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5 Stars Out Of 5
March 28, 2012
This activity book will be so much fun for us while shopping. All ideas and activities that are introduced seem pretty simple but so nice to have in one complete book that we can take along each time while shopping.
When I was teaching, I made a unit on coupon shopping for third graders. It was a simple unit. It involved making a shopping list, cutting coupons, comparing item cost with and without coupons, and paying for what you needed. Recently, I found a supplemental math unit that teaches all of these concepts and more. It is titled Grocery Cart Math by Jaye Hansen. It is published by Common Sense Press, the publisher of the popular series Learning Language Arts Through Literature. This book was published in 1994. Surprisingly, it is still entirely useful. I say "surprisingly" because technology has changed much of how we shop in the last 17 years. The grocery store is one of the few places that hasn't changed as much.
This curriculum is appropriate for 3rd-5th graders, but I would also recommend it to middle schoolers who need life skills practice of how to use math. I wish I'd had this curriculum 8 years ago when I was tutoring a high school student who really needed practice like this book provides. It is not meant to be a full year math curriculum, but it could be considered an elective for middle school, or a summer supplement in elementary school, or a year round activity to keep your kids busy when they go to the grocery store with you! The assignments are a bit like a scavenger hunt, so as long as they will stay with you while they search or you can trust them to search on their own, it would definitely keep them busy for a few minutes. This curriculum would also be great for a parent of a child who attends school and wants to supplement at home during the year or summer with some practical math lessons.
There are 38 one-page worksheets that cover math topics such as volume, number comparison, making change, percentage, estimation, rounding, and addition/subtraction. An example from the volume assignments is finding what is sold in 1-gallon containers and comparing the cost of those items. For each assignment there is a section to be done in the store and a section to be done at home. The at home sections typically involve logic and reasoning so that students can understand grocery shopping. On the volume assignment I mentioned the parent is to discuss with the child why some things cost more than others. I was impressed by the application section on the assignments. The at-home sections made these assignments into really useful learning moments rather than just plug and chug worksheets.
The one downside to this book is that is non-reproducible. The cost is only $8 per book at CBD. I wish they'd charged $10 instead and made it reproducible. Copyrights and curriculum are something I believe we have to be respectful of as Christians.
If you're looking for a curriculum like this, I recommend this one. The pages look a bit old fashioned, but they're formatted simply. Once you read one lesson, you'll probably feel like I did--"What a great lesson!" I know I could have written similar lessons for my children, but sometimes my time is worth more than the cost of the curriculum. In this case, I think $8 for Grocery Cart Math would be a wise purchase.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum for review from Common Sense Press.
My 5 boys, ages ranging from 8 - 14, met up with other homeschooled boys every Monday at our local grocery store. We had permission from the store to meet and do Grocery Cart Math. The kids paired up and had a race to see who could get done first. It was a favorite activity for the entire school year.