April 24, 2015

Math Stars - for summer math and more

I have used Math Stars problem solving sets with my girls for several years, and they have always greatly enjoyed them.

Math Stars include various puzzles and challenging math problems. They  come as PDF files (free and ready to download & use) in sets for grades 1-8. They're great to use for summer math  or for some fun problem solving at any time.



I tend to use the problems from one grade level below the grade the student is in.

One reason I like these so much is the variety of the problems - geometrical puzzles, number puzzles, logical thinking, etc. --  all of it is included!

Another reason is that the sets go all the way from grade 1 upward. There exist actually lots of problem solving resources but not so many for the early grades.

Each set per grade has 10 two-page "newsletters", and each "newsletter" has 8-10 problems. The number of stars in each problem marks the level of difficulty. Answers are included.

Math Stars Problem Solving Newsletters

I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!



April 14, 2015

Lessons on statistics


Is statistics one of your favorite or least favorite topics in math? :)

Well... however you feel about it, in middle school students need to learn some beginnings of statistics, such as how to draw a boxplot, a histogram, or a stem-and-leaf plot, learn about statistical distributions, measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode), measures of variability, and so on.

You can now do so with these videos of mine  :^)
 
or with this Youtube playlist.

I hope they are of help!

April 01, 2015

An update on grade MM 7-B

Some have asked about grade 7-B (once again...)

I'm currently writing lessons for the last chapter (statistics & probability) AND writing the answer key for the second to last chapter (on the Pythagorean Theorem). And two people are proofreading the geometry chapter (in different sections). So it's coming along just fine. ;^) I'm hoping to have it ready in late May or early June.

Here's an example of what I was working on just this morning - a problem for a lesson where students compare two sets of data. I made up the data, but it is based on real data from the official government site for fuel efficiency (www.fueleconomy.gov).

I hope you enjoy this little "glimpse" into my work. :)

4. A double-bar graph is also sometimes used to show differences
and similarities of two data sets. The graph below shows the
fuel efficiency in miles per gallon (MPG) for a group of small
and standard sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

Study the graph carefully, and then describe the
differences and the similarities in the fuel efficiency
of the two types of cars.

April math calendar

I just printed this math calendar out for my girls and they liked it! Something a bit intriguing and fun to look at as the month progresses -- and it can help them to learn a bit of math at the same time. :)


March 28, 2015

Math Mammoth Percent book updated


Math Mammoth Percent math book cover Math Mammoth Percent is a worktext (with both instruction & exercises) that teaches students the concept of percent, how to calculate the percentage of a number, to figure discounts, sales tax, and interest, to draw circle graphs, to differentiate between a percent of change and a percent of comparison, and to know how to calculate both.

The text is suitable for grades 6 through 8 (middle school).

This book has been now updated to include many new lessons that will ALSO be in the upcoming Math Mammoth grade 7-B. This means that you can use it to continue pre-algebra studies after 7-A.

See also these free sample pages (PDF):

Contents and Introduction
Review
What Percentage...?
Percentage of a Number
Discounts
Percent of Change

--

Kindergarten math placement test?

Someone asked me a question about kindergarten math

Hello! Is there a placement test to see if a child is ready for 1A? We went over the kindergarten review and she did well with that, but I'd hate for her to get started and then discouraged. Is there a kindergarten curriculum that you'd recommend? My goal has been to not do anything formal for kindergarten math, but she wants it and is ready. Thanks!

That is indeed a valid concern. Sometimes children start with Math Mammoth 1-A and there's one topic there that can become a frustration point if the child is not ready for it. It's the topic of "missing items" or missing numbers in addition problems, such as

2 + ___ = 5

The idea is to ask the child to think, "2 and how many more makes 5?"

Or even simpler:

2 + ___ = 3

"2 and how many more makes 3?"

Objects can also be used.

This lesson, "Missing Items," is fairly early in 1-A. You can start with MM 1-A, and if this particular lesson presents problems for your child, then the child is not ready for 1st grade math and should continue studying kindergarten-level math for a little longer.




For a kindergarten math workbook, I'd like to recommend Evan Moore's workbook or Singapore Math's kindergarten curriculum if you want something substantial.

See also
http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/kindergarten.php

Hope this helps!

March 21, 2015

New review of Math Mammoth

homeschool math help and advice
I just got word about a new review of Math Mammoth, from Kate's Homeschool Math Help. The owner, Kate, has written helpful reviews and buying guides for Math Mammoth, Singapore Math, and RightStart Math. She also has lots of other tips for teaching math or choosing a homeschool math curriculum on her site.

Kate says, "I'm a math educator turned homeschool mom. My mission is to help homeschool parents hone their teaching skills and teach math with confidence."

Her Math Mammoth review is here.

March 07, 2015

Calculating Pi with Real Pies

This is a neat video, showing how to calculate the value of Pi using real pies (yum!). It might help your youngsters remember the definition of Pi better as they remember the visual pic of pies around the big circle and pies going across. :)



Remember also that Pi day (3/14) is upon us soon...

February 16, 2015

An easy lesson on square roots

I've posted on my site a beginner video lesson on square roots. You can also watch it below:
Finding a square root of a number is like finding the side of a square when the area is known. Square root symbol acts as a grouping symbol: anything under it is in parentheses and is solved first. I also solve a few problems involving area & perimeter of squares.

I hope it's helpful!

February 13, 2015

Puzzle corner was too easy!

One of my customers mentioned that this particular puzzle corner from Math Mammoth Grade 1-A was too easy for her son:

Puzzling math problems

I admit, it's kind of easy. But, like I told her, I'm sure some children enjoy having an easier puzzle corner in between the others because several people have mentioned they are challenging to their children.

But, you can make it more challenging very easily: simply add a number to each equation... and possibly also make (some of) the numbers bigger. Check the examples at

http://www.mathmammoth.com/lessons/puzzle_corner_too_easy.php

:)

February 07, 2015

Ratios & Proportions book has been updated!

Math Mammoth Ratios, Proportions & Problem Solving math book cover Math Mammoth Ratios, Proportions & Problem Solving is a worktext that concentrates, first of all, on two important concepts: ratios and proportions, and then on problem solving. It is meant for grades 6-7.

This book has been now updated to include many new lessons that will ALSO be in the upcoming Math Mammoth grade 7-B. This means that you can use it to continue pre-algebra studies after finishing 7-A.



See free samples and more info:

http://www.mathmammoth.com/ratios_proportions_problem_solving.php

For now, I've kept the download price at $5.00 though the book became quite a bit longer.