"A creative, challenging,
mind-stretching learning experience."

S tudents learn a powerful repertoire of problem-solving strategies as they help the characters in this spellbinding novel journey around a planet on the other side of the universe. To move forward they must solve the challenging math and logic problems encountered in each chapter. Intriguing clues from sixteen lively songs help them on their way.

Reviews Journey at a Glance (Novel and Music CD Not Shown)
Author's Note
Table of Contents Order Information

"You sure knocked my socks off! I loved the book."

The integrated program for grades 4 to 6 addresses multiple intelligences. It introduces highly effective problem-solving strategies that will stand students in good stead into middle school and beyond.

The kit includes:
• 27-chapter read-aloud novel
• 16 songs on cassette
• Teacher's guide, with 107 reproducible pages

"It has made a big change in my daughter's attitude."


" Journey to the Other Side provided my class and me with a creative, challenging, mind-stretching learning experience." — Jennifer Harriton, 4th Grade Teacher

"I really like the Journey songs alot. I sing them at school. At home in the morning I bother my sister with them. I can never get the songs out of my mind. They also helped me understand the questions and I didn’t get so frostrated.” — Ellie, 5th Grade Student

"Reading the book and solving the children's problems is by far my students' favorite part of the day. Thanks for helping me reach these very bright students."
— Mary Sparks, Gifted Coordinator

"I rell like the promgram becus it was fun. I liket the songs a lot. I love math now. I yous to hat math. now I love it." — Chantha, 5th Grade Special Ed. Student

"My daughter has always been an all-A student, but up until now, she hated math – she wouldn't try, even though she was capable. But she didn't want to miss school while Mrs. S. was reading the book. It has made a big change in my daughter's attitude."  — Donna Sellman, Parent

"I loved doing Jerney to the other side. . . I never had so much fun in my life at school."
— Kristin, 5th Grade Student

"You sure knocked my socks off! I loved the book."  — Justin, 3rd Grade Gifted Student

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Journey to the Other Side at a Glance

The Lessons
Each lesson consists of:

• A story chapter, read aloud
• A problem-strategy song
• Problems for guided and independent practice
• Homework activities

The program typically takes 30 days to complete, including pre- and posttests.
The unit may be shortened by combining lessons and omitting some of the problems.

Mathematical Content
The problems are drawn from many strands of mathematics, including number, measurement, geometry, functions, probability and statistics, logic and language, and algebra.

Mathematical investigations and problems with multiple solutions are included, as well as more traditional single-solution problems. Non-numerical problems and riddles round out the practice component. In addition, many of the problems provide practice with the basic math facts and operations.

The program has undergone three extensive revisions based on field testing in 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-grade classrooms in nine schools. Data from the pilot studies indicate that a majority of participating students internalize and successfully apply many of the strategies introduced in the program.

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Table of Contents

Teaching The Unit
Extending and Adapting the Program
Questions Teachers Ask

The Lessons

1 The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Song: I Think I've Got a Problem

2 On the Other Side
List potential approaches (brainstorm)
Song: Make a List

3 Questions and Answers
Identify the problem/ask the right question
Song: What Is the Question?
Review: Make a list

4 The Difficult and the Impossible
Review: Make a list; identify the problem

5 Patterns
Look for a pattern
Song: Powerful Patterns

6 Abra-Ca-Dabra
Review: Look for a pattern

7 Downhill
Make a chart/table/graph/list
Song: Give Your Head a Helping Hand
Review: Look for a pattern

8 Downwind
Review: Make a chart/table/graph/list

9 A Strange Encounter
Create a diagram/model/experiment
Song: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
Review: Previous strategies/concept map

10 Pleasant Surprises—and Nasty Ones
Relax/focus/think success
Song: Count 2 Three

11 Out of the Frying Pan
Review: Create a diagram/model/experiment; relax/focus/think success

12 Into the Fire
Estimate before you calculate
Song: Estimation/Good Guess-timation

13 Company
Review: Relax/focus/think success

14 Moving Forward—Working Backwards
Work backwards
Song: Backwards Man

15 The Skeleton Tells His Tale
Review: Work backwards

16 Bad to Worse
Guess and check
Song: Guess and Check

17 Winds and Currents
Problem solved before/a simpler problem
Song: The Problem Solved Before
Review: Guess and check

18 Dreams and Nightmares
Review: Look for a pattern,
problem solved before/simpler problem

19 Bahlooming Idiots
Solve it later/persevere
Song: Solve It Later, Alligator
Review: Problem solved before/simpler problem

20 Behind the Stone Door
Review: Look for a pattern; guess and check

21 Discoveries in the Dark
Review: Guess and check; work backwards;
solve it later

22 Piggottry
Song: The Taskavit Song
Review: Make a table/chart/graph/list;
create a diagram/model/experiment

23 Zara's Secret
Use logical reasoning
Song: Logic Rap/Silly Syllogisms

24 Downstream—and Uphill
Review: Use logical reasoning

25 Taskavits and Poppasits
Review: Use logic; solve it later

26 Walls, Revisited
Use positive inner language
Song: Walls
Review: Problem solved before;
guess and check; logic

27 Twelve Gates to the City
Song: Twelve Gates to the City
Review: All strategies

28 Aftermath
Review: Several key strategies

Appendix A
Musical Activities
Song Logos
Song Lyrics
Appendix B
Tests: Administration and Scoring
Appendix C
Overhead Transparency Masters
Materials List
Appendix D
Resources for Teaching Problem Solving

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Author’s Note

A basic premise of Journey to the Other Side is that truly effective teaching must touch the hearts and stir the imaginations of children—in addition to conveying concepts and content. During thirty years in the classroom, I've found that some of my most effective lessons have included one or more of the following

• A well-told story
• A singable song
• An intriguing problem to solve
Journey to the Other Side brings together these three lesson components in a practical instructional program based on a body of research relating to student cognition, mathematical achievement, and integrated learning.

The "journey" of Journey to the Other Side is an odyssey through uncharted lands on a far-off planet, symbolizing the mind's struggle to make sense of the unknowns of mathematics. Again and again, the story characters encounter barriers which must be overcome in order for them to proceed. Each time, realizing that a problem cannot be solved immediately, the travelers—working together—explore possible solution strategies, select a promising one, and try it out. Often they succeed and move onward, but at times they fail and must begin anew the search for a solution.

So this Journey to the Other Side is both an imagined physical journey and a real inner journey, its goal being to increase students' mastery of their own thinking processes and their willingness to grapple with the difficult—and the unknown.


Journey to the Other Side

ISBN# 1561073245 (Teacher's Guide) / 1561073210 (Novel)

Complete 6-Week Program Includes
Teacher's Guide, Novel, and Music CD

Order Now


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