Launch Day! Act Now To Get the Earlybird Bonus

And so it begins: Tabletop Math Games Collection is LIVE on Kickstarter!

Check It Out

To have a successful campaign, we need plenty of people to back the project early. The more supporters we get — especially on the first day — the more likely the Kickstarter service folks will help spread the news for us.

So I’m offering a special bonus printable activity guide for everyone who joins the campaign at any pledge level during the first 48 hours of the campaign:

Geometric Coloring Designs 5: Advanced Tessellations is one of my favorite open-ended math art activities, which works with students from elementary to high school. And adults enjoy it, too!

The rest of the Geometric Coloring Designs series will show up as bonuses in future weeks, and early backers get them all. Whether you pledge on day 1 or day 21, your credit card won’t be charged until the campaign ends, so join early to lock in your bonus perks.

Let’s show the whole world how much fun it can be to play around with math!

Go to the Kickstarter

I’ve Never Done This Before…

My new math book series, the Tabletop Math Games Collection, launches exclusively on Kickstarter next week. I can hardly wait!

Get Notified When We Go Live
(free Kickstarter account required)

And I’m trying several new reward options I’ve never done before. (The “rewards” on Kickstarter are all the various things you can buy with your support pledge.)

Here’s a quick peek at a few of the new things to come.

This is going to be so much fun!

Math Games Book Boxes

You can choose from two sizes.

The smaller Math Games Book Box includes one paperback Math Games Booklet at your child’s level: Early Games, Primary Games, or Advanced Games. Plus one enamel pin, and either a set of cards and dice or a small whiteboard with markers.

The Mega Math Games Gift Box includes the spiral-bound Deluxe Omnibus book (which contains all three smaller books and more), plus all unlocked pin designs, and plenty of cards, dice, and other handy supplies shown above. (Colors will vary.)

Enamel Pins

Show your gaming spirit with these cool enamel pins.

By popular request, we have enamel pins in four designs. The first two are available immediately, and two more will unlock as Stretch Goals.

  • “Let’s Play Math” in cool spring colors
  • “Let’s Play Math” in warm fall colors
  • 🔒 [Locked] Deck of playing cards (unlocks at Stretch Goal #1)
  • 🔒 [Locked] Penrose triangle of rainbow blocks from the back of the playing cards (unlocks at Stretch Goal #3)

Pins are about 1″ diameter hard enamel, for the perfect combination of durability and fun color. Backed with a metal military-style butterfly clip for extra strength, so it won’t fall off your backpack or bag.

If you choose a reward level that includes pins, or buy them as an add-on to another level, be sure to fill out your post-campaign survey to tell me which design you want.

Limited International Shipping

Digital rewards are available worldwide.

For physical books and merchandise, I can offer shipping to a few countries with small-business-friendly tax laws:

  • UK, for books only (no merchandise)
  • European Union
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • and the US, as always

You may owe import duties and VAT before you can claim your package. I have no control over the customs clearance process in your country, so you might want to check with your local customs officials or post office for details on what to expect.

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Can You Help Me?

I’m finishing up my plans for the Tabletop Math Games Collection project and pledge levels. The Kickstarter launches in two weeks. Where did the time go?!

But I need help. Could you please take a few minutes to look over the project page and give me some feedback?

  • Preview & Comments Page
    (NO account required to see the preview, but you may need to log in if you want to leave a comment.)

It’s so hard to edit myself because I miss too many mistakes. So having new eyes on the page would be a great help in catching typos and making sure the descriptions make sense and are as clear as possible.

Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see:

There’s a place to enter comments on the right. Or you can email me directly with anything you want to share.

There’s also a Notification link at the top left corner of the page, for anyone who hasn’t yet signed up for Kickstarter to tell you when the project launches.

Thank you so much for the feedback!

Yes, I’d Love To Help. Let’s Go!

New Project: The Tabletop Math Games Collection

Coming Soon! On January 30th, I’ll be launching a brand new book series, the Tabletop Math Games Collection.

And the Kickstarter prelaunch page is now live. That means you can sign up to get an email from Kickstarter as soon as the campaign launches:

Visit the Prelaunch Page ❯
(free Kickstarter account required)

Test Out 4 Free Sample Games

Math games build mental flexibility and strategic reasoning in players of all ages. And even people who hated math in school can enjoy the friendly challenge of a game.

I’ve put together a free printable sampler file, with four ready-to-play card games you can enjoy today.

I think you’ll love it!

Download the Sample File ❯

Help Your Kids Learn Math the Playful Way

  • Are you a parent trying to help your child learn math?
  • Or a teacher looking for ways to encourage creative thinking?
  • Or a gamer ready to try something new with your friends?

Then the Tabletop Math Games Collection is perfect for you.

These are NOT the typical memory-and-speed-based math games you’ve probably seen online, but true battles of wit and skill (plus a bit of luck). Even the preschool games can be fun for adults, too.

Most of the games take only seconds to learn and less than 15 minutes to play, making them perfect ice-breakers for family gatherings, classroom warmups, or for launching a group game night.

Don’t miss the fun!

Hit the button to visit the prelaunch page and sign up for notifications:

Get Notified ❯

Playful Math at a Nice Discount: Cyber Monday in Advance

Are you looking for new math activities to play with your kids?

I just added several new ebooks to my publisher’s online store, including the exclusive pre-publication edition of my new book Word Problems from Literature: Help Students Master Problem Solving in Elementary to Middle School Math. You can preorder the book through your favorite online bookshop — or you can get it today at our store, in all digital formats.

And through the end of November, you can get 20% off anything in our store by using the coupon code SALE2022 at checkout.

While you’re there, be sure to check out our new collections!

You can buy resources for problem-solving in the Word Problems collection, including the 97-minute audio commentary with special behind-the-scenes tips and tidbits:

Or explore the wealth of resources for creative mathematical investigations in our Math Journaling collection:

And of course, be sure to check out the free books and discount bundles. You can even pick up my daughter’s epic fantasy adventure, The Riddled Stone.

But don’t delay! The special discount code SALE2022 expires at the end of November.

Limited Time Book Deals

Do you want to help your children master problem-solving skills?

Check out my temporary online store for anyone who missed the Kickstarter.

Through the end of September, you can place a preorder for the early-release edition of Word Problems from Literature, along with the Word Problems Student Workbook and exclusive Audio Commentary (or any of my other books or printable math activity guides).

I’ll lock down the preorder store when I’m ready to send the Kickstarter order to my printer.

Books will be delivered with the Kickstarter orders: Digital items in October, physical books by the end of December.

Shop Now ❯

Final Countdown for Word Problems from Literature

There’s just over 24 hours left to get Word Problems from Literature and the Word Problems Student Workbook on Kickstarter.

Don’t miss out!

Get It Now

The Kickstarter campaign is roaring along. We hit our funding goal and plenty more, paying for two extra chapters (one on decimals and the other on percents, rates, and proportional reasoning) plus a special section on making the transition to algebra.

That means Word Problems from Literature will truly be a thorough guide to mastering problem-solving in elementary and middle school math.

And we’ve got plenty of goodies besides the book:

  • The Case of the Mysterious Story Problem: A short treatise on how to solve math problems, written directly to the student by the master of deduction, Sherlock Holmes. Includes the printable poster, “Be a Math Detective” in full color and ink-saving black & white.
  • Audio Commentary (and annotated pdf): An exclusive mp3 recording to play on your phone or other device, with additional math tips and behind-the-scenes tidbits.
  • Make Your Child (or Yourself) a Character: Your child can be a character in a prealgebra story problem. Only 3 slots remaining: captive prince/princess (or the dragon), fantasy warrior king/queen, or a starship captain (or the ship’s engineer).
  • Math You Can Play: All my math games, journaling resources, and other playful math books are available as add-on purchases in ebook or paperback format.

So many great ways to play math with your kids!

Get Yours Before Time Runs Out

And as a bonus, anyone who pledges in these final days will get an extra printable activity guide: Diffy Inception. It’s a great way to get kids playing with fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals.

Why I Love This Book

To everyone supporting my Kickstarter project so far: thank you ever so much! We’ve blown past our funding target, and we’re now working on the Stretch Goals to see how many extras we can add to improve the book.

If you haven’t backed the project yet, check out what you’re missing:

Visit the Kickstarter

Why I love Word Problems from Literature

As a math coach, I love teaching adults and children how to learn math through play. And I’ve written several books full of games and activities to help families play math together.

I show parents and teachers how to look at math with fresh eyes. To explore the adventure of learning math as mental play, which is the essence of creative problem-solving. Mathematics is not just rules and rote memory. Math is a game, playing with ideas.

But at heart, I’ve always been a fiction fan — especially fantasy fiction. And this book, Word Problems from Literature, lets me bring that love of story to the surface.

This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I’ve had so much fun with this new edition: adding stories, writing make-your-own-problem prompts, sneaking extra teaching tips into the worked-out solutions, creating an almost-magical guide to helping kids learn math.

I’ve taken a few screenshots to let you peek inside the new edition. If you like what you see, come over to the Kickstarter and order your copy today.

Why Word Problems?

Wow! My Word Problems from Literature Kickstarter is just barreling along. I love seeing how many people are interested in a playful approach to teaching math.

Check It Out

But you might wonder: Why do I care so much about word problems?

In many textbooks, word problems are an afterthought tacked on to the end of a math lesson.

For me, it’s just the opposite. Word problems are the key part of a lesson, because that’s where children come face-to-face with the meanings of math concepts.

The Key to Learning Math

If we want our children to learn real math, we need to offer them plenty of problems to solve. A child may work through several pages of number calculations by rote, following memorized steps, but a good problem demands more thought.

A story problem puts flesh on the abstract bones of arithmetic. Word problems encourage children to ponder what it means for one thing to be bigger than another, or smaller, or faster, or slower, or made up of several parts.

Word Problems from Literature will feed your child’s mathematical imagination with story problems inspired by classic books, from 2nd-grade stories based on Mr. Popper’s Penguins to prealgebra stumpers inspired by The Lord of the Rings.

And when you finish my puzzles, I’ll show you how to create your own word problems from literature, using your children’s favorite story worlds.

The Trouble with Word Problems

Most young children solve math problems by the flash-of-insight method: They hear the problem, and they know by instinct how to solve it.

This is fine for simple problems like “Four kittens played with a yarn ball. Two more kittens came to join the fun. Then how many kittens were playing with the yarn ball?”

When problems grow more difficult, however, that flash of insight becomes less reliable, so we find our children fidgeting with their paper or staring out the window. They complain, “I don’t know what to do. It’s too hard.”

Too often, the frustrated child concludes, “I’m just not good at math.”

But the truth is that nobody is good at math, if you define “good at math” to mean they can see the answer instantly. Here’s a more useful definition: You’re good at math if you have problem-solving tools and know how to use them.

And that is something everyone can learn.

Word Problems from Literature and the Word Problems Student Workbook will show you how. Order your copies today!

Visit the Kickstarter

Kickstarter Loves My New Book!

To everyone who has supported my Kickstarter project: thank you ever so much! We funded in only five hours, and the Kickstarter people honored us with a “Projects We Love” tag.

If you haven’t backed the project yet, check out what you’re missing:

Visit the Kickstarter

Now it’s on to the Stretch Goals, where each new level we unlock will pay for a higher-quality book in the end. Your support will bring into reality a “Be a Math Detective” motivational poster for all backers, additional illustrations for the main text and student workbook, and even new chapters on solving problems with decimals, ratios, percents, and more.

It’s a collaborative project — how high can we go?

Share the Word Problems from Literature project with your friends, and let’s spread the joy of learning math the creative way!