Maria Miller Hello!

Welcome again! 😀

  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. Placement/math assessment tests
  3. Farmer's horse problem
  4. Median and mean (grades 6-8)
  5. Fraction game: My Closest Neighbor (grades 4-7)
  6. Just for fun!

1. Math Mammoth news

I created a new FAQ about edition changes in the Math Mammoth curriculum. We now have a new edition for grade 6, and there are more edition changes coming in upcoming years.

I will SOON send you information about a new interactive course based on my multiplication book, at TinyTap! Check it out at: Learn and Master the Times Tables!

If you purchased the digital version of a Math Mammoth product, you have the option to have your child or student to fill it in on a computer or tablet device, or to print it.

Check out these printing services that offer either a good overall pricing or a special discount for MM users:

2. Placement/math assessment tests

math test page A time to remind everyone about PLACEMENT TESTS for Math Mammoth.

Naturally, these tests are used to find out where a student might best place in MM, but the tests work equally well as GENERIC math ASSESSMENT tests.

See an example of one student's test results and my evaluation here.

Many students need to take two or even more tests in order to get a full picture of the gaps they have in their skills and knowledge. That was the case with this student also: she actually took three tests, grade 6, 5, and 4. I posted two of the tests and my evaluation at site. I hope it's helpful!

I also offer a service where you can send your child's test results (already graded) to me for a free evaluation for a placement, and suggestions for materials to fill in gaps.

3. Farmer's horse problem

Here's an interesting story problem!
mommy horse and foal

A farmer died leaving his 17 horses to his three sons. When his sons opened up the will, it read:
  • My eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of total horses;
  • My middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third) of the total horses;
  • My youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the total horses.
As it's impossible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other. So, they decided to go to a farmer friend who they considered quite smart, to see if he could work it out for them. The farmer friend read the will patiently, after giving due thought, he brought one of his own horses over and added it to the 17. That increased the total to 18 horses.

Now, he divided the horses according to their fathers will.
Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 horses.
1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 horses.
1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 horses.

Now add up how many horses they have:
Eldest son 9
Middle son 6
Youngest son 2

Now this leaves one horse over, so the farmer friend takes his horse back to his farm. Problem Solved! 😄

Someone left a comment on FB:
Yes! This is a very old legend. I read it when I was like 12 years old. It’s from a book written by Malba Tahan, "The man who counted", a collection of short stories and legends involving mathematical thinking. It’s a good read, too.

I remember using a problem with bees from there, also related to fractions, back when I used to teach younger kids. I highly recommend this little book. Good read for kids, and for any math lover, really. It also helps as value other cultures. The stories in the book come from the Middle East, from civilizations that knew a lot of Math centuries before we westerners “discovered” it. Thank you for bringing it back . 😊

4. Median and mean

Some little something new at Math Mammoth Practice: an interactive activity about the concept of MEDIAN. Students kick the soccer ball, and the distance is recorded.

It also has a second activity where you observe how median and mean are affected when new data items are added.

Check it out here!

5. Fraction game: My Closest Neighbor

Fraction 3/10
I want to tell you about a neat game for fractions that I saw posted on Let's Play Math website.

You only need a standard deck of playing cards (or any number cards) from which you remove the picture cards. The game practices comparing fractions, equivalent fractions, benchmark numbers, and strategic thinking. A real win!

Deal five cards to each player. In each round, choose two cards from your hand and make a fraction that is as close as possible (but not equal) to the given target number. Then draw two cards from the deck so you have five again.

Read the complete rules at Fraction Game: My Closest Neighbor

6. Just for fun!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Till next time,
Maria Miller

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