Should MAVA Math books be administered by teachers or parents?

Both teachers and parents may supplement the curriculum at school, at home, or during the summer with the MAVA Math series.

Why do MAVA Math books have all five elementary school grades or all three middle school grades in one book?

The MAVA Math series encourages children to work at their own pace, whether on grade level, more slowly, or more quickly. Having a range of material in one book facilitates this process. Moreover, a child may be able to advance in one topic but may need further practice in another. Combining the levels in one book also helps to identify the distinction between new and review material for a given grade. Progressing to new skills and concepts while concurrently reviewing previously learned math is convenient with MAVA Math textbooks.

Are all MAVA Math books workbook style?

Yes, students may do more math in a fixed amount of time when they do not have to copy problems.

Are all MAVA Math books free of distractions?

Yes, students learn math more easily when they can focus on math and not on irrelevant, wasteful pictures and comments.

Are all MAVA Math books packed with problems?

Yes, even the most gifted children need a significant amount of practice to truly internalize the breadth and depth of math. Moreover, they need this practice over a period of years.

Why is material organized in alphabetical order in MAVA Math: Number Sense and MAVA Math: Enhanced Skills?

With alphabetical order, teachers, parents, and students can more easily find the topics that they desire whether to supplement, enhance, or review. Although certain math skills must be learned before others because of prerequisites, math topics do not have one correct order. For example, plane geometry may be studied in a given grade before or after statistics. Alphabetical order offers users of the MAVA Math series the greatest flexibility.

How do MAVA Math: Grade Reviews and MAVA Math: Number Sense work together?

Together, these two books provide all that is needed to supplement during the school year and summer in the elementary grades. MAVA Math: Grade Reviews provides problems in a variety of presentations, out of context from a student’s primary text and in random order. The book is a rich source of cumulative review material. MAVA Math: Number Sense provides a second important aspect of math education–developing insight and speed. The book is similar to but more comprehensive than a mental math collection. For just slightly greater than one hundred dollars, or twenty dollars a year, a parent can have the two student books and accompanying answer books for all of elementary school. Of course, the cost decreases when the given adult, whether parent or teacher, uses one solutions book for many children.

Can any of the MAVA Math books be used as the primary textbook?

Yes, MAVA Math: Enhanced Skills can be used as the sole middle school or pre-algebra text. Teachers may create their own sequence of lessons as long as they follow common sense prerequisites. A qualified person should explain new concepts and skills to students. The companion solutions book shows best methods to obtain answers.

Was MAVA Math: Number Sense field tested in unpublished form?

Yes, the material for MAVA Math: Number Sense was field tested as pure mental math. The published book expands the content and suggests that the book be used orally, visually, or with limited writing. 

Was MAVA Math: Grade Reviews field tested in unpublished form?

Yes, the material for MAVA Math: Grade Reviews was used in the classroom by a wide range of students. Virtually all of the students raised their standardized test scores (ERB, Independent School Norm) in math after one full school year of doing these reviews weekly.

Was MAVA Math: Enhanced Skills field tested in unpublished form?

Yes, the material for MAVA Math: Enhanced Skills was used extensively by Dr. Weiss in her teaching of mathematically gifted middle school students and in her preparation of them for math competitions such as MATHCOUNTS. Her students derived much happiness from their study of math. As a secondary benefit, when these students were in high school, they consistently scored in the 700s on the math section of the College Board SAT.

Why has Marla Weiss had so much success teaching math?

Dr. Weiss had a long and thorough education in math, rarely found in teachers working below high school level. Because she has also taught some courses in high school, college, and graduate school math and computer science, she knows what young students must learn to be ready for higher grades. Furthermore, Dr. Weiss is not afraid to “over-teach.” Decades ago she observed kindergarten students at a Montessori School enjoying the long, complicated names of dinosaurs. Math vocabulary words, she reasoned, are far less involved. She believes in exposing children to as much math as they can grasp, as long as careful review is incorporated.

What does MAVA mean?

MAVA is an acronym, thus capitalized, deriving from something personal for the author. MAVA is also a play on words, as if “mava” is a female “maven” or expert.