Showing posts from March, 2014

Grading tests and math homework

A few days ago I got a question from Jennifer concerning GRADING a child's math work, and I think it's a good question!
How do recommend that parents grade when using Math Mammoth? Should I score every assignment? Or just tests? Before we pulled our children out of public school, only tests were being counted for their grade. What do you recommend? Thanks

I don't actually give any exact grading recommendations regarding Math Mammoth but leave it up to parents/teachers. I do include a grading rubric for the tests, but that's all.

Personally, I feel that grading needs to be such that it doesn't discourage the child. It really depends on the child. Some children are better off without any scores but just feedback on where they need to work more, how to fix errors, etc.

All grading probably should be accompanied with notes like "You worked hard and I appreciate that!" "Here you show you've learned t…

The missing $1 puzzle and more

Have you ever encountered this well-known puzzle about the missing $1?

Three people rent a room at $30. They pay $10 each and go up to the room. The owner realized he charged too much and it was only supposed to be $25. He sends the bell hop up with the $5. Each of the people keeps $1 and they give the bellhop $2 as they can't share it. So now each person has paid $9 for the room (total $27) and the bell hop has $2... where is the other $1???

See the solution to this and find many more puzzles on my new page of favorite challenging puzzles:

Have fun! :^)

An update on current & upcoming Math Mammoth sales

Here's a list of current & upcoming Math Mammoth sales... because many of you want to plan ahead!

Homeschool Buyers Co-op is running a GROUP BUY right now for large Math Mammoth bundles. The discount will be up to 50%! The deal runs till March 31, 2014.
Educents is currently listing Math Mammoth Light Blue series printed books at 20% off and CDs at 13% off. These deals run till March 30, 2014.
A deal for the large Math Mammoth bundles is in the works for April at The discount is likely to be 30% but I don't have other details yet.
I will run a regular sale for all downloads & CDs at Kagi in May. Hope this helps! :^)

A story of a girl who hated math

This is one of the entries to the Great Math Moment(s) contest I ran in January 2014 -- a story of a girl who used to hate math but that all changed!

I am homeschooling my kids.  The kid I'm writing about is my oldest--a unique, amazing, beautiful, extremely bright 8-year-old.  She has light red hair and a giant smile that shows all of her teeth and gums.  She's outstanding. I know that everyone says that about their child, but really, she's outstanding. She is the best big sister I could have ever have hoped for, she's loyal, she's funny... and she's smart.  She caught onto reading very, very  early, and is well advanced at that subject for her age.

But she hated math. Oh, how she hated math.  Her smile and loyalty would vanish at the mere sight of her math book. She'd snap at her precious little brother and the tears would freely flow.  Our days would turn from joyous to sad on a dime.  And since we are a no-tears-in-school-when-they're-little kind of f…

Giveaway - Supercharged Science

Today I have something extra-special for you!

I've arranged a giveaway with Supercharged Science. They are giving away 15 different prizes from their top-of-the line science programs!

Here's what Supercharged Science is giving away:
8 enrollments in their award-winning e-Science curriculum (see description) for 3 months each, including ALL lessons for grades K-12. (worth $171 each)
7 DVD's from their new Ultimate Science Curriculum (see description). Each DVD is a complete study of one topic ranging from physics to biology to earth science. Winners get to pick which topic they want. (Worth $75 each) ...a total of 15 prizes!

CLICK the link below to enter the giveaway and also to view one of their videos:

The giveaway runs till midnight PST Thursday, March 20. The 15 winners will be chosen and notified by the Supercharged Science team. 

On that page, you can also see an example video lesson from the curriculum: How…

Happy Pi day!

Image courtesy of Dennis Wilkinson
I know I'm kind of late here... but I think Pi day is worthy to celebrate even if a little late!

There are tons of nice resources to celebrate this famous number so I had hard time choosing, but finally decide to feature this link:

It includes Pi day Sudoku, pi trivia game, a link to an infographic, and an animation visualizing Pi.


Common Core and common sense

I wrote somewhat of a long piece about Math Mammoth's position concerning the Common Core Standards, and some bad examples of supposed "common core math" or "new math" as some call it.

Math Mammoth and the Common Core Standards

I hope it is helpful to at least some of you.

Finding a total when the fractional part is known

Someone asked me recently,
I have had great success with the Grade 4 Light Blue Series with my twin daughters and we have been breezing through the curriculum. ... For the most part, they get how to find the fractional part but we did have some trouble on problems 4 on page 59 Worktext 4-B and problem 7 on page 60 in Worktext 4-B. They have to do with finding the total number of something when you are given a fractional part.

I had a hard time teaching the concept of "working backwards" and was wondering if you have any additional resources or problems we could use to practice.
Working backwards is of course perfectly FINE but I feel using the BAR MODEL is easier for children who have not worked through these kinds of problems before. The model shows them clearly HOW we "work backwards" to get the total.

Here's an example from the previous page (page 58 in Math Mammoth 4-B):

This is the problem #4 they had trouble with

One cold day, 1/8 of a company'…