Posts

Showing posts from April, 2007

Students are being discouraged from studying math

Some may find this interesting...
Pupils 'are urged to drop maths' in the UK.

"Pupils are being discouraged from taking A-level maths as schools in England chase higher places in the league tables, scientists have claimed."

If the school performance is measured in students' grades or exam results, then this sounds like an obvious tactic.

News... WinterPromise and Math Mammoth

Image
What I am about to explain you might have already found out... but this is the first time I'm announcing it on my blog.

It has been BIG NEWS to me... and lots of work! (And that hasn't ended... I'm still working on this.)

Namely...

Starting in June 2007, WinterPromise will carry a Math Mammoth complete curriculum for grades 1-3!

These new books constitute a complete mathematics curriculum for grades 1, 2, and 3, and will be offered exclusively via WinterPromise during year 2007 (not even sold on my website for that period).

Each grade level will be offered as a printed textbook and a CD, or a CD alone. The entirety of the textbook is on the CD, and can be printed for use within a family for unlimited use.

The CD will also contain answer keys, tests, and an easy access to script-made free worksheets.


The new products

Math Mammoth Grade 1-A and 1-B complete worktexts
These two books focus on addition and subtraction concept and basic facts within 0-10, place value with 2-digit number…

Math in books (not math books!)

I just recieved an email from a publishing company. They want to send me a few books to review and then list on my site.

I've written reviews before, a whole bunch. I started my "reviewer career"... well, in school of course. We wrote book reviews, as I'm sure you did too. I don't think mine were that special. But somehow the role of reviewer has fallen to my lap nowadays.

For example, recently I just finished the review of YourTeacher and MathScore.

The new books that this email was about are

Crimes and Mathdemeanors
A collection of short detective stories for young adults who are interested in applying high school level mathematics and physics to solve mysteries.
The Cryptoclub: Using Mathematics to Make and Break Secret Codes.
Join the Cryptokids as they apply basic mathematics to make and break secret codes. This book has many hands-on activities that have been tested in both classrooms and informal settings.

I haven't seen these yet. The reason I put them in th…

I'm bad at math... and fine with that!

I just received a nice article from Jim Stone, a math teacher at Global Institute of Mathematics.

I enjoyed it; I thought you might too. I've seen this issue raised and talked about elsewhere as well.

Namely, that it seems to be socially acceptable to admit how bad you're at math... while no one would comfortably admit that they can't read.

So here goes:


I'm bad at math and I’m okay with it!
By Jim Stone

For the past eighteen years I’ve been reading articles and editorials lamenting the mathematical performance of America’s school children. It has become an annual ritual for politicians and educators alike to bemoan the results of the latest tests showing American kids falling behind their international counterparts.

What is the problem? More importantly, what is the solution?

The answer to the first question is almost always laid at the doorstep of our system of education. Blaming the system is safe. No one person represents the system. No one person is held accountable. Ev…

I get these questions a lot...

I've recently embarked on something new... I let people request a package of over 100 free worksheets and over 180 sample pages from the Math Mammoth books and worksheet collections.

In it, I included one question along with the name & email that people can fill in: "What is your most pressing math teaching question?"

I did that because I saw some other people had done something similar, and I thought that's a great idea - I would get to know what kind of math teaching related problems people have.

I also wanted to give people a chance to communicate a little with me... You know, we all go visit these multitudes of websites, and we show up as numbers on the website statistics program. It all can seem so impersonal, so "machinistic" sometimes.

But the reality is, behind every website are people. On school days, over 10,000 people visit HomeschoolMath.net. Over 1,000 people visit MathMammoth.com. I never hear from most.

If I had a physical store, I would see t…

You have to see this cartoon...

The numbers i and Pi got into an argument...

(Remember i is the imaginary unit and does not belong to the set of real numbers; Pi is an irrational number.)

Homeschool Blog Awards prizes

Image
Due to a very unfortunate illness, the Homeschool Blog Awards website may not be able to post the prizes that the winners will get.

Since I am one of those that have promised prizes, I will just go ahead and post what I'll give here on my blog, to help out a little.

1) For the winners in categories
Best Thrifty Homeschooler,
Best SUPER-HOMESCHOOLER,
Best Unschooling or Eclectic Homeschooling Blog,
Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog

- Math Mammoth All Inclusive CD (value $80)

2) For the winners in all the rest of the categories

- Math Mammoth Blue Series package as a download (value $40)



To learn more, please follow these links:

Math Mammoth books
Math Mammoth packages and CD products

And... you can also request a FREE sample package that contains over 100 worksheets from the Math Mammoth Golden Series collections and over 170 other sample pages from the Blue Series books.



Go vote!

Homeschool blog awards

Voting has begun at the Homeschool Blog Awards web site, for the belated 2006 Homeschool Blog Awards. You can vote till Friday.

(I am actually one of the companies offering prizes.)

Some new reviews...

I have recently completed not one, but TWO new reviews for the site. They are

1) YourTeacher.com - online math lessons that consist of video and audio clips, practice problems, solutions to those, "Deep Thought" question, and a quiz.

The list of lessons is long - and thus the amount of material is huge. It covers all topics from prealgebra through algebra 2.

I found the lessons to be very good. Read the review, or visit the website and see their sample lesson.


2) MathScore.com - online math practice environment. This is an intelligent system which catches the student's mistakes and adapts the practice accordingly.

For each topic there are several levels of difficulty, and the student is motivated to compete against him/herself to attain higher levels.

MathScore covers a ton of math topics from grade 2 to algebra 1. MathSCore is NOT only for math facts or basic computation, but includes all sorts of geometry topics, word problems, fractions, proportions, algebra ... all kind…

Calculator activitities for 2nd grade

I would like to know a simple activity that i could do with a grade 2 student, which involves using the calculator.
Here are a few ideas. Hopefully they are of help.

Add or subtract the same number repeatedly.

For example, start with 5, subtract 1 several times, and let the child see what happens -- he/she will get to negative numbers!

Similarly, ask the student to start with 40 and subtract 10 repeatedly. Some children will be surprised at the negative numbers they will see -- but many will be able to understand the basics of how they work, just from simple calculator activities like these.
Start with any 2-digit number and add 100 repeatedly. For example, starting with 17, your 2nd grader will see the sequence 17, 117, 217, 317, 417, and so on.
Start with a 3-digit number and subtract 50 repeatedly. Again, you will get a definite pattern.
Ask the students to come up with their own patterns where they add or subtract the same number repeatedly. Let them share their patterns and ask fellow…

Teaching elementary mathematics - don't skip stages

I received recently the book Arithmetic for Parents. A book for Grownups about Children's Mathematics by Ron Aharoni.

I think this book is exceptionally good, and very worthwhile to read if you're a teacher OR a parent.

Ron Aharoni was like many: he thought he could easily teach elementary school mathematics because he knew college level math and beyond (he was teaching math in a university).

But... he was in for a big surprise when he entered the fourth, fifth, and first grade classes in a backward town in northern Israel, in 2000.

One surprise he had was that...

...he did NOT know how to teach elementary mathematics, in spite of his knowledge of university level math.
For example, during his first lessons, he took children outside to measure shadows of trees and buildings, and then also to measure the children and their own shadows. The idea was to use the ratio of a child's shadow to his height in order to find the height of a tree or a building

He also took children…