Maria Miller Hello again!!!

  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. Complex fractions (grades 7-9)
  3. Should your child be allowed to use a calculator for math work? (grades 1-12)
  4. Summer math

1. Math Mammoth news

We have just published a new, 2023 edition for grade 5. It is a little shorter/"lighter" than the current, 2020 edition, as the graphing & statistics chapter has fewer lessons. There is a pacing guide added to each chapter introduction. And some lessons have been rewritten.

Learn more about the differences between this and the 2020 edition.

Contents and samples:
Grade 5-A samples
Grade 5-B samples

The Canadian version of grade 5 already is this new edition. The International version is not yet ready; it will be a few months before that becomes available.

By the way... the next grade level I will be revising and revamping is grade 3 — expected to be out in the spring of 2024. It is almost strange (though I realize this is common), when I look at my existing/older work, I immediately start feeling that needs changes. πŸ˜„

How to get updates

If you've purchased digital versions of Math Mammoth products in the past at the site (since August 2016), you can generate new download links for those products at

This means that if you have purchased the Light Blue Series bundle in the past, you can get the new edition for grade 5 using this tool.

Those who only purchased grade 5, or purchased elsewhere, will need to contact us for the new edition. Please include the basic information about your order.

A recent testimonial... ☺️
"My son is now a sophomore in a brick-and-mortar high school and is taking Pre-Calculus, but I still receive your monthly math news. We read your recommendations about what to use after MM, and he successfully completed Foerster's Algebra supplemented with Math Without Borders, followed by Geometry: A Guided Inquiry supplemented with Math Without Borders. He then took honors Algebra II & Trig through Kolbe Academy using Foerster's Algebra and Trigonometry text. The Pre-Calc class has been mostly review for him and he's looking forward to Calculus.

This is all a very long-winded way of saying that Math Mammoth worked very well for him, and that your guidance regarding "What next?" was very helpful. I see that you have expanded your discussion from what I remember reading a few years ago, and I am sure many homeschooling families have found it very informative. Thank you, both for a great program in Math Mammoth, and for your analyses of the more advanced levels. Well done!
Peggy S"
Sales info:
  • My traditional May sale for the digital versions at is just around the corner! I will send a separate email about it, soon.
  • Rainbow Resource Center will run a sale for MM printed books from May 16 to 22.
  • Lulu runs promotions constantly; subscribe to their newsletter to find out about them. Right now, through May 12, you get 10% off of all print books at Lulu with code MOTHERSDAY10. But after that, they will probably have a 15% off promotion.

2. Complex fractions

The latest addition to Math Mammoth Practice is a practice activity for complex fractions for grades 7 and on up.

Complex fractions are essentially fraction divisions, so all you need to do is divide the two numbers, using the regular rule for fraction division (multiply by the reciprocal of the divisor).

These online exercises give you a special working space for writing out the step where you use fraction multiplication. Your work in this work area will not be checked.

You can choose to include mixed numbers or not. The script will automatically include fractions and whole numbers in the problems.

3. Should your child be allowed to use a calculator for math work?

Calculator buttons
What do you think?

I feel a calculator is a fantastic tool, but it can also do a lot of harm to children's learning of math — because it can prevent NUMBER SENSE from developing.

And number sense is more important than many people realize! It has been proven to predict a student's success in later years of math, including in algebra.

Developing mental math skills develops number sense. It is the ability to use numbers flexibly — to break them apart and to combine them. For example, if you calculate 4 x 27 by going 4 x 20 and 4 x 7 and adding those, you're using number sense.

Or, if you add 29 + 39 by going 30 + 40 and subtracting 2, you have some number sense.

In Math Mammoth materials, students are introduced to the calculator in 5th grade level, in a chapter dealing with large numbers.

That chapter includes many problems where calculator usage is appropriate. For example, students practice estimating the result with mental math, and then using a calculator to find the exact answer. They also practice choosing whether mental math or a calculator is the best tool for a particular calculation.

These same lessons are also found in the Blue Series book Place Value 5.

From that point onward, Math Mammoth materials show a little calculator symbol next to the exercises where calculator usage is appropriate. That way, the curriculum gently guides them in using a calculator, while not hindering their mental math skills.

What kind of calculator do I need for my child when using Math Mammoth?

For Math Mammoth grades 5-6, a very basic calculator will suffice. It needs to have the four basic operations. A phone or a computer calculator will do just fine. In fact, in a few exercises in grade 5, you will need to use a computer calculator that is able to display a large number of digits.

For 7th and 8th grades, the calculator will need to have the square root button.
Read more!

4. Summer math

It's that time of year that I want to feature this list of ideas for summer math, again.

dice and playing cards
In this article, you can explore...
  • brain teasers & puzzles
  • online math games and simulations
  • offline math games
  • reviewing the previous year's math
  • math readers
  • and summer math programs & contests.
One simple idea is to google "brain teasers for kids", "brain puzzles for kids", or similar.

At any rate, if you're heading towards a summer break, enjoy it! πŸ˜„

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

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

Till next time,
Maria Miller

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