One Dad. Four daughters. 9,251 worksheets... and counting!

# How Can Teachers REALLY Connect with Parents for Math Practice?

While there is a lot of deeper math content on this site, many visitors come here looking for help with core math facts. That includes a huge number of teachers who are tasked with getting a class full of rowdy third graders through their multiplication tables by the end of the school year. This requires not just organization in class, but a lot of support from parents at home.

That’s why I built the DadsWorksheets Connect web application. Using this tool, a math teacher can create a list of class students, assign a pre-defined sequence of worksheets (for example, regular subtraction practice or the SpaceShip Math Multiplication set), keep track of class progress, and send updates home to parents with reminders to practice a specific math worksheet that will help their child’s success in the classroom.

Please check out this video I put together for more details (right after the obligatory silly intro, of course!)

…then give it a try yourself at the link above.

If you’re a teacher, I hope you’ll give it a spin and let me know your thoughts. And if you’re a parent, please share it with your teacher or even just setup your own account (you’re a teacher, just with a much smaller class!). I’ll be adding more parent-specific capabilities soon, including the ability to setup worksheets and reminders for at-home goals!

# Multiplication Gets Visual!

Teaching multiplication can be a tricky endeavor. It really is one of those first arithmetic topics that move very quickly past finger (or toe) counting, so unless your little mini muffins have a truly solid conceptual understanding of what’s going on, much of the dinner-time discussion of this operation quickly deteriorates into what I’m sure to little ears sounds like a stream of random and arbitrarily large numbers.

Building arrays out of manipulatives is one way to help make multiplication concepts a little more accessible. So while I’m a huge proponent of memorizing those math facts, sometimes there’s nothing better than a visual aide to tie the idea down and give all that math fact practice a foundation somewhere.

That’s where these new visual multiplication worksheets come in. They’re designed to be the very first worksheets your third or fourth grade student encounters when you’re introducing multiplication, and they’re a great followup to those dinner discussions with rows of peas or Brussel sprouts, which may or may not get your kids begging to do math worksheets… You never know. Anyway, by showing an array of small wooden blocks and asking students to think about rows and columns, they provide a bridge between strategies like skip counting and multiplication.

Visual Multiplication Worksheets

Each of the arrays is a distinct photo of some small wood blocks, so building these was a bit of an art project. I hope you enjoy them, because Dad won’t be making too many other similar worksheets like this any time soon!

Regardless, I hope you’ll give them a try if you’re just starting on your multiplication facts. When you’re ready for more, be sure to check out the multiplication charts, multiplication tables, and of course all the multiplication fact worksheets as well!

# Rounding Worksheets for the Naughty Number Nine

I’ve had quite a collection of rounding worksheets and rounding charts on the site for some time, and they’ve provided great practice for my two oldest daughters. Just recently, however, my third grade daughter started a unit on rounding at school and an inappropriate right turn on the rounding round-a-bout had me pulling over to revisit these worksheets.

The steps to round numbers are pretty easy. Find the digit that corresponds to the place value you’re rounding, so for example if you are rounding to the nearest hundred, find the hundreds place. We typically call that the “target digit” or “target number” here. Then look for the next smallest place value just to the right of the target digit. If that second number is five or greater, round the target digit up, otherwise leave it alone, then zero out all the smaller place values. Sometimes you’ll hear the basic rounding advice rhymed as, “Five or above, give it a shove. Four or less, give it a rest.”

But, sometimes, when the target digit is a nine, we’ve got one teeny extra step that often gets rounded right out of the discussion. If we’re rounding up a nine, that place value actually becomes a zero and the next larger place value gets incremented. In effect, we’re carrying or regrouping that rounding into the next lane. It’s a trivial step, and usually we’ve covered addition with carrying already so it’s an easy point to miss in your explanation of the process.

That is, unless you’ve learned rounding completely algorithmically, which unfortunately, seems to be what poor daughter #3 has done. So we’re back to doing a little bit of number line examples in conjunction with these new rounding worksheets that feature quite prominently potholes on the road in the form of that naughty number nine.

I hope if you’re on the same road these worksheets get you out of the ditch.

# Are You Ready for These Logic Puzzles?

Well, the school year is in full swing and we’ve just entered the fall season in the northern hemisphere. Anyone tired of math drills yet?

I’ve had a nice collection of missing number and missing operation puzzles on the site for some time, but given the popularity of the many types of number logic puzzles you probably knew it was inevitable that I’d be making sudoku, magic squares and more at some point. So just in time to save you a entire season of math fact drudgery, I’d like to welcome you to the new logic puzzles page here at DadsWorksheets!

Printable Logic Puzzles

You will find a cool set of puzzles to start things out, including several variations of sudoku. You’ll find really challenging Samurai sudoku puzzles as well as a color sudoku for kids set that is a great way to introduce grade schoolers to puzzle solving as a coloring activity. And while these puzzles are principally targeted at kids, for you Sudoku masters out there I included a set of Evil Sudoku puzzles taken from a list of puzzles with the fewest possible clues that still insure a valid single-solution puzzle.

You will also find magic square puzzles and more as I continue to update this section with math-related puzzles for kids (and kids-at-heart.) Traditional logic word puzzles are coming soon… If you have any more ideas for printable logic puzzles, please let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!

# Amazing New Fraction Worksheets Just in Time for Back to School!

I hope all of you have had a great summer! If you’re just returning to your math drills for the school year, I hope you’ll notice a big change around here at DadsWorksheets! I’ve been busy updating our worksheets starting with switching to PDF files, and a great deal of effort wehnt into giving them a more modern look and feel…

I’m especially pleased with the fraction worksheets… Not only do the new worksheets look amazing, but the answer keys show work with more clarity, adding a few extra steps to the computations to make some of the problems a little easier to understand. You’ll especially appreciate this when working with the multiplying fractions or dividing fractions worksheets, where solving those types of problems can have many steps.

As always, these worksheets show you how to cross-multiply fractions where necessary to get the answer. Cross multiplication is difficult to explain, but having fraction problems that illustrate the steps in the key can be a huge help for kids trying to see where their computations went wrong (or, if you’re an adult, I can tell you from experience they also come in handy more than you might think!)

If you’re starting 3rd, 4th or 5th grade, now’s the time to start learning fraction concepts and these worksheets are a great place to start… I hope you’ll print a few out and let me know what you think in the comments section below!

And if you find yourself doing (or explaining) lots of fractions problems, be sure to check out my visual fraction calculator…

Fraction Calculator

It’s another great tool for explaining fraction problems and seeing how to solve them!

# Great Ways to Use a Hundreds Chart!

A hundreds chart? If you’re wondering why, for good gracious, you’d use one of these to teach counting, or even multiplication, you definitely won’t by the end of this post.

If you’re like us, you probably spend time in the car counting over and over again to 100. After having gone down this road (and many many miles of it with four girls now), I’m starting to believe it’s like staying in only one lane of the highway on a road trip to Puerto Williams, Chile (which, for reference is the southern-most city in the world, and I’m not sure you could even get there by car even if the math worked out somehow.)

So what’s wrong with counting, you ask?

When the kids learn to count orally, they’re often just learning a pattern of words, almost like a song. Oral counting is great, as long as there’s a mental model of number sense to back it up.

That’s where these awesome hundreds charts come in.

Printable Hundreds Charts

A hundred chart provides a visual representation of both quantity, and of the relationships between the numbers in the rows and columns of the chart. You’d be amazing how many kiddos can recite the numbers from one to a hundred in order, but when they’re confronted with reading a number off a page have trouble. We struggled here with the difference between 41 and 14 more times than I care to admit.

So print off these hundred charts, then start with some activities that build real number sense. Here’s a list of things to try:

• Play the ‘Guess My Number’ game on the hundreds chart.That simple higher/lower game is great practice for reasoning about which numbers are bigger or smaller, and marking previous guesses on the hundreds chart will give younger kids the support they need. Make it competitive by seeing who can guess a number in the smallest number of turns (for adults who need a little extra edge, read up on binary search algorithms.)
• Roll the chart up into a tube and count around and around and around…Nothing makes it clear that the numbers go in a continuous sequence like rolling a hundreds chart up and counting around the bend.
• Cut the hundreds chart up, then put it back together again.We have an unending fascination with tape here, so this is always a winner. Print out one of the hundreds charts, cut it up randomly then tell the kid to put it back together again with tape. Bonus points if you time them. A good starter is to do this with one of the color hundreds charts which provides some color-cues to help make the assembly go faster, but you should move on to the black and white charts once the concept is clear.
• Color in a hidden picture puzzle on the 100s chart.There are a ton of these online, but obviously the best hidden picture puzzles are right here at DadsWorksheets!
• You can use a hundreds number chart to determine the difference between two numbers.This is a great activity for conceptualizing addition and subtraction. You can use a hundreds chart as a resource when practicing addition facts or subtraction facts as a substitute for finger counting (especially handy when you’re out of fingers.)
• Play race to one hundred on the chart.You’ll need a game piece (or two if you’ve got more than one kiddo on hand) and a die. Start with both players on number 1, and have each player roll the die then move their piece that many numbers forward on the chart. The first one to get to 100 wins. Try having them only roll a number at the end that lands exactly on 100 to win.
• You can do skip counting easily on the hundreds chart. A great activity is to print a hundreds chart and color in odds, evens or multiples of 5. Or, color multiple patterns and see where they overlap, a great start on understanding factors of numbers. Skip counting provides an opportunity to begin understanding the properties of certain sequences of numbers (for example, that adding two to an even number always produces an even number, or that multiples of 5 always end in 5 or 0). Even more so than using a multiplication chart to memorize multiplication facts, skip counting also helps kids build the number sense necessary for multiplication.
• Find prime numbers using the Sieve of EratosthenesOnce you have a student who understands multiplication, division and the idea of prime numbers, you can use a hundreds chart to perform the Sieve of Eratosthenes, which is really simply way to not only introduce primes, but to discover one way that they can be revealed.

Any of these activities work well with the 100 chart or with the 120s charts available at the link as well… You’ll notice sometimes when kids learn what follows 100, it can be a challenge. That’s why some of the Common Core activities work with 120 instead of 100… It’s just a large enough range to get you well into that third place value, and it also fits nicely into some of those times twelve tables that you’ll undoubtably come across soon as well.

Whether you’re building up number sense or just using these number charts as a way to learn your math facts, I hope these new charts help move your math lessons on down the highway just a bit faster… Do you have some other great hundreds chart games or activities? Leave a comment and let me know!

# Multiplication Worksheet Updates

I give up.

No really, I’ve had it. With HTML that is. We’re coming up on the 9th anniversary of DadsWorksheets.com, and as much as I’ve tried to ride the waves of changing HTML standards, print media style sheets, flexbox and every other solution to wrangling layouts, I’ve finally reached the conclusion that getting consistent printable output from a web page is a bridge too far.

So, dear friends, you’ll notice that over the last week or so I’ve converted all of the worksheets to PDF files. You’ll navigate to them just as you did before, but the worksheet display will be subtly different. Answer keys, where appropriate, are included in the files now. There’s a PDF viewer for each worksheet, and you’ll be able to print directly from the browser using the big “Print” button just as you always have, or alternatively you can download individual worksheet files by clicking the button in the PDF viewer’s controls. If you have trouble printing from the browser (and yes, I’m talking to you Safari), you can always fall back to downloading the worksheet PDF file and printing from Acrobat or another PDF application.

The good news is that this step will allow me much more control over the worksheet layouts. Right now many of the worksheets still look just like they always have, but I’ve completely updated the multiplication worksheets and the multiplication charts.

I think they look amazing, and I hope you do too.

You’ll find the content centered much better and with much nicer font presentation… Many of the problems are laid out for better readability, and I’m able to take full advantage of the page coming out of your printer. You can check them all out at the links below…

If you liked what I had on the site before, you’ll love these new worksheets! I’ll be updating the addition, subtraction, division and the other math topics over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if these new multiplication worksheets or multiplication charts give you any trouble, or if you have any comments on the new layouts, please let me know in the comments below!

Meanwhile, thanks as always for using the site and helping make DadsWorksheets one of the best free math resources on the web!

# Stopping the Summer Slump

Are your kids at risk of losing over two months of math skills?

It’s 120 degrees here in Arizona, and we’re blazing through summer vacation even faster than you think… And along the way, every one is trying to avoid summer slide. No, I’m not talking about a fancy bit of seasonal playground equipment. I’m talking about the loss of knowledge that typical students incur over their time away from the classroom.

While many students who are motivated to read over the summer break will actually improve their English skills, students typically lose over two months worth of math learning progress over summer vacation. It can take a corresponding amount of time at the start of the new school year to get back on track. Many of these statistics come from the RAND Corporation, which has studied the effects of summer learning loss, as well how summer learning programmings can reduce or reverse these effects across various demographics. Harvard University has weighed in specifically on math learning loss and this post provides some hints at activities you might consider to help retain math skills over the time away from school.

But obviously, those two months of lost math learning is something we can address right here… One of the most important skills is math fact fluency. There’s a reason we practice math facts so rigorously… They are involved in nearly every math task you perform, and accurate instantaneous recall of math facts is a huge success factor in any other applied math skill your little geniuses will encounter. Keeping fact recall sharp is an easy way to stay ready for back-to-school!

If you’ve mastered addition and subtraction, summer can still be a great opportunity to introduce multiplication or division… Regardless of where you’re at, you’ll find all the practice worksheets to keep busy through the summer below!

And of course, I’d be completely skipping the fun part if I didn’t mention again the awesome Math Flash game I just developed. You can choose what type of math facts you want to work on, then the game will work drill you on harder problems at each level. If you miss facts, it repeats them so you get extra practice and with Google Chrome, you can use your voice and a microphone to give those tired fingers a break…

Regardless of how you plan to turn that summer math slide into a climb up the monkey bars, I hope your vacation is filled with lots of fun!

# Now THIS is How You Practice Math Facts!

Yes, I’m all about the worksheets. And pencils.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times I loosen things up a little bit and amp up the creativity. Because no matter how much fun that old-school math fact practice can be, I know the munchkins need a change of pace. Color, sound, drama… Everything a really good math fact game brings to the table. Along with a really huge twist, an amazing “One More Thing” that I’m going to save for the end of this post.

There many online flash card math games out there, and if you’ve seen the same ones I have, they’re dreadful. Most of them reinforce the idea that you do a few math problems to earn play time, which to me is almost psychologically predisposing kids to think that math is a sort of chore, or even punishment. There had to be a way to make the math practice part of the enjoyment and part of the reward, not the drudgery that gets you to the (lame) prize.

What I came up with is something that I think is the opposite of these attempts at math fact misery. Pick your operation and give it a spin right here, or you can get to it from anywhere on the site using the ‘Math Flash’ entry in the menu on the top of the page…

What makes Math Flash different from other online flash card games? For one, the math facts are an integral part of the game… As you solve math problems, you’re building up a supply of color in the machine that will spray over the background. But you have to answer the facts quickly, because the machine leaks quite a bit. The more facts you answer correctly and the faster your answer them, the quicker you get through the level and the more colorful the artwork you’re building up. But importantly, the animation and the interactivity is happening while you answer the problems, and each problem you answer adds to the sense of progress you’re making on the level itself.

The levels in each version of Math Flash (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) are all tied to the Spaceship Math facts worksheets on this site. The levels start out with easier facts and gradually introduce new facts. You start with a set of the easiest facts for each operation, and subsequent levels add progressively more difficult facts to the mix. So the learning curve is incremental, but still rewarding for kids just beginning their journey of mastering a specific operation’s family of facts.

As I mentioned, you’ll also see that if you’re slow to answer facts or if you get some facts wrong, it’ll take more correct answers to get through a level. This means if you know the easier facts, you’ll move quickly to the next level. If you’re still struggling with certain fact families, you’ll get more practice on the problems you’re slow to answer. If you wind up not answer enough problems correctly on a level, the game will end and you’ll be given a link to the worksheet focusing on the facts you need to practice.

Also, if you miss problems, those will are show up more frequently. The game adapts itself to the specific skills and the specific trouble spots of individual players, getting them to the practice more on the math facts they need the most help with.

When you reach the end, whether you made it all the way through or just started missing too many facts along the way, you’ll have created a unique piece of artwork that will make you feel like Jackson Pollock. You can share this creation on Pinterest or Facebook if you like (and if you would, I’d really appreciate it!)

Oh, and there’s one more thing. If you’re using Chrome on the desktop, and if you have a microphone, Math Flash will make use of the HTML5 Web Speech API to let you give answers to problems using your voice! When I built MathFlash, I wanted to recreate as much of that childhood flash card experience (sans the 70’s print couch) as possible, and this feels like an incredibly natural way to practice math facts. Kids without strong typing or mouse skills will find this is a great way to practice math at their own pace, and it’s really a showcase of what can be done in a web browser today.

You’ll need a reliable internet connection, and for now it only works in Chrome, however the other browsers will hopefully implement this standard soon. If you don’t have Chrome, you can still play by clicking on the correct answers.

I hope you’ll give Math Flash a try and make it a part of your summer math fact retention plans!

# I Got Skills… They’re Multiplying!

We spend a lot of time focused on multiplication tables, and getting past the stages of memorizing math facts is an important milestone. By the time we are working with multi-digit problems, we’re starting to deal with algorithms, the series of steps, necessary to solve problems. Fortunately, learning multi-digit addition and multi-digit subtraction, even with regrouping, is usually achieved without too much difficulty.

The steps for multi-digit multiplication require are a bit more demanding… In fact, it has all the fun of multi-digit addition on steriods right along with the twists multiplication brings as well. However, I’ve got a great tool that should take away some of the long multiplication anxiety…

Visual Multiplication Calculator

This calculator will let you multiply two long numbers together, and it shows you the intermediate products as it goes. Put a couple of numbers in there and hover your mouse over the work produced by the calculator… You’ll see what parts from the multiplicand and the multiplier are used to create each step, and it clearly shows how the place values are preserved as we work through the multiplier digits. It’s a great tool for developing an understanding of the conventional steps for multi-digit multiplication.

But, the most important thing is practice! These multi-digit multiplication worksheets work hand-in-hand with the multiplication calculator.

If you need review, be sure to also check out the complete series of multiplication worksheets, multiplication tables, and multiplication charts to really get your multiplication facts polished up!