Wow. So if you’re like us, this past week has involved a lot of uncertainty and a lot of change. School closures related to the coronavirus means that many families, including ours, will have kids home from school. Which means in the midst of questions and concerns about health, we’ll also be undertaking a lot more educational responsibilities.
We have had candid conversations with the girls about what a virus is and how it’s shared between people, primarily so they understand why their daily routines are going to be so different the next few weeks. The most important thing for kids to understand is that the disease isn’t something likely to be serious for them personally or for their parents, but that by learning to be safe with their own health it can prevent older people or people who are already sick from getting much worse. And that we’ll come out of this in time, and that their routines will return to normal.
In the meanwhile, as adults our responsibility to our kids is to show that life goes on even when major unexpected events happen. This isn’t the first time a major illness has spread around the world, and it’s not the first time the stock market has decided to take a roller coaster ride. Our parents have seen this before. Our grand parents and great-grandparents certainly have seen this before… Indeed, many of those older than us have certainly gone through far worse global events. Our kids will see fear and uncertainty again in their lifetimes. It’s our job today to set the example for them and teach them what calm in the face adversity looks like so that in the future when they encounter problems, big and small, they’re equipped to deal with it as adults.
That may be the most important thing we can teach our kids in the coming weeks.
But a little multiplication practice can’t hurt either.
Stay calm and stay healthy.
There’s been a flurry of minor updates that I’ve been remiss in sharing, but if regular visitors will notice a few handy additions popping up in the usual places.
Earth Day is coming next month, and it’s not necessarily a math topic I created some fun Earth Day themed worksheets and blank homework paper that are definitely a fun addition to the day’s discussion…
Math of course involves more than just arithmetic, and many topics especially when we start working with word problems need “common sense” knowledge about world facts. Measurement and probability are two common features of many word problems (and real world math!) that require a bit background information that we as adults take for granted. I was a little surprised that my younger girls had very little knowledge of playing cards, and when we saw a few word problems that assumed basic knowledge of the composition of a deck of cards it brought this knowledge gap to light pretty quickly.
To help with both probability and measurement knowledge, I created these two anchor charts that give an overview of these two topics. Try printing these out and having them on hand for word problem practice. The measurement chart is also a handy tool for the kitchen, and the probability chart has certainly proved useful on family game nights where the kids are starting to understand how likely some of those rolls of the dice turn out to be…
I hope you’ll check these resources out, and if you find them useful that they make their way into your kids math binders!
Regular readers know Dad is all about the math worksheets, but that doesn’t mean he’s not interested in blending a little language arts skills into the mix. And that’s exactly what this new series of math word search puzzles is designed to do!
A great deal of learning in math is related to vocabulary, and when new math topics come up a big part of the overload can come in the form of trying to remember all the new terminology that shows up. And beyond that, there’s a real need to learn the correct spelling of all the new words that seems to be quickly overlooked.
Word search puzzles are one way to introduce new math vocabulary and provide a nice transition into learning and applying the new concepts.
The new puzzles cover a number of topic areas, but you’ll also find sets specific to individual grade levels that have a range of Common Core inspire terms appropriate for each age.
Give these new math word search puzzles a try, and watch this space for a big announcement soon… These word searches have been so interesting to build that I’m excited to share exactly how I built them… and how you’ll be able to build some of your own!
As we slide gently into the final weeks of the school year, a familiar math topic surfaced in our current math curriculum… The slope intercept equation and graphing on the coordinate plane. Remember y = mx + b anyone?
Our 4th grader came home with some work on this topic, I think with more of a goal of exposure in preparation of next year’s rigorous treatment of linear equations, but it did remind me that this was a math topic I had wanted to address on the site for some time.
When you’re learning about slopes and intercepts and graphs and coordinate planes, you wind up drawing lots of pictures (and using lots of graph paper), which can get tedious. Especially if your lazy Dad gets a few of the drawings wrong.
That’s where this graphing slope calculator comes to the rescue…
This calculator calculates the equation of a line from the two points you enter. It shows how the slope is calculated, including reducing the rise-over-run fraction and giving a decimal equivalent. There’s also a nice summary on that page of how the calculator finds the y-intercept value once the slope and one of the points is known using the recast of the slope intercept equation as b = y – mx.
You can enter the points or the intercept or the slope and the graph will update in real time… This saves a ton of manual graphing to explain concepts, and lets you move quickly between different graphs to explain things like positive versus negative versus zero slope lines. The interactive experience definitely makes explaining these ideas easier, and I’m sure this would be amazing on a classroom smartboard.
I built this calculator using Vue.js, and it’s the first addition to the site using these tools since I built the Worksheet Connect app last year. I’m hoping to use Vue to rebuild some of the other calculators on the site to make them even snazzier, but meanwhile I hope you’ll check out the Connect app to see if it might help you with some summer math fact practice!
Have a great slide into summer! 🙂
With a 4th grade student under the roof, you can bet we’re spending a lot of time lately talking about fractions, percentages and decimals. And when I say a lot of time, I mean a lot of time.
Fractions are definitely one of those topics that take some time to explain, and the concept of equivalent fractions even more so. Let’s just say trying to explain to a 10 year old how something with completely different numbers, especially ones with many many more digits, might be exactly the same, or even less than a reduced fraction, is not a task for the impatient.
Color me impatient then because my solution to this equivalent fraction conundrum is summed up in this amazing new fraction chart I just whipped up…
This chart shows how the quantity shown by fractions with different denominators relate to each other relative to the number line. This makes all of the equivalent fractions line up neatly, and I’ve shown the decimal equivalents for the most common ones. This has already answered a lot of questions around here and will hopefully save a few more of my remaining hairs.
There are a few different versions of the chart, and because the graphic came out so amazing, I decided to setup poster sized versions as well. Please check them out and let me know what you think in the comments section!
Well lassies and laddies! You may be thinking that a wee bit of luck is all you need to pass those math quizzes bouncing over the rainbow there, but there’s a saying around here this time a year… Luck is only for leprechauns!
For you fine youngsters, Dad has a bit of fun practice that should get you closer to that pot of gold! Or at least a cookie in the class St. Patrick’s Day party. This is the second set of worksheets in my holiday section and if you’re looking for something March-themed, put your green socks on so you don’t get pinched, print a few worksheets out and get to practicing!
There’s more to celebrate this month… Remember that March 14 is Pi Day! (that’s 3/14 for those of you wondering why that date in particular!). If you’re concerned about your wardrobe choices for the day, make sure you check out my 5,000 Digits of Pi shirt over in my math t-shirt store. You’ll definitely win any of those “who has more digits of pi on their shirt” contests around the staff room!
Have a great March! 🙂
Nothing welcomes the coming end of winter like a little chocolate, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner you’re not likely to be disappointed. But robots aren’t tempted by sweets, and our little mechanical friend above clearly has his heart set on something else… A little math! You can see what he’s excited about by clicking the link here…
These new printables introduce a new type of worksheets… Coloring Pages! I’ve added your basic color-by number variations, but you’ll also find worksheets that cover addition, subtraction, multiplication and division coloring pages that will test math fact skills. But don’t think I’ve neglected more advanced topics! There are pages with multi-digit problems (with and without regrouping where appropriate), long division and more.
Please check them out and if you like them, I hope you’ll share these worksheets with other educators who would find them useful! I’ll be adding more holiday themed worksheets throughout the year, so if you have a special request drop me a note in the comments!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Everybody love’s t-shirts! If you’re looking for something unique for a math teacher gift, or just want to get your math geek on, you should check out Dad’s math t-shirt store… Many of the designs there are my own, but I’ve also dug up the best of the math related shirts available on Amazon. The links to the shirts (whether mine or others) are all affiliate links and your purchase there helps support the site…
Please check it out and let me know if you have any ideas for a math t-shirt in the comments!
Money is one of those math topics that is easy as an adult to take for granted. These money worksheets are here to help! You can see them all at this link…
Money problems can require a number of steps to solve, all of which have be to taught incrementally as students advance through the early grades. These worksheets gradually build these skills, before winding up at the key skill of making change for a purchase transaction. One that involves ice cream and donuts, of course. 😎
A good first step on a student’s monetary skill building journey is identifying coins both by their names and their values. This is a great exercise to start with in Kindergarten or first grade, and the printable money pages can also serve as a coordination activity requiring students to cut out coins and bills for play activities.
The next key skill is counting money to determine the value of a collection of coins or bills or both. Again, a gentle introduction to this skill can involve counting collections consisting of the same type of coins before working up to mixtures of coins of different denominations. This is again a good first grade activity and can be started before students are familiar with decimals. However, the later worksheets in this area deal with sets of coins totaling over a dollar, as well as groups of coins and bills… Those do require some familiarity with decimals and may be more appropriate for second or third grade students.
More difficult money topics including comparing money and making change are definitely second grade topics, and Common Core makes sure these are a priority in most US schools. The money worksheets covering these skills will have your kids covered, and they’re some of the more colorful worksheets I’ve put on the site so far!
If you like these money worksheets, please leave a comment here or even better share them! If you have a blog or website, posting a link is VERY appreciated and helps the site in a huge way. Thank you!
There are never too many ways to practice math facts, and these new circle worksheets are another approach to learning how numbers are related to each other in addition, subtraction, multiplication or division groups!
Each circle collects a set of math facts related to a single number, for example the multiplication worksheets all have a common value, so each circle is essentially a set of multiplication facts. You can go around the circle and solve each fact to help emphasize strategies like skip counting or repeated addition to learn multiplication. Alternatively, some of the worksheets have the facts in a random order around the circle which requires students to think a bit more to solve the whole set.
The addition, subtraction and division worksheets all follow a similar pattern. When you’re working to establish the relationships between similar sets of math facts for these operations, you’ll find these worksheets to be another useful tool, and I hope a visually interesting one as well!
If you have an idea for more worksheets, let me know in the comments. And as always, I appreciate your sharing these (or any other worksheets) with other parents or educators who would find them useful!
I hope your autumn is off to a great start!