Maria's Math News, April 2017

Welcome to the April edition!

In this edition:
  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. Looking back: Ten years ago (grades 1-6)
  3. How to help your kids fall in love with math
  4. A child is not getting addition facts (grades 1-5)
  5. Math teacher's feelings
  6. A different approach to two-column proofs (grade 10)

1. Math Mammoth news

  1. You can now purchase LESSON PLANS for the Light Blue series right at the Math Mammoth website! I also made a page with (hopefully) lots of information and screenshots on these lesson plans and how they work.

    => Lesson plans for Math Mammoth Light Blue series

  2. I have edited & uploaded some videos related to basic DIVISION concept for 3rd grade. I also then made a page that lists my videos available for third grade math.

2. Looking back: Ten years ago

In my newsletter 10 years ago...

In case you're interested, you can find the old (and new) newsletters at

3. How to help your kids fall in love with math

A short guide with important points for parents... worth sharing!

I especially like the third, and last point that emphasized that we adults need to "think out loud", or model our thinking processes — and that is one great way for children to learn math.

How to help your kids fall in love with math — a guide for grown ups

4. A child is not getting addition facts

Here's an interesting question concerning a child who's not getting basic addition facts.
Hi! I would love some insight and had Math Mammoth recommended to me. My daughter is 7 and in first grade. She is a natural at reading/spelling and is very much a perfectionist. She is not "naturally" mathy. I wasn't either in school and got left behind in math pretty quickly in traditional school.

We are using Math U See and have been since K. A mastery approach made sense to me as you don't move on until you have fully mastered something. The problem is what if mastery takes so long that you feel like you are just beating a dead horse so to speak? She understands the "why" behind the addition facts but can't seem to get fluent in them.

I now feel like I moved her too fast because I am seeing her lose confidence and just shut down and get teary when trying to do basic subtraction. I originally felt it was ok to move on because by "adding back up" to check the subtraction she could still be reviewing the addition facts you know?

Anyway, I am wondering if complete mastery is too much for a struggling math student. Would you recommend Math Mammoth for her? I want her to have an understanding that I never got in school. Help!

Here's my suggestion...

What you can do is to have her study some other topic for a while, and then come back to the addition facts later. For example, study reading the clock, measuring, geometry, money, or place value (2 or 3-digit numbers) for now.

Math Mammoth will allow you to do that... it is mastery-based, but since it's organized by topical chapters (one chapter for money, another for measuring, etc.), you can easily choose to "jump around" a bit to give variety, and also for the reason like your situation... to let the child's mind mature, and come back to the "problem topic" later on.

Hope this helps!

5. Math teacher's feelings

Peak into a math teacher's feelings... I definitely agree with many thoughts mentioned in this letter, such as how (in the US) it is seemingly very acceptable to brag about one's lack of basic math skills, which I feel is kind of strange!

=> Dear Community; Sincerely, Math Teacher

6. A different approach to two-column proofs

Teaching high school geometry? I assume not many of you are, but if you are, you might be interested in this:

Introducing Two-Column Geometry Proofs: A Different Approach, by Brigid at Math Giraffe website

Leading into proof writing is my favorite part of teaching a Geometry course. I really love developing the logic and process for the students. However, I have noticed that there are a few key parts of the process that seem to be missing from the Geometry textbooks.

I started developing a different approach, and it has made a world of difference! I noticed that the real hangup for students comes up when suddenly they have to combine two previous lines in a proof (using substitution or the transitive property). Most curriculum starts with algebra proofs so that students can just practice justifying each step. They have students prove the solution to the equation (like show that x = 3).

Free download - algebra proof examples

These just were not sufficient to prevent the overwhelm once the more difficult proofs showed up.

=> Read more at Math Giraffe website

Thanks for reading! :)

Feel free to forward this issue to a friend/colleague! Subscribe here.

Till next time,
Maria Miller
Math Mammoth freebies Math Mammoth on Facebook Newsletter Archives
Inspire4 Complete curriculum Placement tests