Strategies for addition & subtraction facts, free math ebooks, area battle game, and more

Maria's Math News, Vol. 57, November 2011

I love teaching, and I love math. This newsletter is my way of reaching out and helping you to teach it, too.

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Greetings! I have again tried to find something for everybody, no matter what your grade level. Hope these resources are helpful!


1. Math Mammoth news
2. Strategies for addition & subtraction facts
3. Two free math books: Geometry in Art & Fun Math for Young Learners
4. Area Battle game
5. Tidbits

1. Math Mammoth news

Just an advance sale notice... I will be running a sale around Thanksgiving, and all downloads & CDs will be 25% off!

Another upcoming news is that the Math Mammoth PDF files will soon be enabled for annotating. This means that you will be able to open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 9 or X) and use a neat "typewriter" tool to actually TYPE in the document. You can also highlight words, add sticky notes, or draw circles, lines, polygons, and more! So... your children can actually fill in the book on the computer, if they so wish, including completing geometric drawing problems.

While I cannot check this personally, I THINK this will also work on a tablet device such as a iPad. However, it looks like this will NOT work on the PDFs sold at Currclick, because they add their own security settings (and watermark) to the files... I have total control over the ones sold at Kagi but not over those sold at Currclick.

If you are an old customer from Kagi and would need these types of files, please email me and I can provide you new download links. Make sure to include the email address or name you used when ordering at Kagi.

If you're an old customer from Currclick, and purchased Light Blue series products, you will be able to simply redownload your order once I upload the new files. For other books, email me, and attach your email receipt from Currclick. (I have no access to the customer database at Currclick.)

Note: If I get lots of requests for these new files, it may take WEEKS or even over a month to go through them. So please don't expect a fast response. And if I get over a thousand requests, I might not be able to do this at all... since there is no automated way to do it. We'll have to see.

2. Strategies for addition & subtraction facts

Learning math facts seems to be a constant "hot topic", it just never goes out of popularity! So... I want to help (or remind) you once again about the basics.

I heartily recommend first to concentrate on the concepts and strategies, and only later add in random drills. That is true, whether it is addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

I've made a video about strategies for learning addition facts. In it, I list several strategies to learn addition facts for first and second grade math. I show the pattern of "Sums with 7", which also is used with other sums, then the 9-trick, the 8-trick, the doubles, doubles plus one more, and how to do random drill using the structure of the addition table.

Strategies for Addition Facts video

Then, a new video of mine about strategies for subtraction facts. I recommend the usage of FACT FAMILIES in order to learn the basic subtraction facts. That way, when children have a subtraction problem, such as 7 − 5 = ____, they will learn to think through addition and fact families: 5 and 2 and 7 form a fact family, OR that 5 + 2 = 7, so 7 − 5 = 2. The video also shows a fun tool for subtraction facts called number rainbows!

Strategies for Subtraction Facts video is your source for easy to use math practice.  Timed tests, fractions, patterns, rounding, word problems and more!

 No registration or signup - Just click, print and practice!


3. Two free math books:
Geometry in Art & Fun Math for Young Learners

Renee from is offering a totally free ebook for kindergarten math! It basically is a worksheets collection for K, colorful and beautiful.
Fun Math for Young Learners ebook cover

The book covers number recognition, counting, patterns, sorting and classifying, and an introduction to graphs, and has 53 pages.

I was told about a free download of the book Geometry in Art, by Hilton Andrade de Mello. (On the page, you need to scroll down to the words "free downloading".)

Geometry in Art ebook cover

This book is a basic introduction to geometry in art, with topics such as polygons, spirals, polyhedrons, tessellations, perspective, the golden ratio, symmetry, geometry and symbolism, and geometry and informatics. It has lots of illustrations and artwork by various artists, and can serve as a nice introduction for anyone who hasn't studied these topics before.

4. Area "Battle" game

I talked about area and perimeter in my last newsletter as well, but this is too good to pass by! Math Hombre has posted a neat game for students to practice area and perimeter with lots of images to show what's going on... It's basically the game of "war" adapted to area, and the students themselves make the cards for the game, thereby having to really apply the concept. Suitable for about 5th grade.

Area Battle game

5. Tidbits

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Till next time,
Maria Miller
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