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Worksheet Fixes… Undo! Undo! Undo!

I gather entropy in the universe is supposed to be increasing. Turns out, around here, not so much.

Many thanks to JohnnyFourAces for pointing out that the randomness quotient of some of the worksheets had decreased in a recent update. For some of the “All Math Facts” worksheets, it went down substantially and centered on the earlier (easier) facts in the series.

Fixes for this have been posted, and additionally I added one and two minute timed worksheets to the Spaceship Math Multiplication Facts section to that include sets without the “times zero” and “times one” facts. Cutting these “gimme problems” really increases the density of more difficult multiplication facts and when your student is ready for these, any Mad Minute or Rocket Math timed test at school will seem much easier.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Multiplication Worksheets Updated

Learning multiplication is one of the big milestones in learning math. I’ve touched on it before and I imagine this won’t be the last time either. Your school may be using Mad Minutes or Rocket Math or similar timed drills to teach multiplication, but no matter how you approach it, learning multiplication is about worksheets. Lots and lots of multiplication worksheets.

This summer marked the start of teaching my youngest daughter her times tables, and even with the all the earlier worksheets on the site, we managed to identify a few gaps. Here’s a breakdown of the strategy we’ve been using and a link to our new favorite worksheet…

  • Master Dad’s 8 Rules for Learning Multiplication These sheets build the basic skills necessary to figure out the answer to a multiplication fact if it isn’t memorized.
  • Fill in a Multiplication Grid Worksheet at the start of big practice sessions. This can be used as a “cheat sheet” if necessary, but it also helps get some of the facts straight before the pressure of a timed test.
  • Drill with comprehensive worksheets. The current favorite is a new one we just added: 100 Problem Multiplication Worksheet, No x0, x1 or x2. Versions of this worksheet basically has all the easy multiplication problems stripped out, so it’s a great exercise for mastering the facts.
  • When we uncover specific multiplication facts that are giving us problems, we either use the Spaceship Math pages or the Conventional Multiplication Series worksheets to reinforce the problem fact.

Regardless of how you approach it, the site here has a a number of different worksheet series to help you. In addition to the new sheets without 0, 1 and 2 mentioned above, you can find new two minute practice worksheets in the conventional multiplication series at the link here…

Conventional Two Minute Multiplication Worksheets

If you have an idea for worksheets, leave a comment here, or if one of these is working well for you, consider giving a Google “+1” click under the logo above so other multiplication seekers can find success here as well!

Hope your summer vacation has been great!

Fact Family Worksheet Series

Child's Hands Doing Worksheets with Pencil

Why do you think we seem to focus on teaching operators in series? Memorizing all of our addition facts before moving on to subtraction, then multiplication, then division? I’m increasingly convinced this isn’t an ideal strategy.

If you have followed this site for any length of time, you probably picked up our minor struggles with subtraction facts. My older daughter has the addition, multiplication and division tables completely memorized, but I still occasionally see those fingers flying as she manipulates through some subtraction fact that should have been memorized, oh, four years ago. Right now I think I’ve used math to prepare her for piano lessons. It’s less and less frequent, still, I cringe. Cringe.

What’s especially frustrating is that I know this is somehow my fault. She’s clearly got every other fact down cold and the inverse relationship between multiplication and division registered almost instantly. In fact, I remember the division timed tests, even the division with remainders sheets, being one of the easier series we went through. It just appears the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction never really clicked the way it should have.

Determined not to repeat whatever happened, I’ve started drilling my younger pupil using a new set of worksheets based around fact families instead of operations. In fact, I’m going to start whipping these out if I see the fingers moving on the older one. Just like most of the other worksheets on the site, these worksheets are structured where they progressively build up facts, but each level adds “fact families” so that the inverse operation gets introduced right away. There are different series for addition/subtraction and multiplication/division, with variants for one minute and two minute drills.

Will it work? Check with me in another four years. After the piano recital.

Fact Family Worksheets

100 Problem Timed Tests Posted

Well, the new school year has kicked off here and I’m leading a first and fifth grader this year through the math jungle. For my younger daughter, we’re starting back near the beginning of the material on the site. This’ll be a good opportunity for me to tune up and improve some of the worksheets we haven’t looked at in a while here.

Our fifth grader just started at BASIS Scottsdale, a local charter school with an outstanding reputation for rigorous academics. The organization runs schools at several locations in Arizona, and recently announced that former Intel chief Craig Barett has taken over as president and chairman of the board. We’re excited to be there… and just a little nervous. I just finished reading over the curriculum through high school graduation, and I can see differential calculus coming just a tad sooner than anticipated. Like 10th grade. Holy Liebniz, Batman!

For fifth grade, BASIS uses Saxon Math 7/8 and we’re off to a good start there. The initial diagnostic tests for the basic math operations are 100 problem tests given with a two minute time limit. For practice, I built a set of new worksheets that mimic the 10 x 10 Saxon layout and we’ve been drilling these here over the weekend.

Beyond the basic operations, it looks like the early part of the year covers a lot of percentages and ratios, so maybe my eagerness to get away from fraction-related content may be premature. Either way, we’ll have fun!

Meanwhile you can find the new 100 problem, two minute timed tests at the links below…

100 Problem Two Minute Addition Tests
100 Problem Two Minute Subtraction Tests
100 Problem Two Minute Multiplication Tests
100 Problem Two Minute Division Tests

Also, the ‘All Problems’ addition tests have been updated to include variants that don’t have the ‘X+0′ problems. This should create some more rigorous worksheets for memorizing the more difficult facts.

General Worksheet Improvements, More Fractions Coming!

The number of new worksheets posted has been a little slow lately, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a number of useful changes. The worksheets on the site have all been refreshed and I think you’ll find a number of sheets are more useful.

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A Guide to the Division Fact Worksheets

Well, the new school year is officially underway. We touched division last year briefly, but fourth grade here is where we need to get our division facts down cold. Of course, the goal is working up to those long division worksheets but to get there, you really need to establish a solid grounding in the division facts first.

Unfortunately, division isn’t just multiplication in reverse. Oh yeah, we tell them that and it flies for a while, but then one ugly left over spoils the fun. Remainders. You only get so far into division before this remainder thing pops up, so if you arm your kids with only the “reverse the multiplication” strategy, division quickly develops a reputation as the nightmare operator. We relied heavily on the idea that addition and subtraction had “fact families” and you could always reverse them, but that clean relationship just isn’t there for multiplication and division. I mean, what’s the corresponding multiplication fact for 5 / 2 = 2 r 1 ? 2.5 x 2 ? We don’t get closure here until we’ve introduced fractions and decimals… Perhaps division’s reputation as a monster is a bit deserved. Either way, this post describes the various sets of division worksheets on the site to help you introduce division and remainders successfully.

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Rocket Math Worksheets are Now Spaceship Math

Rocket Math

Dr. Donald Crawford paid a visit to DadsWorksheets.com last week and suggested perhaps renaming the worksheets posted here to avoid conflict with the commercial Rocket Math curriculum he has developed over at http://www.rocketmath.com. You can read the discussion at the bottom of the Spaceship Math Strategy post, but given that this is supposed to be a low-stress activity on my end, changing the names of the worksheets to address everyone’s concern was definitely easy.

Meanwhile, if you’re a teacher looking to purchase a full curriculum for Rocket Math, be sure to check out Dr. Crawford’s new web site at the link above.

What Would You Do for a 4G iPod Nano?

Just how hard will a kid work for some random bit of electronic widgetry? Say, one of the new shiny polychrome 4G iPods that His Steveness just showed off to us yesterday? It turns out, really hard. Especially when Engadget and everyone else starts leaking pictures of the brand new goods right before the deadline.

The oldest and I signed a contract a few weeks ago delineating exactly what she would need to do in order to score said gadget (we’re getting a little contract law education mixed in here, too.) To wit, the requirements included:

  • 30 Pages in the Math Made Easy Fourth Grade Workbook
  • The last half of the Scholastic 3rd Grade Math Practice Book
  • Read Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism
  • Read the first 10 chapters of Story of the World Volume 2
  • Pass a 14 minute timed test for Rocket Math Subtraction Levels N – Z
  • Pass a 14 minute timed test for Rocket Math Multiplication Levels A – M

We set a goal of six weeks to get this all accomplished. This was definitely a stretch goal… A swing-for-the-fences, “Well, if you really want that you’re going to work hard for it” sort of task. I actually thought this might be the object lesson about over committing and not crossing the finish line, especially once school started and we hadn’t completed the last two items. Little did I realize, what was about to happen was a serious test of my ability to grade Rocket Math tests.

Rocket Math Worksheets

The stack of tests pictured here is 22mm high when compressed. A ream of the paper we use here is just over 50mm, so that would be around 220 pages. And if only that were all of them. That’s just the stack of tests from Saturday and Sunday. While that was definitely the big push before the deadline, there were at least that many in the previous weeks… Actually, I think I may have graded close to 600 pages of Rocket Math in the last month or so. Go ahead and quiz me on some basic subtraction. I dare you.

And yes, we’re headed for the Apple Store.

Thanks a lot, Steve.

An Overview of Spaceship Math

Rocket Math Rocket

Welcome to the Rocket Math Spaceship Math home page at DadsWorksheets.com.  Below you’ll find direct links to the Spaceship Math practice worksheets for all of the basic operations. Also, you’ll find a convenient web-based timer for administering practice tests.

Everything you need to rocket your kid’s math performance straight into orbit is below. If you find these materials useful, be sure to check out the rest of the math related content on the site. Good luck!

Please note that Spaceship Math is not the official RocketMath curriculum offered by R&D Instructional Solutions, and as per Dr. Crawford’s request in the discussion below, we’ve renamed the practice worksheets here as ‘Spaceship Math’ to avoid any confusion with the RocketMath commercial product.  Educators interested in using Rocket Math in their classrooms are encouraged to check out http://www.rocketmath.net for details.

Spaceship Math Strategies

Click Here

Spaceship Math Addition Worksheets

Click Here

Spaceship Math Subtraction Worksheets

Click Here

Spaceship Math Multiplication Worksheets

Click Here

Spaceship Math Division Worksheets

Click Here

Spaceship Math Practice Timer

Click Here

Printable Spaceship Math Progress Check Off Pages

Rocket Math Strategies

Rocket Math Rocket

Many grade schools now using various types of timed tests for basic arithmetic. This web site was originally created to provide practice worksheets for a time testing program used at a local school district. If your child’s school is using a similar program, these worksheets will provide several variations on the single practice sheet that typically comes home for each lesson.

The Rocket Math programs are typically divided into multiple levels usually identified by letter, where each level introduces a small number of basic facts. The problems on each level are built on the The tests are usually given daily, with each test lasting one minute. Practice on the problems is pretty critical to success, especially if your child isn’t one that works well under the pressure of the clock.

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Math Worksheets