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Showing posts from March, 2007

### Homeschool Blog Awards

Check out Belated 2006 Homeschool Blog Awards at a site dedicated to this:

www.homeschoolblogawards.com

Right now is the nomination stage. Voting starts some time in April.

"The HSBAwards Team have made some adjustments to categories, added NEW categories we didn’t have in 2005, are offering some awesome prizes for the winners, and we are settling into our new site to house the fun!"

### Do you need drill to learn multiplication facts?

Continuing on the same lines as my previous post, what about multiplication facts and drill?

Well, the principle is similar: show them first the concept and patterns.

Then can come some plain drill.

But, I want to share with you a few more detailed points.

The main "patterns" in various multiplication tables of course follow from the concept of multiplication. For example, table of 2 is counting by 2's. You get table of 4 by doubling the answers in table of 2. You get table of 8 by doubling the answers in table of 4.

Table of 10 is counting by 10s. Table of 5 - just take half of what the 10 ×

Here are some resources to give you ideas about these kind of patterns and little "tricks".

* Michele's Math
* Times Tables' factsheets

We ALSO need them to know the tables "backwards".

Let me explain.

It's not enough to know that 8 × 7 is 56, when someone asks what is 8 × 7. The students ALSO need to know that 56 is 8 × 7, when given just the answer 56.

This i…

### How NOT to drill addition facts

Some people think "drill is kill", and many people think it's necessary.

And of those that use it, not everyone knows HOW to actually drill math facts effectively.

You know, this is NOT the most effective way:

Shuffle the flash cards and start asking randomly.

Why? Because you are not utilizing techniques that help our brain remember quicker.

For example, it is easier to remember when the mind can tie the fact into something already known.

This is the idea behind silly rhymes such as "five, six, seven, eight - fifty-six is seven times eight."

Besides those, we want to show our children the PATTERNS in math.

So this is how I start drilling math facts (whether addition or multiplication):

I make a list on paper, IN ORDER. For example, lately we've been doing this with my daughter:

8 + 2
8 + 3
8 + 4
8 + 5
8 + 6
8 + 7
8 + 8
8 + 9

We went through the answers and notice how each one is ONE MORE than the next! That's a pattern!

Then I would point to a fact and say the problem so…

### Developing positive attitude

What are the incentives needed in order to develop a positive attitude in children and other students towards mathematics?
I don't think special incentives is the main factor in developing a positive attitude towards mathematics.

I feel it is sufficient to get a few of the basics right, and then that alone will take care of most of it, and then students will like math just fine.

Disliking math is not something that is inherent in us or in our kids. Little kids don't dislike math or numbers. They're just fine with them! This "I hate math" or "I don't like math" attitude seems to develop during school years.

Now, I also don't think that children are disliking reasoning, because they're happy to do puzzles and play games where you have to think.

And, students' negative attitude towards math also is NOT due to (school) math being difficult. The math we learn in school is not difficult. You don't have to be a math whiz to understand it.

I…

### New package products

There's so much going on with my Math Mammoth books that I again have a little "piece of news" along those lines.

I have made two new CD products, besides the one existing:

1) Blue Series package

This package contains all 16 Math Mammoth Blue Series books. It is available as a download and as a CD.

2) Golden/Green series package

Golden/Green series package is offered on a CD for \$50. Remember that my Green series worksheets collections are totally duplicate content with the Golden ones, but the CD contains both series for convenience's sake. That way you may find quicker the exact worksheets for your needs.

3) ALL INCLUSIVE Math Mammoth CD

This CD contains all of it: the Blue series, the Golden series, and the Green series. Price: \$80.

### Los primeros libros Mamut Matemáticas

Finalmente he logrado que los tres primeros libros Mamut Matematicas (traducidos de los de Math Mammoth) estÃ¡n disponibles en el sitio web Mamut Matematicas.

Los libros que estÃ¡n listos son:

1) Valor posicional 1 - se trata de decenas y unidades.

2) Valor posicional 2 - se trata de centenas, decenas, y unidades.

3) MultiplicaciÃ³n 1 - concepto de multiplicar, y prÃ¡ctica de las tablas. Este libro en particular (o su versiÃ³n inglÃ©s) ha recibido algunas reacciones 'muy entusiastas' de los compradores.

Todos los libros son electrÃ³nicos, o archivos PDF, lo que permita imprimir sus pÃ¡ginas repetidas veces.

TambiÃ©n significa que los precios son bajos (entre \$2 y \$5) porque yo no tengo el costo de imprimir.

Los libros Mamut Matematicas son para usted, si...

* necesita materiales autodidÃ¡cticos, los cuales se puede usar sin preparaciÃ³n.
* necesita flexibilidad (imprimir las pÃ¡ginas que necesita, cuÃ¡ndo los necesita, cuÃ¡ntas veces quiere)
*
* Y sobre todo.. usted quiere que su hijo …

### Spanish versions of Math Mammoth books - Mamut Matematicas

Finally...! I have three books available on the Spanish website MamutMatematicas.com:

Valor Posicional 1 y 2

Multiplicacion 1

These are the exact translations of my existing books Place Value 1, Place Value 2, and Multiplication 1.

I will make a separate blogpost about them in Spanish as well...

### Need multiplication tables practice or games?

Remember, I have created a list of the best online activities, games, tutorials, etc. for this (and other topics as well).

All kids love games, and with multiplication tables, it's one way to give them more practice.

The complete list of online activities is here, but I'll copy and paste a sample to this blogpost:

Multiplication grid
Drag the scrambled answer tiles into the right places in the grid as fast as you
can!

Multiplication.com
Strategies, worksheets, games just for times tables.

The Times Tables at Resourceroom.net
Fill in the multiplication chart - partially or the whole thing - or take quizzes, and get graded.

Explore the multiplication table
This applet visualizes multiplication as a rectangle.

Table Mountain
Climb the mountain with 20 questions from a selected table.

Multiplication table Challenge
100 questions, timed.

Multiplication mystery
Drag the answer tiles to right places in the grid as they are
given, and a picture is revealed

Mr. Taylor's Multiplication Facts D…

### News

A few "news" items...

1) I added some images and banners for others to use when linking to Math Mammoth website over here - including images that say "I use Math Mammoth" if you'd like to use such!

2) California Faces Critical Shortage of Math and Science Teachers

3) Kentucky is considering monetary incentives for math and science teachers - as we all know, those qualified to teach math often find better paying jobs elsewhere.

### Math and Fun

I strongly believe math can be quite fun in some aspects of it; yet I also believe that not all of it has to be all fun.

It's good for students to learn to work through problems that are just that: work and no fun. That's what real life and real jobs will involve too.

Of course most of us try to get an occupation that we are interested in and can enjoy for the most part, but even then, we probably won't like all parts of our "dream job".

So in math, as in all education, we need to let our students learn to work, struggle, prowl through it.

But we can also let our students have some fun every once in a while. This can make them enjoy math, like math, appreciate it, like learning, and so on. I'm sure it's easy to agree with that.

In lower grades you might have more play than work, and then later on it's more work than play. For example, maybe you're studying coins and their values. Your child can play with real coins, do paper-and-pencil problems, and…

It just so happens that due to something 'in the works' behind the scenes (to be announced soon!) concerning the Math Mammoth books, I am forced to raise the price on the "blue series" package for 16 ebooks.

I wasn't really planning on it myself, but like I said, it's a situation that cannot be helped, due to something I'm not disclosing as of yet...

This price has always been a tremendous deal. Currently, with the \$32, it is a 48% discount as compared to buying the 16 books individually, and \$36 on CD.

Now, I will be having the package download for \$40, and the CD for \$45. This price (\$40) is then almost exactly 35% off of the price of buying the ebooks individually.

I have of course been adding a little material to the books even in the last few weeks, and keep doing so, little by little, so its value has increased even in that sense.

The latest calculations are that my 16 books package for \$40 delivers you 810 pages of math materials. (That count is NOT …

### Some humor

They say laughter is the best medicine - and it has been proven in scientific studies that laughing does help our health. Keeps stress at bay!

So here's a joke for the computer oriented...

and for those frustrated by exams... I especially liked the last picture! You get so deep into your calculations that you feel you get lost or so...

And there's lots more in the internet, some good some bad, some worse etc. Here are two more for you quoted from a certain page (see link at the bottom):

A physicist and a mathematician are sitting in a faculty lounge. Suddenly, the coffee machine catches on fire. The physicist grabs a bucket and leap towards the sink, filled the bucket with water and puts out the fire. Second day, the same two sit in the same lounge. Again, the coffee machine catches on fire. This time, the mathematician stands up, got a bucket, hands the bucket to the physicist, thus reducing the problem to a previously solved one.

An chemist, a physicist, and a mathematician are…