Laura Candler's Mastering Math Facts: Multiplication and Division aligned with the Common Core
I enjoyed the opportunity to review this new book for third grade teachers to give their students a hands-on approach to teaching math facts I could see some second grade teachers beginning it mid-year too. Laura accurately states the truth about math for young children in the introduction, "When students haven’t mastered the basics, they begin to struggle with many other math concepts. They lose confidence in themselves, think they are not smart and, worse, think they will never be good in math. One by one, the doors of future math and science opportunities begin to close to these students."
In Mastering Math Facts, Laura Candler offers excellent hands-on activities for teachers to guide students to practice the concepts behind multiplication and division for the first half of the book. Activities include motor activities and conceptually drawing out math problems. Laura easily describes lessons that show relationships between addition, working with groups of objects, and includes real-life applications. I especially liked her Division Number Sentence papers. She lists the Common Core standards on each activity to make sure you are covering all your Common Core areas.
The remainder of the book shows you how to set up your Mastering Math Facts System with a few themed options of ice cream scoops or an "On Board" train theme. That's followed by a chapter about assessing your students. But wait, there's more... : ) the last portion of the book shares a handful of games and activities to encourage mastery through practice.
I highly recommend this book to teachers who want to teach the understanding of the concepts behind multiplication and division. I agree with Laura's statement in the first chapter: "Requiring students to memorize times tables when they don’t understand them is a big mistake."
What are some ways you teach multiplication and division concepts in your classroom? Do you think you'd like to use Laura Candler's book of Mastering Math Facts?