Maria Miller Hello again!
  1. MM news: sale in May
  2. Foundation for school mathematics
  3. Thoughts on testing
  4. Fraction Fill-in Game (grades 2-5)
  5. Simple dice games for math facts (grades 1-4)

1. Math Mammoth News

  1. I will run a SALE in mid-May or so for all the downloads & CDs at website. Stay tuned!

  2. A testimonial...
    Hi Maria, I can't say enough how amazing your curriculum is! I'm a homeschool mom of 6 for over 20 years, and math and science are our family's love languages and dinner table conversation. My oldest 3 are graduated, finished college, and married now but I still have 3 at home, ages 15 (Algebra 2 honors), 12 (in your Math 7) and 7 (in Math Mammoth 2). I only discovered your work about four years ago but will never use anything else now. Solid, solid, solid!! You have already addressed so many of my concerns in your email class (HUGELY helpful) and articles. I have recommended your work to all my friends and now am tutoring a friend's daughter in math (the seriously behind student, but she is catching up quickly). The Blue series and videos have been great to help plug in her gaps. I love the mental ease with numbers the kids develop with your curriculum! Excellent, excellent work.

    Many, many thanks!

    Kim H

  3. NEW at Math Mammoth Practice:

    This last link lets children can practice, for example, adding a two-digit number and a single-digit number WITH or WITHOUT regrouping, or adding/subtracting multiples of ten (56 − 30 or 34 + 60).

2. Foundation for school mathematics

I agree... the foundation for school mathematics is place value. Our students/children need to have a very solid understanding of place value in order to be able to master for example regrouping (carrying) in addition and subtraction, or the regular multiplication algorithm. Often, a student's struggles in grades 4-6 can be traced to a shaky foundation when it comes to place value.

Here's a short article about it: Build a solid math foundation

3. Thoughts on testing

Got another question concerning tests (or a test, in this case).

"My daughter just did the grade 5-A chapter 3 test and got a 68%. What do you suggest we do to review? Should she review and then take the same test again? Thanks!"

There's not any ONE thing you should do in this situation... there are several possibilities. The main thought I'd like for you to keep in mind is that tests, too, should be used to help students LEARN.

One way to turn tests into a LEARNING opportunity is to allow the student fix their mistakes after the test... and if they get it right, let them earn (for example) 1/2 the points they could have earned originally.

Another is, to not share the point count or the grade with the student. Instead, provide feedback on what skills they might need to work on to continue learning, and give praise (if appropriate) for their hard work and the time they've spent learning and working at math, etc.😃

We as parents/teachers need to be careful that tests don't become a means of discouragement. It should be a positive situation for the student, somehow. If it produces negatives, consider dropping the test taking altogether (at least for a time), and use other means of student assessment.

In this case, the parent decided to move on to decimals, and come back to the chapter 3 topics (problem solving with bar models) at a later time, giving the student a break from those topics for a while.

4. Fraction-Fill-In game

This game uses a blank fraction wall, and helps children grasp the equivalency of fractions... but not only that. They also have a chance to visualize how fraction addition works. :)

Check out Fraction Fill-In!

5. Simple dice games for math facts

Neat and simple! Addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts as a game... or, actually, all of them! 😄

Increase Fluency with Simple Math Dice Games Your Kids Will LOVE

Thanks for reading! :)

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Till next time,
Maria Miller

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