Aligned with the Common Core
I am so excited that Mastering Math Facts Multiplication and Division: Aligned with the Common Core is finally complete and available in print! I want to thank Compass Publishing, as well as the advisory panel of teachers who assisted me in creating this comprehensive resource for teaching multiplication and division concepts and facts. Together we created a Common Core aligned program that makes it easy to ensure math fact mastery!
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As a former 5th grade teacher, I know how important it is to ensure that students learn multiplication facts fluently because I’ve seen how kids struggle in math when they don’t. In fact, these difficulties often extend beyond school and impact their lives in other ways. Money management will be an issue for these students, and their future job opportunities will be severely limited. Virtually any field involving math, science, engineering, accounting, or statistics will be closed to them. I guess that’s why I’m so passionate about ensuring that ALL students learn their math facts fluently.
New Step-by-Step Directions to Teach Conceptual Understanding
I strongly believe that students should never be made to memorize multiplication facts unless they fully understand what those facts mean on a conceptual level. My original book included a short chapter with strategies for teaching concepts, but I later realized that it just wasn’t enough. When I decided to revise Mastering Math Facts, I knew this was one chapter that would get a complete overhaul. As a result, I added over 50 new pages that spell out, step-by-step, how to introduce multiplication and division so that it’s really, really easy for absolutely anybody to teach the concepts. Because Pat Calfee is my go-to person for early math concepts, I asked her to review it and provide me with feedback to make sure that chapter was developmentally appropriate. Now I know it's rock solid! Click to download a free sample lesson.
Another core belief is that it’s not enough for these strategies to work in Laura Candler’s classroom – they need to be proven effective in any upper elementary classroom! So I put together an “advisory panel” of teachers who had been using the original Mastering Math Facts ebook to give me feedback about how I could improve the program. These teachers also agreed to review the new lessons and field-test them with their students. Furthermore, I listened to teacher feedback during my Mastering Math Facts webinar and incorporated those suggestions into the book. You can see why this book has a “Field Tested – Teacher Approved” stamp on the cover!
One of the most exciting additions to the new book is the expanded chapter on the motivational system for achieving 100% mastery. Conceptual understand is extremely important, but sometimes students understand the concepts yet still don’t know the math facts by heart. The motivational system was in the first book, but it was just a few pages long and not all that easy to follow. Fluency is KEY, so I knew I had to break that chapter down and provide step-by-step directions to explain the system in detail.
Chapter 2, “Mastering Math Facts System Step-by-Step,” is now 40 pages long and is laid out in 10 super-easy steps complete with directions, tips, and printables. Also, I added another variation to my original ice cream cones and scoops system because some teachers prefer not to use food rewards with students. Now you can choose between Here’s the Scoop on Multiplication and On Board to Multiplication Mastery which uses the adorable train patterns you see here. Both systems are equally effective and include all of the printables you need to make them easy to implement. Chapter 3 includes assessment methods and answer keys to save you time and effort.
Last but not least, I included eight ready-to-use math games for practicing multiplication and division concepts. These games can be played in math centers, in small guided math groups, or in cooperative learning teams. Cooperative learning strategies and hands-on lessons increase retention of concepts by making multiplication fun and therefore more effective. When students play games together, they challenge themselves to improve speed and accuracy of basic math facts. Download your free copy of In the Doghouse, a free sample game from Mastering Math Facts.
Entirely Common Core Aligned
Would you believe that a book that’s 100% aligned with the Common Core didn’t start out as a Common Core project? It was only after the book was written that I had a huge “ah-ha” moment and realized that every lesson in it was CCSS aligned! I grabbed a copy of the standards to check, and sure enough, every lesson meets one or more content and practice standards! So I created a chart showing those Common Core Connections, and I added the standards to the top of each lesson in Chapter 1. You’ll also find the relevant standards cited at the beginning of the other chapters. Meeting Common Core Standards is a daunting task, so I tried to think of every detail need to make this process easier.
After working on the revisions for over a year, it’s exciting to see Mastering Math Facts in its beautiful new format. Compass Publishing did a terrific job with the editing and layout, and I love the adorable number characters you’ll see throughout the book.
What I love most about the digital version, besides the fact that it is an eco-friendly paperless way to go, is that you can simply click the blue page number hyperlinks to jump directly to the corresponding pages in the book. No more fishing around and flipping through pages to find something you want! You can go straight there. In addition, the book comes with supplementary online resources, like flash cards and a parent support letter, to download and use right away.
I really did do my best to think of everything you need to make sure that 100% of your students master 100% of the math facts. The resources and step-by-step lessons in this book will not only help elementary math teachers, but also parents, tutors, and homeschoolers. It’s virtually guaranteed to work if you follow the complete system from cover to cover. Best of all, when your students succeed in mastering those dreaded times tables, they will soar to success in math!