Maria's Math News, Vol. 67, November 2012

I love teaching, and I love math. This newsletter is my way of reaching out and helping you to teach it, too.

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Hello! Thanksgiving and winter is around the corner—check out the upcoming sale notices for Math Mammoth. Other topics include DreamBox, multiplication tables, worksheets, algebra videos, and more.


1. Math Mammoth news
2. Worksheets for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4
3. Review of DreamBox Learning
4. A question about multiplication tables
5. Tidbits

1. Math Mammoth news

Math Mammoth Grade 4 is now aligned to the Common Core standards! Please read here about some of the main changes as compared to the previous edition.

Upcoming sale notices

I will run my traditional Thanksgiving sale from November 19 till November 30. I'll let you know the details when the time is near.

Currclick will run a sale starting in late November and on into December.

Grades 5 and 6 alignments—how will these grades change?

For grade 5, I know of these upcoming changes:

- prime factorization will move from 6th to 5th grade
- fraction division will move from 5th to 6th grade
- more difficult conversions between measuring units will move from 4th to 5th
- the current two last chapters (integers and percent) will be taken off from 5th grade
- in geometry, the lessons about area of polygons will move to 6th grade. Geometry topics for 5th grade will include coordinate grid, volume, and classifying two-dimensional figures into categories.

The main "framework" for 5th will not change—it will still concentrate on fraction and decimal arithmetic. The first and second chapters will cover about the same topics also.

For grade 6, there will be bigger changes. Many topics currently in MM6 will need to move to 7th.

2. Worksheets for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4

I have revised the popular worksheet-making pages for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 on my free math site so that they now follow Common Core standards fairly closely.

I also added handy "jump to" links to the different sections. And, I added NEW worksheets about order of operations, equivalent fraction worksheets with pie models, comparing fractions worksheets with pie models, and a few others.

Each page listed below contains LONG list of links that each allow you to make a worksheet for a topic... and the worksheet is different each time you make it (generated on the fly).
These pages are a work in progress; I have plans for several new worksheet generators to be made and added to my site. Enjoy! Tens of thousands of other people already do.

Review of DreamBox Learning

DreamBox Learning is an online math learning system, designed for grades K-5. It delivers "learning units" where students learn and practice important mathematical concepts

As the owner of, I have seen and been given access to many online math programs over the years (just check the Reviews section). DreamBox is unique among them. Its main feature is how it adapts the curriculum to the learner, and that is done in a quite sophisticated manner that sets DreamBox apart from other online math curricula.

DreamBox analyzes a student's input on a click-by-click basis, and uses this input to assign the most appropriate follow-up lessons. As a result, there are millions of different "paths" students can take through Dreambox's learning units.

This also means that the student is initially presented with only a limited selection of lessons to do. DreamBox will analyze the student's responses to those, and then present him/her new lessons based on the analysis.

Another very distinctive feature of DreamBox is its emphasis on conceptual understanding and algebraic thinking. Your child will not be presented simple practice of addition facts or fraction multiplication, but instead, most of the learning units teach concepts (sometimes subtly), connections between concepts, or even simple algebra.

Read the rest of the review!

Notice especially:

How to buy

At DreamBox website, home subscriptions cost $12.95/month (one child) and $19.95/month (up to 4 children). A 14-day free trial is also available.

Homeschoolers can save up to 67% on a 1-year subscription through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

4. A question about multiplication tables

We are getting ready to start Chapter 3 on the multiplication tables on Monday. I wasn't sure if I am supposed to drill the facts of 2 until they are memorized, before she starts the worksheets for 2, or should she do the worksheets pertaining to 2 and then drill until she has them memorized? She is really looking forward to learning her multiplication tables. It's so nice! :)

The basic idea is to stay on the table until it is mastered. That can take a varying amount of days based on the child and how often you practice, what else is going on, etc. It is best to practice each table at least 2 times a day (because our brains will memorize things much quicker, if things are reinforced often), but that doesn't have to take a long time at a time.

HOWEVER, you can also study some OTHER math concepts, such as geometry, addition, or measuring at the same time, as long as these other topics don't rely heavily on multiplication tables (such as division or fraction arithmetic would). So, you could in effect be studying in two chapters at the same time.

Also, incorporate some games to keep the learned facts "in her brain." The old idiom "use it or lose it" comes into play here. As she masters more facts, she will probably enjoy playing multiplication games, whether online, on the computer, or other types of games like card games or board games. I have a list of online games and some software listed here.

5. Tidbits

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Till next time,
Maria Miller
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