Rodeo Time
a MathStart series book

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written by Stuart Murphy and illustrated by David Wenzel

There's a lot to see at a rodeo, and Cameron and Katie want to see it all. They are at the rodeo to help their uncle, a famous bull rider named Cactus Joe, so to fit in rodeo acts between their chores, they make a schedule.

Now they just need to keep to it--which turns out to be harder than they imagined.

The illustrations are bright and energetic and the text integrates the concept smoothly into the storyline. The final spread includes activities to help children further understand schedules. Booklist makes a good point that "glamorizing 'to-do' lists is a difficult task, and this effort doesn't exactly sparkle." And SLJ ended its review of this book by saying "lively color cartoons create an authentic environment and enhance the excitement and suspense of the story."

Interest Level     1st grade - 4th grade

See inside
Below are three sample spreads from inside Rodeo Time, a Math Start book by Stuart Murphy. This book is peripherally about time -- it's about making and keeping a schedule -- so we've decided to include it on this list.  It's quite a cute and educational book. :)

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Lesson Ideas for Rodeo Time

MathStart creator Stuart Murphy includes the following suggested activities to accompany this book (from the Math Start website here):

- "In class, have each student draw up a schedule of after-school activities, Monday through Friday. How long does it take to get home? Do they stay after school for sports or band practice on certain days? Which days and for how long? Do they attend an after-school program at a local community center? Do they get together with friends to play, or do homework? When is dinner time? Any TV-watching, computer games or reading before bed? When is bedtime, and what time will the alarm clock ring in the morning?

- At home, create Family Schedules. Focus on a particular activity such as "Getting Ready for School and Work in the Morning", or a special event such as a vacation ("What We Plan To Do Each Day"). Working together with your child, write up a list of things that need to be done such as homework, guitar practice, preparing dinner, baking brownies, folding laundry, watching a favorite television show, playing with friends, or reading a book. Then draw up a schedule showing when those things will be done. Record how long each activity actually takes and see how it matches up."

This book is one of the MathStart series books. We LOVE the MathStart series. The stories are funny and cute...and SO effective for teaching the specific math concept being targeted. You can learn more about this great series of books by clicking on the book covers below or the link above.