Maria's Math News, Vol. 80, March 2014

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


Welcome to the March newsletter! In this edition, we have many Math Mammoth freebies and fun puzzles for everyone! And, if you've wondered what I use for science with my own children, now you can find out.


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    1. THREE free Math Mammoth books and other freebies (grades 1-8)
    2. Favorite math puzzles (grades K-12)
    3. Science resources (grades 5-8)
    4. From frustration to exuberance!
    5. Download a lesson on the distance of two integers (grade 7)

    1. THREE free Math Mammoth books and other freebies

    Math Mammoth Add & Subtract 4 book cover Actually... These three books from Math Mammoth Blue Series aren't technically freebies, but they have been set to "Pay What You Want" at Currclick, which means you choose how much you pay.

    You CAN get them for free if you cannot afford to pay :)

    Math Mammoth Place Value 2 (for grade 2)

    Math Mammoth Add & Subtract 4 (for grades 4-5)

    Math Mammoth Percent (for grades 6-7)

    They allow you to get a good overview of my products -- for free!

    I have also updated a page on that lists the various free resources I offer, including free worksheets, books, videos, tests, and lessons. Have you seen all the free stuff you can get?



    On-line, self-paced, multimedia math lessons.

    Our lessons are now at no cost.

    Pre-algebra, Algebra, and Geometry lessons that
    include instruction, "Try These" problems to check understanding , and worksheets with step-by-step answer keys.

    Go to to visit our website, see what we are about, and check out our lessons

    2. Favorite math puzzles

    Recently, I asked you to send me your favorite math puzzle. Thanks everyone who took part! It was fun.

    I have already made one page filled with the puzzles people sent me:

    That page contains the easier puzzles. I will also make another page with the more challenging puzzles, so if you don't see the one you sent in it, I may be planning to publish it on the upcoming page!

    3. Science resources

    Some people have asked me what science curricula and resources I use and recommend.

    I made a page about them, with a short review of each:

    Basically, I have used regular textbooks as a "spine" since they are so affordable, and supplemented that with videos and activities from various sources.

    4. From frustration to exuberance! - Math Moment Story

    This is one of the stories sent to my recent Math Moment(s) contest.

    I was one of those people who feared math their entire lives and I was afraid that somehow I would pass it on to my daughter. It was always the same with our math sessions. We would be both excited at first but then somewhere along the way things would start to go downhill and we both end up in frustration.

    There was this day when my daughter was in tears at the end of our session. We didn't do math for a while after that incident as I was sure that I finally killed math for her for good.

    When we started again, it was met without enthusiasm and was treated to be just another task in our to do list. Until I came to learn about this math curriculum I heard so much about. We tried it for a couple of weeks and didn't care to pay attention to any improvements that could be happening as my mind was set for it to be just another curriculum we are trying and that I shouldn't expect anything "life changing".

    And it's true, it wasn't. Except that I began to notice that she would exhaust her waking hours at night doing the math exercises before going to bed. I didn't take it as anything special but I did entertain the notion that she must be enjoying it. 

    One particular night as we were going about the lessons as usual, I told her that I was getting sleepy and since it was getting really late (as in 1:30 AM late), we should be going to bed. I promised her we would continue tomorrow.

    The next day, we went about our usual activities in the morning. But when noon time came, she came to me with a disappointed look in her face and said, "I thought you said we were gonna do math today?"

    And that is when it hit me - I must be doing something right this time. If I could bottle up that moment I would, as I would cherish forever hearing those words come out of my daughter's lips. I thought she would forever be stuck into the same slump that everyone else who hates math are in and would forever blame myself for it. I felt exuberant! I felt redeemed. More than anything I feel it was because this time, we were both guided properly -especially me as her teacher.

    Thank you Maria for facilitating this moment. And yes, that curriculum is Math Mammoth.


    5. Download a lesson on the distance of two integers

    Hot off the presses! I wanted to share this 7th grade lesson on the distance of two integers that I recently wrote for the upcoming Math Mammoth grade 7.

    I'd be interested in feedback, as well!

    It is written specifically to match the Common Core Standard 7.NS.1 (c)

    Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference, and apply this principle in real-world contexts.

    In easier terms... the lesson deals mostly with integers, and teaches that the distance of two integers m and n can be found by taking the absolute value of their difference: |mn|.

    Download the lesson here (a PDF file). There is no answer key at the moment -- sorry about that!

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

    Till next time,
    Maria Miller
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