Podcast: Real Math and Family Fun

Christy Thomas interviewed me for her Keep Calm and Mother On podcast. We had a wonderful chat. I think you’ll enjoy it:

Real Math and Family Fun with Denise Gaskins

“School math sometimes is more stress-inducing. Real math is more freeing and more joyful, and just more interesting.

    “Real mathematics is basically applied common sense.

      “Real mathematics is noticing patterns, seeing connections, figuring things out.

        “These are all things that you can do. You do them in other areas of your life. Real mathematics draws on those same abilities and focuses those abilities on numbers, shapes, and patterns.

          “Real mathematics is about solving puzzles. It’s about creative reasoning. These are the things you want your child to understand.”

          —Denise Gaskins, Real Math and Family Fun

          Go Listen to the Interview

          CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash.com.

          Podcast: Math as a Nature Walk

          Pam Barnhill interviewed me for the Your Morning Basket podcast. We had a great talk. I think you’ll enjoy it:

          YMB #94 Math in Morning Time: A Conversation with Denise Gaskins

          “Let me give you this new vision. I want you to think of math as a nature walk.

            “There’s this whole world of interesting things. More things, more concepts, more ideas than you and your children would ever have time to explore. And everywhere you look, there’s something cool to discover.

              “If you explore this world with your children, you’re not behind. Wherever you are, you’re not behind because there is no behind. There’s only, “We’re going this direction.” Or, “Let’s move that way.” Or, “Hey, look what I found over here!”

                “And as long as your children are thinking and wondering, and making sense of the math they find, they’re going to learn. They’re going to grow.

                  “So what you want to do is, you want to embrace this adventure of loving God with all your mind and approach math with an attitude of playful exploration.

                    “And you know, you’ll be surprised how much fun thinking hard can be.”

                    —Denise Gaskins, Math in Morning Time

                    Go Listen to the Interview

                    CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Jessica Rockowitz via Unsplash.com.

                    Homeschooling? Check Out These Math Goodies

                    How to Homeschool Math: A long page full of my best tips on homeschooling math in a low-stress, creative, playful way. No matter which curriculum you use—unschoolers, too!

                    Get my email series “8 Weeks of Playful Math” plus regular activity ideas and other updates when you join my Math Reader’s Group newsletter.

                    My Let’s Play Math Sampler ebook contains short excerpts from my most popular books. Find out how to get it for free, no strings attached!

                    New! Your Student Can Be a Math Maker

                    When children create their own math, they build a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and relationships.

                    And it’s fun!

                    So take a break from your normal math program to play with creative math. Students can:

                    Check Out the Gallery

                    We have a few entries already in the Student Math Makers Gallery.

                    Click Here To Visit the Gallery

                    Join the Student Math Makers

                    We’d love to add your students’ math to our collection and share it with viewers all around the world!

                    To submit a math creation, download a Math Makers Invitation and Submission Form below:

                    CREDITS: “Creating Math Puzzles by Sian Zelbo, the author of Camp Logic, via NaturalMath.com.

                    Prealgebra & Geometry Games Now Available

                    Publication Day!

                    Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School hits the online bookstores today.

                    Check Your Favorite Store

                    You can prepare your children for high school math by playing with positive and negative integers, number properties, mixed operations, algebraic functions, coordinate geometry, and more. Prealgebra & Geometry features 41 kid-tested games, offering a variety of challenges for students in 4–9th grades and beyond.

                    A true understanding of mathematics requires more than the ability to memorize procedures. This book helps your children learn to think mathematically, giving them a strong foundation for future learning.

                    And don’t worry if you’ve forgotten all the math you learned in school. I’ve included plenty of definitions and explanations throughout the book. It’s like having a painless math refresher course as you play.

                    Continue reading Prealgebra & Geometry Games Now Available

                    Playful Math Carnival 144: Anniversary Edition

                    Welcome to the 144th edition of the Playful Math Education Blog Carnival — a smorgasbord of delectable tidbits of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine devoted to learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to high school.

                    Bookmark this post, so you can take your time browsing.

                    There’s so much playful math to enjoy!

                    By tradition, we would start the carnival with a puzzle/activity in honor of our 144th edition. But this time, I want to take a peek back at the history of our carnival.

                    But if you’d rather jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

                    Continue reading Playful Math Carnival 144: Anniversary Edition

                    Math Journals and Creative Reasoning

                    Learning math requires more than mastering number facts and memorizing rules. At its heart, math is a way of thinking.

                    So more than anything else, we need to teach our kids to think mathematically. To make sense of math concepts and persevere in figuring things out. To notice the numbers, shapes, and patterns all around. To wonder about big ideas.

                    Journaling is a great way to help children learn to see with mathematical eyes. Not just to remember what we tell them, but to create their own math.

                    Get started with creative math journaling today. Visit the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter page to download the free “How To Be a Math Rebel” sampler pictured above, which contains one of my all-time favorite math prompts.

                    Make 100 Math Rebels

                    It doesn’t matter whether your students are homeschooled or in a classroom, distance learning or in person. Everyone can enjoy the experience of playing around with math.

                    Puzzle from the free Math Rebel Sampler.

                    Continue reading Math Journals and Creative Reasoning

                    A New Resource for Playful Math

                    Are you looking for new ways to explore math with your kids?

                    Would you like an easy, no-prep resource for creative problem-solving, number play, math art, word problems, mini-essays, brainteasers, patterns, research projects, and much more?

                    Check out the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter project, which just might transform your child’s experience of math.

                    What Is a Math Rebel?

                    Math rebels believe in Truth. We refuse to accept something just because the teacher or textbook says it. We want to see the connections between math concepts and to understand why things work.

                    Math rebels care about Justice. We resist society’s push for speed and conformity. We reject the cultural narrative that math has only One Right Answer.

                    Math rebels celebrate Creative Reasoning. We delight in finding new ways to look at math topics. We want to think deeply about ideas, and we are confident in our ability to figure things out.

                    Launch your family’s math rebellion today with my free printable PDF booklet, “How To Be a Math Rebel,” available only on the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter page.

                    Here’s the link again:

                    Make 100 Math Rebels on Kickstarter

                    If you like what you see, I’d love to have your support. The more people we can get backing the project in the early days, the more likely Kickstarter will promote it to new readers.

                    What Are Mixed Numbers?

                    I just discovered a fascinating fact: In some places in the world, mixed numbers apparently don’t exist.

                    So that made me curious about my blog readers:

                    • Did you learn about mixed numbers in school?
                    • Do you ever use mixed numbers in daily life?
                    • Are your children learning to work with them?

                    And if you DO know mixed numbers, can you simplify this mess:

                    [If you enjoy dry math humor, the answer is worth the work.]

                    Continue reading What Are Mixed Numbers?

                    Printable Activity Guides

                    Since my publishing house opened its online store last month, I’ve been busy stocking the shelves with printable math activities for all ages.

                    It’s a fun collection of low- or no-prep ideas for playing math with your kids.

                    And it’s still growing. I’m pouring through old notes of my favorite projects from years of playing math with the kids in our math clubs and homeschool co-op enrichment classes, looking for ideas.

                    Which One Will You Try?

                    We’ve made the first two Geometric Coloring Designs books permanently free.

                    [The Let’s Play Math Sampler is also permafree, though it’s an ebook, so it’s on a different virtual shelf. You can find it under the “Free Books” section.]

                    For the rest, we’ve kept our prices as low as possible to fit struggling family budgets — less than a cup of coffee at my favorite cafe, back when we could still go out for a sweet, creamy cuppa.

                    Just go to our online store and click the “Printable Activity Guides” button to check out all the mathy fun.

                    Click Any Title for Details

                    Here are all the books we’ve posted so far.

                    Free Books:

                    Math Art:

                    Games and Puzzles:

                    Math Facts and Number Play:

                    Problem-Solving Skills:

                    Someday, I hope to combine these books into a creative math “uncurriculum” for homeschoolers. Stay tuned to this blog for more news about that. Eventually…