We all know that math is important in our children’s education. But few subjects can produce the same number of tears, sleepless nights, and stress…and that’s just from the parents! Whether you’re concerned about the dreaded “summer slide,” worried that your children are not confident in their basic math facts, or just want a way to reinforce mathematical concepts in creative, effective ways, the Facts that Stick series is for you!
Math Facts That Stick
(This post contains affiliate links. Please see disclaimer. I received e-copies of these 2 books for review. All opinions are my own.)
Kate Snow – Harvard graduate, math tutor, classroom teacher, curriculum writer, and homeschool mom – has written two brand new resources to help you and your children finally conquer those pesky multiplication and division facts for good in just ten weeks: Multiplication Facts That Stick and Division Facts That Stick.
These books, published by Well-Trained Mind Press, naturally progress from where her earlier titles left off (Addition Facts That Stick, Subtraction Facts That Stick, and Preschool Math at Home).
Why Memorize Math Facts
Most of us would recognize that being able to quickly and easily recall the basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) will make the more complicated concepts (fractions, decimals, algebra, and beyond) much less intimidating.
You don’t want to be stuck deciphering the rudimentary mathematical functions while simultaneously dealing with dividing fractions! When you’re not struggling to remember the basics, you can devote your energy to figuring out the more challenging topics.
How to Memorize Math Facts
I was absolutely delighted by the balanced, multi-faceted approach of the Multiplication and Division Facts That Stick books. There seems to be a false dichotomy sometimes perpetuated about math: either we are told that rote memory of facts is the epitome of a solid math education, or we are counseled to avoid memory work altogether and just concentrate on enjoying math.
This can lead on the one hand to boredom and a don’t-care attitude, or on the other to the inability to quickly and effortlessly solve equations. At their worst extremes, students might end up despising math or not being able to progress easily in more challenging mathematical concepts. Kate’s new books avoid both extremes, combining understanding, drill, and fun!
Multiplication Facts That Stick and Division Facts That Stick provide effective tools not only to memorize the facts with rapid recall, but to understand how multiplication and division work. These books include simple review of the principles behind multiplication and division. There are numerous fantastic and fun math games each week to reinforce the multiplication and division fact families. There is oral repetition, hands-on manipulative work, and even ~200 written practice pages in each book!
What Makes These Books Different
In her introduction to Multiplication Facts That Stick, Kate elaborates on the 3 key principles that make her approach unique:
- “Target one small group of multiplication facts at a time” (instead of an overwhelming group of 100 facts)
- “Understand the meaning of the multiplication facts and use easier facts as ‘stepping stones’ to harder facts”
- “Teach multiplication facts that stick” (without perpetual, meaningless, and repetitive drill!)
What my children thought about the Facts that Stick process
I stayed up late one night reading through the books with great enjoyment (yes, I might be a bit of a nerd). But would my kids be as excited as I was when I asked them to do some math with me…during their summer break?!
My middle daughter learned about multiplication in our math lessons last year, and her younger sister was eager to join in our exploration. After leading them through the basic review of the concept of multiplication (which is covered in Week 1 of Multiplication Facts That Stick), we jumped right into using the dot array and other game boards provided in the back of the book. Since I have an electronic copy of the book, I printed those pages on card stock. (If you buy a hard copy, the pages are available to tear out of the back of the book.)
Using an ordinary deck of cards, dice, and beans we already had around the house, we were able to play several fun games to reinforce the x2 and x3 facts. Sophia says her favorite was the “Roll and Cover” game.
They enjoyed the games so much we even brought them along on our beach trip! Even my younger daughter was able to understand the games with a little help from my rising 6th grader…who thus ended up with some sneaky math review of her own.
Who should buy the Facts that Stick books?
If your students are still struggling to recall their basic addition or subtraction facts, lay a good foundation with the earlier Facts that Stick books for Addition and Subtraction. You can also check out Kate’s Homeschool Math Help for her Homeschool Math 101 free email teaching training and a plethora of other games and resources.
While the Facts That Stick series is not designed to be your primary math text, they will provide excellent supplemental review and fact recall to go alongside whatever math program you’re already using.
Wanting some extra review and reinforcement over the summer? This would be a perfect 10-week project to solidify skills or progress in understanding between school years.
Wanting some assistance in after-schooling your struggling OR gifted learner who is in a more traditional school environment? Each day’s lesson will take only 10-15 minutes, a perfect option for your afternoon or evening routine.
Wanting to incorporate memory work in your daily routine as a homeschooler? I could see these books being a perfect addition to a morningtime/circle time routine, a helpful warm-up before your regular math program, or a useful tool in your afternoon gameschooling adventures!
**Giveaway for Humility and Doxology readers!!**
Kate’s Homeschool Math Help website promises “Fewer tears. More fun. And no more sleepless night wondering if your child will ever memorize the multiplication table.”
To help give you confidence as a teacher and enable you to give your children a solid math foundation, Kate is generously giving away a copy of the soon-to-be-released Multiplication Facts That Stick to Humility and Doxology readers over on the Humility and Doxology Facebook page!
To enter the Giveaway:
Giveaway now closed! But you may enjoy my other math post here!
Click here to go directly to the Giveaway post at the Humility and Doxology Facebook page.
- Comment on that post with your biggest math concern, struggle, or question as a parent!
- Like Kate’s Homeschool Math Help Facebook page, then comment on the Facebook Giveaway post to let me know!
- Like Humility and Doxology’s Facebook page, then comment on the Facebook Giveaway post to let me know!
- Tag a friend in the Facebook Giveaway post comments who you think might enjoy some math fact assistance!
Do 1 or all 4! Each entry increases your chance to win the free copy of Multiplication Facts that Stick! The giveaway ends July 9 at midnight, and I’ll announce the winner on Facebook on July 10.
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