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Showing posts from December, 2007

Word problems in Russia and in America

Recently I had the opportunity (HT Let's Play Math) to read an article "Word Problems in Russia and America" by Andrei Toom. It is an extended version of a talk at the Meeting of the Swedish Mathematical Society in June, 2005.

It made for quite interesting reading.

The article was comparing word problems in Russian and U.S. math books. As you can guess, the former were far more advanced than the latter.

I want to highlight a few things from the article. You're very welcome to download and read it too from the above link.

A problem from a Russian fourth grade book:
An ancient artist drew scenes of hunting on the walls of a cave, including 43 figures of animals and people. There were 17 more figures of animals than people. How many figures of people did the artist draw?
A similar problem is included in the 5th grade Singapore textbook:
Raju and Samy shared $410 between them. Raju received $100 more than Samy. How much money did Samy receive?
Now, these are not anything s…

Some good math blogs

I was surprised to find that Denise had included me in her Math Bloggers Hall of Fame. Thanks! I feel honored to be a part...

On her list, I found some new reading material from the other blogs listed. Found some interesting posts right off the bat:

Snowflake math - this is a neat lesson plan. Makes kids thing spatially.

Teaching: The Really Big Number (applied). This is a lesson plan about the problem where you need to find the remainder of 100100.

Both of these are obviously from good teachers. Enjoy.

New Math Mammoth books

As the year is approaching its end, and a new one is around the corner, so are some new Math Mammoth books and other news.

Some new ones are already here, from the Green Series. These are collections of worksheets especially good for teachers who need worksheets on a certain topic or topics but with somewhat varying difficulty. They work good for a review, too:Green series Fractions Worksheet Collection
Green series Numbers & Operations Worksheet Collection
Green series Ratio, Proportion & Percent Worksheet Collection
Also, Math Mammoth Money book has gotten a "sister" version with Canadian coins: Canadian Money.

The news some of you might be interested in is that my Lightblue Series complete curriculum books for grades 1, 2, and 3 will be available as downloads from the beginning of 2008, at Kagi store. The price will be $27 per grade level.

And, the fourth grade material for the Lightblue is coming along, as well. I hope to have it ready in February-March. Also in Janu…

The 12 contests / the 12 blogs of Christmas

I admit; I think the folks at HomeschoolEstore have come up with a really creative promotion!

They've invited 12 bloggers to host 12 different contests on their blogs, and each winner will get a $50 gift to spend at HomeschoolEstore.

Now, I'm not one of those blogs... In fact I can't even participate in any of the contests since I'm a publisher (my products are sold there). But I do want to let you know... it sounds like loads of fun as well!

You don't have to buy anything to participate. Just go visit the 12 blogs and see the various contests. I visited some and saw a photo contest, one where you need to guess what the children in an old photograph are thinking, one writing contest, one was something about finding a quote and writing about that. And there are more (I didn't visit them all).

They've also paired each blogger with a publisher, and Amy Beth from My Smoky Mtn. Homeschool will be writing something concerning my Math Mammoth books during the contest…

Algebraic thinking

I downloaded the "balance" worksheet freebie, and daughter liked it. We homeschool and she would be in fifth grade this year if she were in public school. ... My question is about the balance worksheets - where would there be more of that? Stuff that does groundwork for algebraic thinking?
It's not just balance problems that prepare a child for algebra. These are important factors also:
a good number sense (e.g. mental math)
understanding of the four basic operations, for example how the opposite operations work. Another example: understanding that a division with remainder such as 50 ÷ 6 = 8 R2 is "turned around" with multiplication and addition: 8 × 6 + 2 = 50.
a good command of fraction and decimal operations. Understanding the close connection between fractions and division.
understanding the concepts of ratio and percent.

You can also simply write her more problems with an unknown. For example:

Write 7 + x = 28 and similar ones, like 12 + x = 99 and harder …

The snowy edition of Carnival of Homeschooling

.... is posted at Dewey's Treehouse. Mama Squirrel has done a fine job, go check it out!

Carnival of Homeschooling 101: Snowed in edition