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Making Sense of Arithmetic

Making-SenseHomeschoolers have an advantage in teaching math: As our students grow, our own understanding of math grows with them because we see how the ideas build on each other.

This is especially true for those of us with large families. We pass through the progression of concepts with each student, and every pass lays down another layer in our own minds.

If you’d like to short-cut that process, check out Graham Fletcher’s Making Sense of Elementary Math video series. He’ll walk you through the topics, showing how manipulatives help build early concepts and gradually give way to abstract calculations.

“Understanding the vertical progression of mathematics is really important in the conceptual development of everyone’s understanding. This whole Making Sense Series has truly forced me to be a better teacher.”

— Graham Fletcher

The Progression of Addition and Subtraction

The Progression of Addition and Subtraction by Graham Fletcher.

The Progression of Multiplication

The Progression of Multiplication by Graham Fletcher.

The Progression of Division

The Progression of Division by Graham Fletcher.

If you enjoyed these videos, be sure to follow Graham’s blog Questioning My Metacognition. He’s working on the progression of fractions next….


[“Stairs!” photo by Richard Leeming (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]

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Math You Can Play Combo in Paperback and Ebook

MYCPcover-300If you’re interested in helping children learn math, I have special offer just for you:

  • Save 20% off the individual ebooks or 35% off the paperback prices when you buy a combined 2-books-in-1 edition featuring the first two books in the Math You Can Play series together.

The 42 kid-tested games are simple to learn, quick to play, and require minimal preparation. Most use common household items such as cards or dice.

Free Online Preview

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“Although the cover says games for young learners, the beauty of this book is that most of the games can easily be scaled up for older kids, teens, and even adults. My youngest is four and my oldest is 14, and I will be pulling games for all of them out of this book!

“I appreciate that most of the games are low floor, high ceiling – easy for a child to access, but can be played at a higher level through strategy or slight alterations to the rules. These are not drills disguised as games, but activities that require problem solving and strategy as well as calculation.”

Kindle customer review

Math Your Kids Will Beg to Play

Math games pump up mental muscle, reduce the fear of failure, and generate a positive attitude toward mathematics. Games strengthen a child’s innate understanding of numbers and build problem-solving skills. Mastering a math game can be hard work, but kids do it willingly because it is fun.

Young children can play with counting and number recognition, explore place value, build number sense, and begin learning the basics of addition. Older students can develop mental flexibility by playing with numbers, from basic math facts to the hundreds and beyond.

  • If you are a parent, these games let you enjoy quality time with your children.
  • If you are a classroom teacher, use the games as warm-ups and learning center activities or for a relaxing review day at the end of a term.
  • If you are a tutor or homeschooler, make games a regular feature in your lesson plans to develop mental math strategies.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s play some math!

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KenKen Classroom Puzzles Start Next Week

KenKen6x6

KenKen arithmetic puzzles build mental math skills, logical reasoning, persistence, and mathematical confidence. Puzzle sets are sent via email every Friday during the school year — absolutely free of charge.

What a great way to prepare your kids for success in math!

Sign up anytime:

How to Play

For easy printing, right-click to open the image above in a new tab.

Place the numbers from 1 to 6 into each row and column. None of the numbers may repeat in any row or column. Within the black “cages,” the numbers must add, subtract, multiply, or divide to give the answer shown.


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New Fantasy Adventure Novel by Homeschooled Teen Author

If you or your children enjoy clean fantasy tales, check out the new installment in my daughter’s serial quest adventure The Riddled Stone, now available at many online bookstores.

Click here to see the whole series.

How Can a Knight Fight Magic?

Betrayed

Trained by the greatest knight in North Raec, Sir Arnold Fredrico dreamed of valiant deeds. Save the damsel. Serve the king.

Dreams change. Now the land teeters at the brink of war. As a fugitive with a price on his head, Arnold struggles to protect his friends.

But his enemy wields more power than the young knight can imagine.

Free Online Preview

4stars 2016-01-08
238 pages, ebook: $3.99, paperback: $14.99.

Buy now at:
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Review

Betrayed, by Teresa Gaskins, really exceeded my expectations. The setting is a world of “light” magic. Magic is rare, constrained, and follows a sort of logic, which may or not be fully understood by the people in the world. I like the way in which this sets up plot connections and forces things to happen for a reason, rather than deus ex machina or authorial patronus.

There are some obvious protagonists and some obvious villains, but Gaskins creates a nice ambiguity around several of the key characters. The plot itself is interesting and engaging with multiple levels of motivation that drive it along. Mainly, this is a group-of-friends quest story that is fun and well told.

I think the appropriate age range for Betrayed is from adult down to middle school. While there is nothing specifically inappropriate for younger children, readers need a moderate level of maturity to manage the multiple plots and number of characters.

— Phanwadee, Amazon.com reviewer

Riddled-Stone-Series


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Do You Blog About Math?

[Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]

It’s carnival time again. Activities, games, lessons, hands-on fun — if you’ve written a blog post about math, we’d love to have you join our Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) math education blog carnival.

Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of school-level mathematics (that is, anything from preschool up through first-year calculus). Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival.

Don’t procrastinate: The deadline for entries is Friday, August 19. The carnival will be posted next week at The Usual Mayhem.

Have you noticed a new math blogger on your block that you’d like to introduce to the rest of us? Feel free to submit another blogger’s post in addition to your own. Beginning bloggers are often shy about sharing, but like all of us, they love finding new readers.

Would You Like to Host the Carnival?

Hosting the blog carnival is fun because you get to “meet” new bloggers through their submissions. And there’s a side-benefit: The carnival often brings a nice little spike in traffic to your blog. If you think you’d like to join in the fun, read the instructions on our Math Teachers at Play page. Then leave a comment or email me to let me know which month you’d like to take.

Explore the Other Math Carnivals

While you’re waiting for next week’s Math Teachers at Play carnival, you may enjoy:


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Join the Fun: Math & Magic Virtual Book Club

Math-Magic-WonderlandEleven weeks of mathematical playtime kicks off this week over at Learners in Bloom blog.

Each week, we’ll be playing with the math, language, and logic topics found in a single chapter. I’ll be posting ideas for extension activities, videos demonstrating the concepts for the week, and additional resources. I’m really excited for the opportunity to share all the extra ideas that have been floating around my brain which I didn’t have room to include in the book (as in Marco Polo’s famous words: “I did not tell half of what I saw.”)

— Lilac Mohr

Here’s a Quick Taste of Week One

This Week’s Activities

Lilac’s blog post includes a full schedule for the eleven-week book club, featuring plenty of classic math puzzlers to play with. Here are the topics for this week.

  • Read Chapter 1: Mrs. Magpie’s Manual
  • Alliteration
  • Memorizing digits of Pi
  • Palindromes
  • Calculating your age on other planets

It looks like a lot of fun. I highly recommend the book (read my review), and I’m sure you and your children will enjoy discovering math and magic with Lulu and Elizabeth.

Check it out: Math & Magic in Wonderland Virtual Book Club, Week One.


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Puzzle: Exploding Dots

I’m planning ahead for my fall semester homeschool co-op math class. Definitely going to try this with the kids…

Encourage your children to have some fun this week with this Exploding Dots math puzzle from The Global Math Project. What do they notice? Does it make them wonder?

More Explosive Math

You may recognize the connection between Exploding Dots and binary numbers. Or not — the puzzle is accessible to people at all ages and levels of mathematical sophistication.

But what I find amazing is that this puzzle can help us understand all sorts of topics in elementary arithmetic and algebra. So cool!

If you’d like to investigate Exploding Dots in depth, check out James Tanton’s free G’Day Math online course.


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