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Two Plus Two Is Not Five Review by Christine Field

Susan Greenwald, M.A. Ed.
Longevity Publishing
10179 Pinewood Avenue
Englewood, CO 80111

Not knowing math facts will slow your child down as he or she advances in a math curriculum. Yet learning those facts can sometimes be a challenge. This book was written to provide students using any math curriculum with tips, tricks and strategies to help them master the material to make their math journey smoother. It can be used with a beginner or with a student who struggles with only some of the facts.

The parent begins by assessing the student's knowledge and recording the known facts on the Math Facts Baseline Recorder. Concepts are introduced using counting items, such as cubes, buttons, or paper clips. As facts are mastered, the student can fill in the appropriate boxes on the record-keeping grid, which gives the student a great feeling of accomplishment.

The facts are organized into tiers of difficulty. For each tier, the parent begins by introducing the "trick." Next, the student does the initial practice, then the cumulative practice, and then the tier review.

A few of the tricks were familiar, but most were not! For example, students are taught to group numbers by families and to recognize both the addition and subtraction operations within the family. Consider the 2, 7 and 9 family. If you learn 2 plus 7 is 9, you will also know 7 plus 2 is 9, 9 minus 7 is 2, and 9 minus 2 is 7. As an aside, we have also used triangular flashcards to reinforce these relationships in number families.

I like this book a lot. The explanations are straightforward, and the practice pages are clean and clutter-free. The author notes on her website that a multiplication and division book is in the works. I will definitely buy it.

Product review by Christine Field, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2007