Prealgebra & Geometry Preorders

My book Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School is scheduled for release to regular bookstores in February, 2021. Because no publisher wants to send a new book into the world during such hectic, unsettled times as a big election, the winter holidays, or during inauguration season.

But preorder links are beginning to appear at several of the major online booksellers. And more stores will join them, as the information filters through their website systems.

The paperback will also be up for preorder, whenever the sites catch that update.

And remember: If you don’t favor a particular bookstore, you can buy the early-release ebook right now at my publisher’s webstore — and get a 10% discount if you order before 15 October.

Parallel and Perpendicular Art

I love this easy-but-beautiful math art project!

1. Print a page of dotty or lined graph paper for each student. You’ll also need a ruler and a large assortment of markers or colored pencils.

2. Students draw a line across the page, lining up their ruler with the grid points. The first line can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal.

3. Keep drawing lines, but NEVER cross a line you’ve already drawn. Following the grid will create many lines parallel or perpendicular to each other. What angles can you identify?

4. Color as desired. For a stained-glass effect, outline the colored areas with a black Sharpie marker.

Look for more math art ideas in my FREE new book Geometric Coloring Designs 2: Create Your Own Art. Visit my publisher’s online store and click the “Free Books” button.

CREDITS: I saw this project at Cindy’s Love2Learn2Day blog. She got the idea from Zachary‘s MathActivities site.

I Love Fall! Here’s a Special Offer to Celebrate

Summer’s gone, and the beautiful, brisk days of harvest season have arrived in all their glory.

Fall is definitely my favorite time of year.

This fall, my publishing company opened a store where you can buy direct from us. When you choose to cut out the middleman, we authors get paid 50% more royalties. Thank you for your support!

You get a bonus, too: When you buy direct from our online store, you get DRM-free ebook files in your choice of format — including printable pdf files not available in bookstores. And if you need help, our friends at BookFunnel will be more than happy to walk you through the steps of transferring ebook files to your phone or device.

Best of all, you can pick up the exclusive publisher’s-edition ebook of my long-awaited Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School (scheduled for publication to regular bookstores in February 2021).

So even if you missed the Kickstarter, you won’t miss out on playing math with your middle-school kids this fall.

Special Offer: Use the coupon code TBLTOP10 at checkout to save 10% off your purchase. (Expires 15 October 2020.)

Click Here to Shop Our Online Store

Proofreading 2

To keep the books in a series looking like they go together, I use each finished book as the starting template for the next one. That way, all my paragraphs use the same fonts, all headings are the same size, and the titles line up on the cover.

It’s a handy publishing trick that saves time and keeps everything looking right.

Until it doesn’t.

Continue reading Proofreading 2


Still working on the Prealgebra & Geometry Games book. I got a paperback proof from Amazon, which is not my primary printer but could print it faster.

The graphics look better than the first time around. Success there.

So now I’m reading through and trying to catch any of the little errors (or sometimes not so little!) that managed to sneak past all the rounds of editing.

There are always errors. It’s like trying to get all the burrs out of the dog’s coat this time of year. No matter how hard you work at it, you’ll always miss a few…

Limited Time: If You Missed the Kickstarter

Do you still want a chance at the Kickstarter book deals? Or did a friend of yours miss out?

I’ve had a couple of requests from people who missed the campaign deadline but still wanted to order a book. So for a limited time, I’m taking direct orders at the Kickstarter price.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the Kickstarter page and read through the pledge levels on the sidebar. Decide which level you want to buy.
  2. Send me a direct message through Kickstarter, or come back to the blog and use the contact form here.
  3. I’ll reply with details on how to order directly through Paypal.

This offer will expire in about a week — whenever Kickstarter finishes processing all the pledges and sends me their paperwork. So if you want to make an order, do it quickly.

The Problem with Books These Days

For an indie business, weekends are just another workday. But I suppose with the pandemic and so many people working at home, perhaps that’s true of everyone these days.

I finished the index work on Prealgebra & Geometry Games, and I think I might have the book layout under control. Time to order a proof copy.

I can get an instant digital proof. It looks just like the file I already have on my computer. But the physical book is a whole different thing from a computer file. There are always surprises.

So I want to see a real proof — an actual paperback copy — before I release a book to readers. Wouldn’t you?

And that may be a problem.

Continue reading The Problem with Books These Days

It’s Almost Gone

“Denise’s books are always the first math books I recommend to parents. I have used them both with co-ops and at home, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her latest book, Prealgebra & Geometry Games, because there is SUCH a need for games at this level! I could even scale down many of the games for my second grader. Middle school moms and those with math loving kids of any age, check this out!”

—Casey Ogg Maupin
Big Juicy Conversations about Math (Facebook group)

UPDATE: The Kickstarter deals have ended, but my playful math books are still available through your favorite online store or by special order at your local bookshop. (Except for the Prealgebra & Geometry Games book, scheduled for publication in early 2021. Sign up for my email list to get the latest news.)

Continue reading It’s Almost Gone

How Mathematics Works

The full quote, as it appears in my new book:

Make a conjecture. A conjecture is a statement that you think might be true.

For example, you might make a conjecture that “All odd numbers are…” How would you finish that sentence?

Make another conjecture. And another. Does thinking about your conjectures make you wonder about math?

Can you think of any way to test your conjectures, to discover if they will always be true?

This is how mathematics works. Mathematicians notice something interesting about certain numbers, shapes, or ideas. They play around and explore how those relate to other ideas. After collecting a set of interesting things, they think about ways to organize them. They wonder about patterns and connections. They make conjectures and try to imagine ways to test them.

And mathematicians talk with one another and compare their ideas. In real life, math is a very social game.

—Denise Gaskins
Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School

Excerpted from my upcoming book, Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School, scheduled for publication in early 2021. Sign up for my newsletter to get updates.

CREDITS: “Three girls counting” photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash.

Language and Math

Still working on my Prealgebra & Geometry Games book. I’m amazed at how much of learning math is really about language.

With the current layout, the book will be 250+ pages long, depending on how the index turns out. A total of 41 games plus four math investigation activities. I’ve defined more than 100 vocabulary words — so averaging more than two new math words per game.

Of course, several of these are words (or at least concepts) students will have learned before. But a large part of prealgebra is consolidating previous ideas and mastering their names (sum, quotient, factor, multiple, etc.) before moving on to apply them in algebra class.

But it’s not all review! There’s a cool game about polar coordinates, a rabbit trail into combinatorics, and plenty of other challenges to keep students learning.

And plenty of clear definitions for adult readers who have long ago forgotten all the math terms they learned in school.

Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School is scheduled for publication in early 2021. Sign up for my newsletter to get updates.