Maria's Math News, January 2015 
Hello!
Welcome to a new year! I invite you to play the 2015 Mathematics game — it's great fun for students of (nearly) all ages! You'll also read about a teacher who used NEWSPAPERS to help her students gain in math, and find several other neat math teaching ideas. . Several items in this newsletter come from Math Teachers at Play blog carnival. 2. 2015 Mathematics Game (grades 312) 3. Fourth grade SDC class achieves tremendous gains in math using newspapers (grades 37) 4. Teaching the distributive property in 3rd grade (grades 35) 5. How to incorporate art into math class (grades 112) 6. An idea to teach function notation (grades 1112) ~Maria 
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1. Math Mammoth news

2. 2015 Mathematics GamePhoto by Carol Vanhook 25 − 10 or 5 + 1 − 2 + 0 or 5 × (2 + 1 + 0) or 50 / 2 − 1 etc. and you'll get various numbers. The challenge is to make ALL of them from 1 to 100! Take special note: square roots, exponents, and factorials are allowed. This means you can do 5^{2} + 10, √25 − 10, and 0! + 1 + 2 + 5. You can even use decimals, such as .2 to make 5 × .2 + 10. You can submit your results to Math Forum. Denise at Let's Play Math also accepts submissions. Her rules are a tiny bit different from Math Forum's. Check out both: http://letsplaymath.net/2015/01/01/2015mathematicsgame/ http://mathforum.org/yeargames/ And have fun! 
3. Fourth grade SDC class achieves tremendous gains in math using newspapers(Maria's note: This is a true and inspiring story of a good teacher making a huge difference in these children's lives! It was an entry to my Math Moments contest in early 2014. And yes, she did win some Math Mammoth materials! I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.)By Sylvia Everett In 1998 I received my first teaching position, a fourth grade SDC class (Special Day Class) in one of the most dangerous parts of Northern California. The children had previously been confined to the cafeteria and sometimes even locked in to prevent runaways. I was given two aides who while they tried their best both were barely literate themselves. It was hell and heaven. The kids had never had a teacher who spoke their own home language and this immediately created a bond between us as well as enabling parents to freely communicate with me. I was given a room and allowed to scour the school to use whatever anyone else wasn’t using, which was a blessing as I had not built up the stores of needed materials that are a teachers mainstay. I can only imagine if I had the Math Mammoth series what other major changes I could have made in their lives. I walked a fine line. There was fourth grade curriculum, there were Individualized educational plans for each child, and then there was the fact that most of my kids could only count to ten and were unable to write these numbers. I had to make math fun and relevant. I turned to the newspaper. Somehow the school was supplied with free daily papers and I made use of these. We made menus. We shopped for groceries. Homework was making market lists with our parents and then we were looking for deals and coupons in class. It was amazing how they took to the work. Money and the things one needs to live on are major motivating factors! Within weeks we were adding up multiple numbers they had written themselves. We could put values to coins and bills. They were able to play store in the classroom and at home. I was able to move into other areas of mathematics and allowed the children to continue the newspaper exercise as a homework practice. My children had seen that math was not something to be hated, but something that was all around them and in every aspect of their lives. Parents were amazed that their children could not only understand the concept of numbers, but had helpmeets in their shopping and children who were realizing the value of a dollar. I was blessed with being in these children’s lives for 3 years in one way or another. At every step I scrambled for material. I spent hours and hours trying to create relevant and purposeful lesson. Teaching is hard work and any possible advantage a teacher receives benefits her students. To be handed materials like Math Mammoth was a dream. I can be thankful for what I accomplished with what little I had, but I can also see what the possibilities could have been if I had been properly supplied. Sylvia Everett 
4. Teaching the distributive property of Multiplication in 3rd gradeThe distributive property is at the same time something very abstract and something that ties in with very concrete things and with mental math.To introduce it, this 3rd grade teacher presented his class with a question, "How can we break apart the array 3 x 7 to make it easier to solve?" See how he continued: Distributive Property of Multiplication... oh, my! 
5. How to incorporate art into math classLots of ideas for incorporating art into the math classroom! For example, you can have students create a comic strip, a poem, a game, go on a scavenger hunt, create a scrapbook, construction art, and more!Taking Your STEM to STEAM: 8 Ways to Add the Art 
6. An idea to teach function notationThis teacher uses hearts and smiley faces to make function notation painless to learn!=> How I Teach Function Notation 
That's it for this newsletter! If you liked something in it, share it! Simply forward the email to your friend/colleague. Subscribe here. Till next time, Maria Miller 
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