.Grandma's Magical Math

"An easy way to learn math facts!"


Questions and Answers

Looking in the Teacher's Book, I saw your clever way to remember the definitions of dividend, divisor, and quotient.  Are there similar magic tricks for learning the definitions of minuend, subtrahend, augend, multiplicand, and multiplier? 


The Magic Trick you refer to is on page 125 of the Teacher's Book, but it is a lot more fun as presented in the Multiplication and Division section of the Teacher's Workshop DVD.  There are no other tricks for similar terms.  In fact, this trick was Mrs. Hanson's way of being sure students understand that there are other terms to be learned.  


Standard language is far too complex for young children, but we have to talk about all of this.  GMM uses only 2 easy words for addition and subtraction combined.  There are also only 2 easy words for multiplication and division combined.  Understanding happens quickly and easily with these simplifications.



Why do you have such young children find missing numbers in problems when other texts expect solutions for sum, difference, product, or quotient only?


In the study of GMM, students focus on one math family at a time.  Math facts are learned and remembered because they are used over and over.  We simply cannot practice just one math family of addition problems, expecting students to fill in only the last number, because the sum will always be the same number for that family.  Likewise, a family of multiplication problems will all have the same product. 


Experts tell us that memory works best when recall can happen in different arrangements.  The GMM method of presentation allows students to have complete command of the mathematical process.  They can do anything with the math families they learn.  



Why is it so important for me to watch the DVD first before reading the Teacher's Book?

Some teachers have misunderstood this teaching method.  Grandma's Magical Math is so visual and so different that we need to SHOW you how it works.  You will have the best results if you do watch the Teacher's Workshop DVD before reading or teaching

any part of the program.


How can you claim that your workbooks are unique?

In the two Grandma's Math teaching workbooks, pictures are given to represent the math family facts being studied.  Students are expected to use each picture to look up any answer they are not completely sure they know.  They practice getting all the correct answers from the very first lessons.  Pictures are used until the chldren are ready to let them go.  More practice follows, until a level is reached where answers are known without thinking of the picture as a guide.  At this point, that family of math facts has been mastered, and it is time to move to the next picture. 

Memory is enhanced as more and more senses are involved in the learning process.  Teaching what is learned adds a final boost, making the memory truly permanent.  In the workbooks, students SEE pictures, SING a song about each picture involving both SPEECH and HEARING, TOUCH each number as they sing it, and TEACH parents or other care givers at home what they have learned using Show and Tell pages in the workbooks.  


Teaching games assigned on the Homework pages of the workbooks focus on using only the math family facts being studied.  We stand by our claim that Grandma's Magical Math workbooks are unique teaching tools.


I have a student who has to sing the entire Times 6, 7, and 8 Song to remember that 8 x 8 is 64, the last line of the song.  This slows her work.  What can I do to help her?


She needs practice doing workbook pages with pictures available.  Show her how to read the problem, touch the corresponding picture with her pencil, then write the answer in her workbook.  This will help her rely on the pictures for answers.  In a short time, she will remember the answers without needing to look at the pictures.  A little more practice and she will know the answers without even thinking of the pictures.


Songs were never intended to be the only GMM "invention" used.  Pictures are most important.  Songs and games reinforce the pictures as they provide different ways to practice using math families.  Remember that it is solving math problems correctly by using the math family numbers over and over that makes Grandma's Math work.  Using the workbooks would have prevented this problem.



What about negative numbers?


The sum will not be the biggest number when dealing with negative numbers.  But that is a long way off for these kindergarten and first grade children.  They must work with things they can see and touch and count.  The block demonstration, vocabulary song, and Grandma's pictures teach the sum as the biggest number because we are working with positive numbers. 


This explanation will be easily understood by older students if the teacher uses the example of a thermometer with temperatures above and below zero.  When we add positive numbers they go higher and higher on the thermometer.  At zero we change direction.  As we add more and more negative numbers, they go lower and lower on the thermometer. 


How do I prepare first grade students for Grandma's Magical Math?

There is a section of the Teacher's Workshop DVD titled "Preparation" in which more details are shown.

Students are ready when:

1.  They can count objects up to 10.

2.  They can tell you which number is the biggest from any set of 3 single-digit numbers.

3.  They can write legible numbers. 

This means no flag on 1 to avoid mistaking it for 7,

open top on 4 to avoid mistaking it for 9,

large enough opening on the bottom of 8 to avoid mistaking it for 9,

straight line down on 9 to avoid mistaking it for 8, and

large enough opening on the top of 9 to avoid mistaking it for 7. 

We have found that handwriting improved quickly when students understood WHY they were being told to write numbers differently from those they saw in print.  It also helped when the teacher explained to the students that answers must be counted wrong if the teacher cannot read them.  Some children had not thought of that.

4.  Students must be able to add and subtract up to (and including) the sum of 5.  Counting objects is necessary for understanding up to this point.  Mrs. Hanson taught students to count their fingers on one hand, by touching each one as they counted with the pointer finger of the other hand.  It was against the rules to ever count on this "other hand".  Once children begin to count beyond the sum of 5, it becomes more difficult to help them break the habit of counting and to teach them math facts.     

5.  They need to be able to write the answers to both horizontal and vertical problems such as:



When the 5 items above are mastered, your students are ready for Grandma's Magical Math Workbook 1.  While you may want to divide pages into 2 or even 3 lessons at first, please do not skip workbook pages.  Each page is a building block for the next.  You may even want to copy some pages and repeat them.  Any time you copy colored workbook pages, be sure to add colors as they are in the workbook.  Colors are not just decoration in Workbook 1.


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