Let’s Play Math on Scribd

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Do you subscribe to the Scribd subscription reading service? My Let’s Play Math ebook is now available to Scribd subscribers:

Reviews of Let’s Play Math

Combined with all the linked resources, this book is going to transform how I teach my kids maths. No more dabbling in “real maths” but then running back to the workbooks when anxiety strikes — with this approach I can teach my kids to think like mathematicians without worrying about leaving gaps.

My favourite section of the book is “One Week of Real Mathematics”, which contains examples of what one week’s worth of math playtime might look like. I love having this starting point to show me what a balanced “maths diet” might look like.

I knew the well-travelled road (maths curricula) wasn’t for us, but I lacked confidence in my ability to guide my children through uncharted territory. Let’s Play Math is the map and the guidebook I’ve been looking for. With it in my hand I can’t wait to take my children by the hand and head off to explore the wonderful world of maths.

— Lucinda Leo
Navigating By Joy

A beautiful book that explains the “why” and “how” of teaching math from a Constructivist perspective. It is well researched, well annotated, and includes loads of activities that you can try with kids K-12 at home. While reading the book, I found myself remembering a lot of things I had forgotten from my teacher-training … I have to say that there were so many parts of this book that I highlighted that I really gave my Kindle a workout!

There is a whole section that I’m going to come back to this summer, to keep my kids busy. But was especially useful to me at this moment, were the talking points for helping kids solve problems on their own. Yes, I at one point learned all of talking points, but I really needed the refresher.

My son’s school does Continental Mathematics League, and those problems are really hard. I’m going to print up all of the talking points and post them in our kitchen so that my husband and I will have a list of questions to prompt our son’s thinking.

— Jennifer Bardsley
Teaching My Baby To Read


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About these ads

Monday Morning Surprise

2013-09-16 number1 in teaching math, closeup

This is a good way to start the week. Amazon rankings are like a roller-coaster ride, so this won’t last for long — but I’ll enjoy it while I can. :)

If you’re curious about my book, here is the introduction and first chapter, free to download:


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lets play math sample pages

Sample Chapter from Let’s Play Math Book

As I’ve been working on the layout for the paperback edition of Let’s Play Math: How Homeschooling Families Can Learn Math Together, and Enjoy It!, I thought, “Why not post an excerpt?” So here is the introduction and first chapter, free to download:

This excerpt isn’t exactly how the paperback will look, because it’s based on the current ebook edition. For the paperback, I’ll be adding plenty of new illustrations — not quite a picture on every page, but close. (Yes, that’s one reason it’s taking soooo long to finish!)

For Example …

Here is one of the new illustrations, along with its caption:

Fractals are self-similar, which means that subsections of the object look like smaller versions of the whole thing. Your children may enjoy making a Sierpinski triangle with tortilla chips.

Sierpinski-tortillas

Want To Buy the Book?

Let’s Play Math should be available wherever you usually buy ebooks. Here are links to the major U.S. sites:


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Back to School Sale

Princess Kitten, way back in the beginning.

Princess Kitten, way back in the beginning.

Our homeschool runs a bit off-schedule from the rest of the U.S. school system, as we are still finishing up last year’s work. Even so, we’re calling this month the “beginning” of Kitten’s high school years, which seems to me like something to celebrate.

Therefore, I’m launching a one-week sale on my math book:

Please feel free to share the coupon code with your friends.

Update: I’ve just opened up a Ganxy showcase with the sale price, for anyone who would prefer to buy the ebook (in pdf, mobi, and epub) directly from me:

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My Ebook: Kindle & Smashwords Updates Available

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If you bought an early edition of my ebook Let’s Play Math, you can now update your copy to the latest version.

This update includes:

How To Update

If you bought at Smashwords, the latest update is always available for download at their site.

If you are an Amazon.com customer, you can get the updated version of this book by going to Manage Your Kindle. Find the book in your Kindle Library, click on the “Update Available” link next to the book’s title, and then follow the update prompts. After you do this, all of your Kindle devices that have the ebook currently downloaded will be updated automatically the next time they connect to wireless. If you tucked the book away in a folder, the update will replace it there, rather than cluttering up your home screen.

Also Available

Through the Smashwords distribution program, my ebook is finally spreading to other online booksellers:


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Let’s Play Math Now in All Digital Formats

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For all of you who read ebooks in formats other than Amazon’s Kindle, my book is now available on Smashwords in almost every format imaginable:

Since Smashwords distributes to various online booksellers, this means it may show up at Barnes & Noble and the iBookstore sometime soon. I have no control over who decides to carry the book, but if you happen to see a copy for sale anywhere, I’d love to hear about it!

Advantages of using Smashwords: In addition to all the different format choices, Smashwords also gives you access to free updates whenever I change the file. (I have found a few typos I need to correct one of these days…) Also, the free sample is slightly longer than the one at Amazon.

Disadvantages: You have to load the file onto your ebook reader manually (try the free program Calibre). Also, some of the file formats are wonky, because Smashwords insists on using its automatic “meatgrinder” program — for instance, the html format didn’t handle exponents correctly, the mobi file had a couple of bad links in the table of contents, and the epub included every single answer-to-sample-problem in its ncx toc. If you’re reading on a Kindle, the hand-formatted Amazon file is much nicer.

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Book Updates

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My ebook Let’s Play Math has a new cover. Do you like it?

After wrestling with the files for a couple of months, I finally figured out how to add the toc.ncx navigation (the ebook magic that lets you skip ahead to the next chapter). While I was messing around, I added a few more references, expanded a couple of sections, and fixed all the typos that we’ve found so far.

I sent Amazon an email asking them to give everyone who already bought a copy the option to get the latest version. Unfortunately that’s not automatic, but if the powers that be decide that these changes were “major,” you should get an email telling you how to update.

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Let’s Play Math Book Update

I love math, but had forgotten why I developed a love for math in the first place. This book made me realize how experiences in my childhood lit a spark in me … Denise Gaskins shows us how we can ignite this fire in our own children.

I believe her suggestions are invaluable for homeschoolers, but essential for the many parents whose children are learning to dislike math in school.

— Carrie
Review at Amazon.com, December 1, 2012

If you’ve wavered on whether to pick up my math book, be warned: This is the last month for the introductory sale price. In January, the price will go up to $5.99 — which is still much less than what the original edition sells for, used.

Of course, if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you can borrow the book (or my daughter’s novel) for free!

You don’t need a Kindle to read an Amazon.com ebook. You can access it on your computer, tablet, or smart phone using Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader or a Kindle Reading App.

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Poll: Math Ebooks?

Two of my daughters are attempting NaNoWriMo this year. So I’m thinking I might keep them company and give the EBookWriMo Challenge a try. What topic should I write about?

Don’t like any of my ideas? Enter your suggestion in the poll, or leave a comment below!


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Reviews for my Daughter’s Book

I cleaned up the clutter on my other blog, and so I decided to make a page about my daughter’s book, which meant taking the time to pull out excerpts from her reviews. And since I hadn’t posted anything about her on this blog for a couple of months, I thought I’d brag a bit to you all, too.

Reviews of Banished

Banished is a captivating fantasy story with a well-thought-out plot that would be a credit to any writer. But it is especially remarkable coming from a thirteen-year-old student who has been homeschooled all her life.

Teresa Gaskins actually wrote this book as a project for the National Novel Writing Month program. One noteworthy thing about the book is that there is no sexuality or bad language (the euphemistic interjection “Blasted” is used once), so, other than those who object to the presence of any kind of magic in books, parents can let their kids read the novel with no reservations.

However, be forewarned. When you reach the final page and find the words, “Not the End…,” you will cry, “Oh! No!” The story does not resolve itself at the end and then pick up in a sequel. Rather, the plot is left hanging at the end and will continue in another book. I for one feel as if I simply can’t wait to read the next installment to find out what happens to Chris and his friends. It’s that good!

— Wayne at Home School Book Review

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Introducing the “Let’s Play Math!” Book, Beta Version

This blog originally grew out of my Homeschool Math Manuals series published in the 1990s, and when I typed a post, I often added new tips, activities, or examples. Now the stories are coming full circle: I’ve entered the enriched blog-post versions back into the book manuscript, fixed all the typos I could find, deleted obsolete references, and added a list of my favorite “living” math books and internet links.

But no writer can accurately judge her own work. A professional editor is helpful, but he or she can’t see the book with a real homeschooler’s eye. Most writers look for beta-readers among their friends or acquaintances. As we live in a rural area, my supply of potential victims helpers is limited. So I decided to try an ebook experiment: Use Amazon.com to find readers willing to pay the price of a Caramel Macchiato for a pre-publication beta version of my book.

All of the books in the Math Ebooks Beta Series are designed to supplement your current math program — to help you teach math with ANY curriculum. If you would like to help me improve the books, please grab a notepad and jot down your thoughts as you read:

  • Let’s Play Math:
    How Homeschooling Families Can Learn Math Together, and Enjoy It!

    Discover new ways to explore math as a family adventure, playing with ideas. True mathematical thinking involves the same creative reasoning that children use to solve puzzles. Introduce your children to the “Aha!” factor, the thrill of solving a challenging puzzle, and build thinking skills with toys, games, and library books. Find out how to choose math manipulatives, or make your own, and learn how to tackle story problems with confidence. Let’s Play Math will give you a wealth of motivating, hands-on ideas for teaching home school math.

Edited to Add a Clarification

If you are interested in my book but don’t have time to take notes and send me comments, that’s OK. Feel free to take advantage of the beta price anyway — there’s absolutely no obligation.

I hope you and your children enjoy the adventure of learning math together!


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Book Update, and Self-Publishing Info

photo by Darwin Bell via flickr

As you may know, I’ve been working hard on my Let’s Play Math! books, and I’m still hoping to get at least couple of them out this summer. (Though if I keep thinking of more sections to add, I may never get them done!) I’m also finishing up the editing on my daughter’s novel and plan to release it soon.

One of the most useful resources I’ve found for self-publishing information is Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. The last time I published my books, a dozen years ago, I made nearly every one of the mistakes he mentions in Amateur Hour Books and 5 Book Design Mistakes to Avoid.

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Update: My Math Books

photo by goXunuReviews via Flickr

Are you a homeschooler? Are you happy with your current curriculum, or would you like to break out of the textbook mold and explore math through “living” books and activities? Whether you hope to replace your math program or just to supplement it, I can show you ways to turn math into a learning adventure for the whole family. Your children will build a stronger foundation of understanding when you teach math as a game, playing with ideas.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote:

This blog originally grew out of my books, and now it’s coming full circle: New, expanded editions of my long-out-of-print books are ripening on the vine, growing out of the blog. To bring them to harvest, I’m going to need your help.

It has taken much longer than I had hoped to whip the manuscripts into form. My new goal is to publish ebook editions, since I will be able to sell them for about half what the original books cost twelve years ago. I’m hoping that I can finish at least a couple of the ebooks by mid-summer.

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Working on My Let’s Play Math! Books

Workplace stress caused by an unsuitable work ...

Image via Wikipedia

This blog originally grew out of my books, and now it’s coming full circle: New, expanded editions of my long-out-of-print books are ripening on the vine, growing out of the blog. To bring them to harvest, I’m going to need your help.

The Books

I’m working on the games books first because I think they will be the most helpful supplements to any math program.

  • Let’s Play Math! Number Games for All Ages
    This book will include games like Tens Concentration and Hit Me, as well as tips for teaching negative numbers, the times table, and more. Never before published, because it was planned as the fifth book in my earlier how-to-teach-homeschool-math series, but my self-publishing experiment ended after book four.
  • Others to be announced, if I ever get the first two done…

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