Maria Miller Hi again! Welcome to the October edition of math tips:
  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. Looking back: Ten years ago: an algebra word problem, and mean, median, mode
  3. Help for practicing addition & subtraction facts (2nd grade)
  4. A question relating to TESTS
  5. Struggling with arithmetic

1. Math Mammoth news

  • Math Mammoth Multiplication 2 math book cover The printed versions for the Blue series books are now available in FULL COLOR. They're available through, as before, and printed on-demand.

    To find these, first locate the books you're interested in the list of Blue series books at Then, for each book, you will find a link to Lulu listed under the cover image of that book.

    Check out also home page for coupon codes; they run promotions often!
  • The INTERNATIONAL version of the Light Blue series is now available as printed books! Once again, at First choose your grade level from this list; then you will find links to Lulu listed under the cover image.
  • Here's a pic from a customer... these students are studying the Spanish version of my "Clock" book (Mamut Matematicas Reloj), in Central Mexico. :)

2. Looking back: Ten years ago

In my newsletter 10 years ago I featured this word problem, which is a typical "algebra" word problem... but there's an easy way to solve it — without algebra!
Todd, Chris, and Rod have 30 birds. Rod has five times as many as Todd. Todd has one fourth the number Chris has. How many birds do they each have?
The numbers in this problem are so small that an equation is not necessary — it is quite easy & quick to use guess and check!

I also featured a freebie download: a sample lesson concerning mean, median, and mode. You can download a similar lesson here: Using Mean, Median, and Mode. The lesson focuses on whether to use mean, median, or mode to describe the center of a distribution.

3. Help for practicing addition & subtraction facts (2nd grade)

One of my customers let me know that her son had made a neat interactive program to practice addition & subtraction facts as they're presented in Math Mammoth grade 2.

This program practices the single-digit addition facts where the sum is more than 10, and the corresponding subtraction facts (e.g. 7 + 8, 6 + 9, 13 — 5, 16 — 7 etc).

Check it out!


4. A question relating to TESTS

Here's a question I got:
What grade do you suggest students get on a chapter test before moving on to the next chapter? If they score below this should they just make corrections and move on? At what grade would you say they need to retake a test?

My answer... Using the chapter tests is up to the parent or teacher. I used them starting in grade 1 with my kids, because they seemed to enjoy taking tests. 😃 However, for some children, testing has become a dreaded thing and they have developed math anxiety 😣, and in those cases it's best to AVOID tests for a while... until the child would be able to overcome the anxiety.

Simply put, tests are best used as LEARNING TOOLS. For example, you could allow the child to redo any problem they missed, and, if they get it right on the 2nd try, get 1/2 of the points of what they COULD have gotten initially. That way they can learn from their mistakes, and the test doesn't become just a boring chore to finish quickly, or something like that.

You can devise other ways to use tests and other ways to do the scoring etc. They are just TOOLS for you to use however you see best.😃

5. Struggling with Arithmetic

Here I'm featuring a post by Denise Gaskins. In it, she answers the following question:
My son can't stand long division or fractions. We had a lesson on geometry, and he enjoyed that – especially the 3-D shapes. If we can just get past the basics, then we'll have time for the things he finds interesting. But one workbook page takes so long, and I'm sick of the drama. Should we keep pushing through?
=> Read Denise's tips for this situation!

Thanks for reading! :)

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Till next time,
Maria Miller

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