Maria's Math Tips, May 2016
Welcome to the May edition of my newsletter! smile
  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. Area of rectangles and the Common Core (grades 3-5)
  3. First grade math (grades K-2)
  4. Interactivity... for high school math (grades 8-12)
  5. New cryptographic algorithms

1. Math Mammoth news

Coming up SOON — Math Mammoth Sale!!

I'll run a sale on ALL downloads & CDs in the latter part of May... stay tuned!

Here's also a recent testimonial concerning Math Mammoth 1st grade curriculum...

"I just wanted to thank you for this excellent curriculum! I tried 3 different 1st grade curriculums for my daughter and none of them were working well for her. Math was just not clicking. I got the entire curriculum (to use for both her, my younger daughter and my numerous tutoring students). She started 1st grade on February 3rd and she will complete the entire 1st grade course (workbooks A & B) by April 25th! (An entire grade in under 12 weeks!) She finally understands the concepts, and now math is her favorite subject! The students I tutor are also benefiting from the curriculum and love how everything is explained.

Math was never my favorite subject in school, and (like my daughter) I now LOVE it and am seeing math in an entirely new light! Thank you!"

Brianna Lewis
Homeschool mom, Licensed Teacher and Tutor

2. Area of rectangles and the Common Core

While I feel that most of the Common Core math standards are fairly good, here's one place where I disagree with them.

It has to do with the topic when a larger rectangle is broken into TWO parts, and then children write a math sentence from it such as(3 × 4) + (3 × 2).

This is in 3rd grade in the CCS. I feel it is a bit too difficult for that level, and would better fit 4th or even 5th grade.

Someone just wrote me recently concerning this topic, wondering WHY do we do all this in the first place. Here's my answer.

The reason for breaking the rectangle into two is to get students familiar with this:

7 × (2 + 8) = 7 × 2 + 7 × 8

which is (essentially) the distributive property.

The idea is to familiarize the students with how multiplication works with addition, and we use an area model to show or prove that.

I decided to edit a video for this topic to help the person who asked:

Area of rectangles and the distributive property — video lesson

The video just explains HOW we do the rectangle thing, not why. The why is what I just stated above. The distributive property is then studied further in 6th and 7th grades and in algebra.

For those grades, you can check out these videos... maybe they will give you a "sneak peek" as to what the 3rd grade stuff is preparing students for:

3. First grade math

Check out my collection of free math videos for 1st grade, showing varied exercises for each topic.

The videos match Math Mammoth Grade 1 curriculum but will also work no matter which curriculum you follow (in other words, the videos don't rely on you having Math Mammoth curriculum).

4. Interactivity... for high school math

Some you might be able to use these interactive applications for high school math... they work on various devices plus on an interactive whiteboard.

The topics in this collection include graphing, matrices, trigonometry, conic sections, complex numbers, calculus, and vectors.

5. New cryptographic algorithms

From the news...

Investigators have created new cryptographic algorithms that are based on particularly hard mathematical problems. They say they would be virtually unbreakable!

Cryptographic methods are typically created following the ad-hoc principle: somebody comes up with an algorithm; others attempt to break it — if they don't succeed, it means that the algorithm is secure. The team headed by Prof Dr Eike Kiltz who holds the Chair for Cryptography at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum opted for a different approach. They base their security algorithms on hard mathematical problems. Read more:

Hard mathematical problems as basis for new cryptographic techniques

Thanks for reading! :)

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

Till next time,
Maria Miller
Math Mammoth freebies Math Mammoth on Facebook Newsletter Archives
Inspire4 Complete curriculum Placement tests