DMG Blog

Base-Ten mat a must in first and second grade

31 August, 2013

Debra and I just produced a base-10 mat which will help your students build a foundation for place and value. On one side there are ten frames for grouping activities using base-10 units. The student can then connect the quantity to the symbols and finally write the words. We have the words written at the bottom of the mat to support the student. 

The other side of the mat has places for the student to build different numbers using tens and ones. Then connect the quantity to symbol. 

We are very excited that this mat will build the understanding of place and value for students. 

If the teacher wants to work in hundreds or thousands, we suggest that additional squares be added onto the mat.  

Knowing about our base-10 system is essential. Building the foundation with visual models is crucial. 

Advertisement in USA Today magazine

31 August, 2013

We placed an ad in the magazine for Bears and Chairs. This is the first time we have tried an ad. Look for it in your local bookstore.

More Math Materials to Support Students' Understanding

24 April, 2013

 We are pleased to announce that we have produced more products to help students.  Our new products are:

1-120 board - First grade students need to know numbers to 120.  This board helps them see what happens when the count goes over 100.  In second grade students need to count to 1000.  Using this board, the teacher and student can look for patterns and identify what happens when numbers go past 100.

1-20 Number Path - Young children should be using a number path not a number line.  This line counts to 20 with one-inch squares that can be used to keep track of counting objects.  This path offers students an understanding of a number line and can transition to the number line in grade 2.

Part/Part/Whole Mat - Research states that the most important  number concept that a child needs to learn is part/part/whole.  With this knowledge, students are able to flexibly work with numbers because they have many ways to see different numbers depending on the situation that they are faced with.  For example:  if a student is adding 8 and 6 and knows that 8 and 2 make 10; then the student can make 6 into parts of 2 and 4 and see 8 and 6 as 10 and 4 or 14.  This is a much better strategy than rote memorization.

Individual Clocks to go with the Time Number Line Board - We felt it was important for each student to have their own clock when learning about time.  The mat provides a context for what the clock means and then the student can show what they know on the individual clocks.

Place and Value mat for Tens and Ones - Grade one students need to develop an understanding of our base-ten system by working with tens and ones.  This board helps the student build the conceptual knowledge by using small ten frames and also base-ten blocks.  

Off to Atlanta and NAEYC Conference

01 November, 2012


 Debra and I are heading down to Atlanta to present and exhibit at the national convention for NAEYC (National Association for the Education of the Young Child).  We are excited to share our knowledge and materials to be used with young children to help them develop an understanding of number.  

We will be presenting on Thursday from 8-9:30 in room B201.  We will focus on the pre-number and essential early number concepts.  We will be showing the importance and the reason behind each of the concepts along with activities that children can be exposed to.  

We will be in the convention center at booth 1042.  If you are at the conference, please stop by and see our products and say hi.  We enjoy the feedback that we get from teachers and parents who are using our materials with their students and children.  Let's give ALL children a great start in learning math!!

Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics

12 September, 2012

 Mark your calendar for October 18th and 19th.  The OCTM will have their conference in Columbus, Ohio at the Convention Center.  Debra and I will be there and will be doing two presentations and we will also have a booth in the exhibit hall.  Please stop by and say hello and take a look at our materials we have created to help students build a conceptual understanding of number and other math concepts.

Number words are difficult for the young child

27 August, 2012

 The number words can be difficult for young children, especially the "teen numbers."  A Teen number is defined as "ten and some more."  So what is eleven and twelve?  In some countries the words actually match the quantity.  China has students saying er for two, shi for ten and shi er for twelve and er shi er for twenty-two.  Compare that with our language and no wonder the United States is a year behind in math at a very early age.  Have your children or students count daily.  

The words of math are important and children need to have what is called "a stable order."  That means that the child can say the numbers in the correct sequence and does it each time. Listen for numbers that are left out and stop and help your child/student so that the error pattern does not continue.

Now on Facebook

24 August, 2012

 We launched our Facebook page.  Please visit and "Like" us!

Our first article was:

As school begins, remember to have children talk about math on a daily basis.
Each week, we will write activities that can be done with young children.
Have children count out loud as you are driving in the car or walking home from school or being in the classroom. Have them count starting with different numbers. Listen to hear if the words are in the correct order.
To begin the year:
rgarten- Count up to 10

Kindergarten - Count up to 20. Listen for those tricky numbers from 11-20.

Grade 1 - Count up to 100. Start with different numbers. Listen for counting through the decade numbers (27, 28, 29...30)
Grade 2 - Count up to 120. Start with different numbers. Listen for counting past 100 (110, 111, 112 etc.)

Quote from District Math Coach

08 August, 2012

How do you feel about the DMA assessments and interventions?

I am so pleased to have this wonderful tool as a resource in my district.  As a Math Coach and the leader of the Math RtI Committee for our district, I am looking for tools to help identify students who struggle with Mathematics and require Intervention.  Not only does this tool give us the ability to identify these students, but the Intervention Handbook then helps us to know how to remediate these students.  The price is very reasonable, and the materials are all there for me.  I don't have to pull from here and dig around to find what I need!  I have also been told by several of the Intervention Specialists that the DMA is a huge asset in the writing of IEP goals for their Special Education students since it pinpoints areas of improvement for these students.                                                                                                                                                       ~  District Math Coach


Girls' Math Skills May Fall Short Of Boys' Because Of Male Impulsiveness

08 August, 2012

By:, staff

From an early age, boys tend to take a more impulsive approach to math problems in the classroom, which might help them get ahead of girls in the long-run, suggests the latest study to touch on the gender gap in math.

The research claims girls may tend to favor a slow and accurate approach - often computing an answer by counting - while boys may take a faster, but more error-prone tack, calling out an answer from memory. The difference in strategies seems to benefit girls early in elementary school but swings in favor of boys by middle school.
"In our study, we found that boys were more likely to call out answers than girls, even though they were less accurate early in school," Drew Bailey, who led the study, said in a statement. "Over time, though, this practice at remembering answers may have allowed boys to surpass girls in accuracy." [Cool Math Games - See ]

The University of Missouri study followed 300 students from first grade to sixth grade. During those first two years, the boys called out more answers in class than the girls but also had more wrong answers. Girls were more often right, but answered fewer questions and responded more slowly, according to the university. By sixth grade, the boys were still answering more problems than the girls and were also getting more correct.
Several recent studies have argued that gender differences in math performance have more to do with culture than aptitude - see ]. Research published last year found that certain countries - generally ones with more gender equality, better teachers and fewer students living in poverty - showed a smaller gap between males and females in math and some had no gap at all. [See ]

Other research has pointed to inherent gender biases in the classroom. One such study found that high school math teachers tended to rate girls' math abilities lower than those of male students, even when the girls' grades and test scores were comparable to boys. [See ]

Gender issues aside, the researchers of the Missouri study - which was published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology - had some advice for parents based on the findings. "Parents can give their children an advantage by making them comfortable with numbers and basic math before they start grade school, so that the children will have fewer trepidations about calling out answers," David Geary, a co-author of the study, said in a statement.

New Products now available

29 June, 2012

 Debra and I have added three new place and value boards to our collection.  

The first mat builds the understanding of  hundreds, tens and ones. This two-sided dry erase mat can be used with our small ten frame pieces found on the CD in the Number Concept Activity Book or base-ten blocks.  This helps the child make the connection with the words, symbol and quantity of numbers in the hundreds.

The second mat builds the understanding of hundredths, tenths and whole numbers.  This mat can stand alone or be combined with the first mat to show how our base-ten system is built.  The two-sided mat has decimals on one side and fractional representation on the other.

The third mat builds the understanding of thousandths, hundredths, tenths and whole numbers.  Again this mat can stand alone or be combined with the first mat to build the understanding of our base-ten system.  The two-sided mat has decimal on one side and fractional representation on the other.

The new Common Core practices require students and teachers to use appropriate materials for students to learn different concepts.  We believe these mats would make a great addition to the classroom.  They help students connect words, symbols and quantity.

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