Maria's Math News, October 2016
Hello again! A mixed bag, as usual, which is because I hope to help many people find something useful. smile

In this edition:
  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. A visual tool to illustrate fraction multiplication (grades 4-6)
  3. Video lessons for decimal arithmetic (grades 4-6)
  4. FREE algebra 1 curriculum online (grades 8-9)
  5. Off-topic infographic...

1. Math Mammoth news

Make It Real Learning products are back at! Make It Real Learning workbooks each concentrate answering the question, "When am I ever going to use this?" The workbooks contain activities or problem situations taken from real-life, with real data. Some examples of the situations are: cell phone plans, autism, population growth, cooking, borrowing money, credit cards, life spans, music downloads, etc. etc.

As students work through the problems, they can use the math skills and concepts they have learned in their math curriculum (such as the concept of average or graphing), and apply those to a situation from real-life.

=> Read more here!

Check out also the FREE samples and try the activities with your students:

Someone asked me recently, "Is it possible to order a Mathy Mascot? If so, where can I find him?"

mammoth stuffed toy

Yes — it's definitely possible! smile You can find "Mathy" my mammoth mascot at Amazon.

In fact, several of the customer reviews on Amazon are from Math Mammoth users. smile

2. A visual tool to illustrate fraction multiplication

This tool allows you to VISUALIZE fraction multiplication ...and other fraction operations, but I think it's especially useful for fraction multiplication.

Many students (and adults!) miss the notion that conceptually, we can think of fraction multiplication this way:

1/2 × 3/4 can be seen as HALF of 3/4... which is 3/8.

Or, 5/6 × 1 1/2 can be thought of as 5/6 OF 1 1/2 , which is 1 1/4.

This interpretation (called "scaling") gives a very simple meaning to this operation, and it is especially important because it EXTENDS to decimals and percentages:

You see, 1/2 × 3/4 can be written as 50% of 3/4 = 50% × 3/4 = 0.5 × 3/4 = 0.5 × 0.25.

Or, 5/6 × 1 1/2 becomes (about) 83% of 1 1/2. Or maybe you turn it around and get 1 1/2 × 5/6 = 150% of 5/6. Being able to think FLEXIBLY of fractions/decimals/percentages really helps you (and your students) find all kinds of tie-ins with real-world situations.

3. Video lessons for decimal arithmetic

Decimals, decimals, decimals... math curricula spend a LOT of time with decimals in grades 4-6. And yes, a lot of it is necessary.

But perhaps your child can grasp the concepts quicker with these videos, and then be able to progress faster and easier. Decimal division in particular can be a stumbling block. Bookmark the page for later use!

4. FREE algebra 1 curriculum online

I stumbled upon a site that has a complete ALGEBRA 1 curriculum with interactive online exercises — all free!

I also added that link to my page that lists video websites and online curricula for algebra 1.

I highly recommend you take a look at some of the sites with VIDEOS for your high school students!

In today's world, ANYONE can learn math by using videos - and there are lots of them, so if one teacher's explanations don't quite click, then watch some more from other people - getting a bit wider perspective usually helps. :)

5. An infographic... substitutions for the word "very" + adjective

I know this is off-topic but I enjoyed glancing through it and it might very well benefit and be of interest to your students... so here goes. :)

It's a list of 128 adjectives you can use instead of "very" and some weak adjective, and comes from a company that does professional proofreading:

Thanks for reading! :)

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Till next time,
Maria Miller
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