morse code, geography, adjectives & verbs, patterns, functions, sheet music, seven wonders of the world, math poems, percents, numbers vs. numerals, division, slope of a line, graphing, notation, the improper use of seat belts, how to prove you are not a duck, reducing fractions, and so much more! We also love the Life of Fred Intermediate Series : Who is it for? 4th – 7th grade Titles in the series: Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft Concepts covered: Kidneys includes: Three Keys to Success, Charles Demuth’s “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold,” Milliliters, Teachers’ Salaries, How to Carry Money on the Street, Writing Numerals in Checks ($4000 and Not $40.00), Idioms, & more! Liver includes: What to Pack for Camp, 1/4 + 1/4 +1/4 = 3/4, Why Blowing Your Nose and Wiping Your Eyes Is Not Commutative, I.e., E.g., Viz., Elapsed Time, the Two Rules of Survival, Passing the Sat Exam, Metaphors, & more! Mineshaft includes: Milligrams and Pounds, Rounding Numbers; a Trillion Pounds of Rice to Cuba; the Number of Stars in a Typical Galaxy; Three-eights of 19,416; What to Do with Eleven Hours of Free Time Each Day, & more! See Also Life of Fred Intro to Algebra Series : In the Life of Fred Intro to Algebra Series, you can learn everything you need to know to begin algebra! Concepts covered: Life of Fred Fractions: Less Than, Billion, Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers, Diameter and Radius, Savings and Expenses, Definition of a Fraction, Sectors, Comparing Fractions, Reducing Fractions, Adding and Subtracting Fractions, Common Denominators, Roman Numerals, Least Common Multiples, Improper Fractions, Lines of Symmetry, Division by Zero, Circumference, Multiplying Mixed Numbers, Commutative Law, Canceling, Definition of a Function, Area, Unit Analysis, Division of Fractions, Geometric Figures, Estimating Answers. Life of Fred Decimals and Percents: Number Systems, Adding and Subtracting Decimals, Multiplying by Ten, Functions and Inverse Functions, Pi, Multiplying Decimals, Whole Numbers, Squaring a Number, Subtracting Mixed Units, Sets and Subsets, Union and Intersection of Sets, Rules of Divisibility, Division of Decimals, Repeating Decimals, Bar Graphs, Prime and Composite Numbers, Consecutive Numbers, the Goldbach Conjecture, Area of a Circle, Dollars vs. Cents, Pie Charts, Conversion between Percents/ Fractions/ Decimals, 40% of 15, 30% off, Distance Equals Rate Times Time, 15% more, Area of a Triangle, Square Roots, Area of a Parallelogram, 13 Is What Percent of 52, Ratio, Ordered Pairs, Graphing, Negative Numbers, Elapsed Time, Probability. See Also Life of Fred Pre-Algebra Series : In the Life of Fred Pre-Algebra Series, you can learn everything you need to know to begin algebra! Concepts covered: Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics: What’s the difference between math and physics? Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Physics answers this question and launches your student into 40 chapters of physics to solve quirky scenarios we encounter everyday. Learn about friction as Fred tries to move a safe across a hallway, calculate the amount of force he needs to move it, the transfer of energy, and more! Fred will make your students want to learn physics with fun stories and math that’s geared to help them progress to more advanced concepts! Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology: Math with meaning is synonymous with Life of Fred Biology. In this book you will learn algebraic math and apply it to life sciences in various scenarios to solve Fred’s obstacles. Although unorthodox, Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 1 Biology starts the book by acknowledging the need to pull from different subjects and states, “So this is a pre-algebra book… and a biology book. And we will quote six lines of Italian poetry. We will discuss the difference between a metaphor and a simile. Talk about first-aid for fainting. Balancing some chemical equations. Play with a French phrase in the movie Camelot. And in the meantime, you will learn some algebra and a lot of interesting biology.” Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics: Students will learn improper fractions, interest rates, and the differences between capitalism and communism in economic terms. In Life of Fred Economics, students will learn: domain and codomain of a function, conversion factors, steps in solving word problems, how not to bore your horse if you are a jockey, one-to-one functions, unit analysis, key to a successful business, five qualities that money should have, and so much more! See Also Life of Fred High School Series : Fred’s mathematical journey continues through high school in six titles during which he learns why you can’t divide by zero, about venn diagrams, Cramer’s rule, four-dimensional geometry, and practices those concepts zillions of time in two supplemental titles. Grab one or all six titles from the high school series for more Fred math fun! Concepts covered: Beginning Algebra Expanded Edition: Finite/Infinite Numbers, Natural numbers, Whole numbers, Integers, Adding signed numbers, Ratios, Multiplying signed numbers, Proportions, Inequalities in the integers, Continued Ratios, Adding like terms, Rectangles, Trapezoids, Sectors, Symmetric Law of Equality, Order of operations, Solving Equations, and more! Zillions of Practice Problems Beginning Algebra: Need a lot of practice or stuck on a particular kind of problem? This book has been requested by many readers. Keyed directly to the chapters and topics of Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra. Each problem worked out in complete detail. Eleven mixture word problems are each worked out step by step, often using a whole page of explanation for each problem. Thirteen quadratic equations solved by completing the square. Thirteen examples of two equations with two unknowns solved by the elimination method. This book is mandatory for those who need it. The Zillions of Practice Problems Slogan: If your cat can work through all the problems in this book, your cat can teach Beginning Algebra at any school in the nation. Advanced Algebra Expanded Edition: Ratios, Median averages, Proportions, Dividing by zero, Cross-multiplying, Constants of proportionality, Inverse variation, Direct variation, Joint variation, Weight varies directly as the cube of the height, Area varies directly as the square of the height, Volume varies directly as the cube of the height, Laws of exponents, and more! Zillions of Practice Problems Advanced Algebra: Keyed directly to the chapters and topics of Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra. Each problem is worked out in complete detail. Ten exponential equations worked out step by step.

Over 40 problems dealing with functions.

Sixteen imaginary number problems solved in detail.

Eleven linear programming problems—each taking about a page to solve.

A bonus six-page introduction to Turing Machines. Geometry Expanded Edition: *The author recommends taking Advanced Algebra before Geometry. Points and Lines, Angles, Triangles, Parallel Lines, Perpendicular Lines, Quadrilaterals, Area, Similar Triangles, Symbolic Logic, Right Triangles, Circles, Constructions, Non-Euclidean Geometry, Solid Geometry, Geometry in Four Dimensions, Coordinate Geometry, Flawless (Modern) Geometry. Geometry Expanded Edition: Sines, Cosines and Tangents, Graphing, Significant Digits, Trig Functions of Any Angle, Trig Identities, Graphing a sin(bx + c), Radian Measurement, Conditional Trig Equations, Functions of Two Angles, Oblique Triangles, Inverse Trig Functions, Polar Coordinates, Polar Form of Complex Numbers, Preview of all of Calculus. ————————————————————————————– ***Your child can move on from here with Fred through Life of Fred COLLEGE! Check out more {here}. *** Other Life of Fred Collections: . Finances & Entrepreneurship {here}. . Reading: Beginning Readers {here} Language Arts {here} . Science: Biology (Pre-Algebra with Biology) {here} Physics (Pre-Algebra with Physics) {here}, Chemistry (Pre-Algebra with Chemistry) {here} Let us know if you have any questions or if you are already Fred Fans share your comments below! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our Disclosure Policy. #math #science #languagearts #reading #lifeoffred #algebra #elementary #elementarymath #summerlearning #Biology #Physics #Chemistry #Entrepreneurship #Finance #languageArts #Reading #beginningreaders #CollegeMath #Highschoolmath #prealgebra #introtoalgebra

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