What Kids Learn in Math Class that You Never Learned: Basics

A guide to the mystifying but effective strategies students are learning now, including Common Core math..
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2016 English

Course Description

Are you struggling with some of the "new" approaches being taught now to math students? Are you a parent, or a teacher who struggles with teaching math, or an interested adult who wants to understand more about why these new approaches are being used?

This course addresses many of the foundational areas of math in the early elementary grades, from the concept of equivalence to using the distributive property in multiplying larger numbers. If you aren't sure what the point of some of the strategies are, or your child says, "That's not how my teacher said to do it," or why certain strategies are taught when, this course is for you. 

The course, Basic Concepts, covers:

  • Number sense and how to help it develop
  • The relationships of numbers to each other 
  • The relationships of mathematical operations to each other
  • The concept of equivalence and how it's taught to young children
  • Mental addition and subtraction strategies
  • Viral Common Core memes, and what we can learn from the math behind them
  • Connections between addition and multiplication, and subtraction and division
  • Different models for multiplying and dividing
  • Mental math tips for multiplying and dividing
  • Strategies for making even the hardest word problems easier to solve

Lessons are delivered in an easy-to-follow video format, with accompanying downloadable documents where they are useful, and for additional practice with the strategies. Answer keys are provided for problem sets too. Periodic quizzes help make sure you are on the right track.

You even get bonus activities to do at home with your children, and useful printed tips for making your own mental math easier!

This course can be used as a basic introduction for teachers, but it is not meant for in-depth professional development.

What are the requirements?

  • Notebook or journal, writing materials, printer (optional for handouts)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand and practice math strategies in current elementary and middle school math, especially those that were not taught in mainstream US education before the last 5-10 years.

Who is the target audience?

  • Adults who want to improve their foundation in basic math understanding
  • Parents who want to understand current approaches to teaching math
  • Teachers who want a brief overview of some of the most effective basic math strategies
  • This course is not intended to substitute for in-depth professional development for teachers.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Have a look at what's in store by seeing some clips of what you'll learn!


What will this course include? What qualifications does Susan Midlarsky have? Find out here.


Understand what may be in the way of helping children succeed in math.

Section 2: Early Math Foundations
1 question

A quick quiz to see what is in your mind about what this means.


Learn about how early understandings of numbers and quantities can be developed to form the foundation of manipulating larger numbers later, and how number sense is formed. Suggested activities and resources are provided.


Learn about how comparison and equivalence are necessary to a strong foundation that will enable addition, subtraction, and equation abilities.


Word or story problems provide a context for real-life problem solving. Learn about how these can be approached and mastered at an early level.


How do some people add and subtract in their heads so quickly, while others have to go step-by-step through the algorithm or pull out a calculator? Find out some strategies students are taught to add and subtract mentally in Part 1 of this lesson.

How do some people add and subtract in their heads so quickly, while others have to go step-by-step through the algorithm or pull out a calculator? Find out some more strategies students are taught to add and subtract mentally in Part 2 of this lesson.

You know those viral memes that point out how ridiculous Common Core math is? Learn what they are really about and why they are not ridiculous after all. We don't know what we don't know!

5 questions

Let's see how much you retained from Section 1!

Section 3: Multiplication and Division Models

How can understanding the relationships between these operations help us understand how numbers work and how to work with numbers? Learn some basics here, as well as visual models to support understanding.


How does multiplication relate to addition, and subtraction relate to division? Understand these relationships opens up additional strategies and conceptual thinking.


What's the connection between multiplication and area of a rectangle? And how can that make multi-digit multiplication easier? Find out here.


Learn more in-depth strategies for visualizing and solving multiplication and division word problems.


Tips that anyone can use for making mental multiplication and division easier, covering factors 1 through 7.


Tips that anyone can use for making mental multiplication and division easier, covering factors 8 through 12.

5 questions

Quiz to check what you learned in this section.

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Instructor Biography

Susan Midlarsky, Go-To Person for Elementary and Middle Math Education

My teaching career began in 2002, and my experience now includes teaching in public school and several high-caliber private schools. In these schools, I taught academic, artistic, and elective courses to kindergarten through seventh grade. During several summers, I participated in educational programs designed to assist students in inner-city and low-income populations. I have been working in group tutoring settings and tutoring privately since 2002 as well.

In 2005, I started teaching Singapore Math; since that time, I have taught and/or tutored every level of Singapore Math from kindergarten through eighth grade. I also consult with public and charter schools, train teachers around the country and in New York through BOCES, and offer parent workshops in this method. Parents regularly approach me to request private tutoring or special programs like math parties. 

Early in 2013, I began professional curriculum writing. I worked with Six Red Marbles as an editor and writer for their homeschool manuals for middle school Math in Focus. Then in May, I signed on as a part-time writer with Great Minds, as part of the team writing the Common Core math curriculum for New York State titled Eureka Math. As the standards are influenced heavily by Singapore Math, I found my teaching experience to be helpful in this process. When the curriculum was completed, I moved into offering professional development in implementing the curriculum. I also consulted with Engineeius as a writing team leader at the elementary and high school levels for STEAM after-school programs. 

Another of my passions is creative writing. In 2010, my students and I published an anthology of their stories At the same time, I also published my first book, Butterfly from the Sky. I have several other children's and young adult books in process now.

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