An adventure book that happens to be about math, or maybe a math book with a friendship story, or maybe the start of a revolution.
I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!!!!
...is the name of my book, which is funny because I quite like the times table. I’m a math teacher, and what I’ve done for the last 20 years or so is look for ways to make math interesting, fun, relevant, and deep for my students.
I work mostly with younger children, and my kids sometimes have trouble with the times tables, and I wondered what other things I could do to help them. One of the answers was to write a book. If kids could have a story and more complex ideas to hang on to they might keep those numbers straight. I had all the story elements: What kids had trouble with, that they liked, funny solutions and historic context.
So I wrote that book, but it turned into something bigger, at least in my head.
In my head, it’s still a funny story that you read because you like funny stories. In my head, it’s a textbook in graphic novel form. It’s a lead in to how we play with numbers and ideas and a gateway to doing real mathematics. In my head, it is permission for adults to play with math and kids to be serious about math at the same time and everyone gets to smile because math is fun.
The book is a first of a series of books that bridge the back to basics folks and the big idea folks. They are a revolution in math instruction and supportive, consistent connection to traditional mathematics at the same time!
In my head.
But on paper I draw like this:
It was important that I draw the book because math is about space and shape too, but nobody is going to get that from my drawings or even my words. To be started this thing has to be seen.
That’s where Megan comes in. She’s a teacher and a working artist I am lucky enough to work with. She drew these shoes,
and those shoes made me think, she should draw this book. So she drew the cover at the top of the page. In fact, I talked the poor thing into drawing the whole book, which makes me think I might be a better salesman than I give myself credit for…or…and this is more likely…she gets it. She gets how a kids book can change the world. She gets how differently we could look at mathematics and learning.
That’s what you get to kick start: A really cool kid’s book that’s a mathematical adventure. A funny story with pictures, and the start of a bunch of books that make us all better at math.
The money goes mostly to paying the artist. She’s actually a paid, professional so it’s not really fair to make her do her job for free. Besides, if I can pay her I can make her go faster! After that the money goes to a first print run, and a set of books beyond the prizes, so we can get more copies into homes and classrooms and libraries.
If the kick start really goes ballistic, we can move on to the next books; starting with “I Love the Times Table,” which is already mostly written and from the other kids point of view. Moving on to fractions and decimals and integers and percentages and geometry and...
It ends when there is a complete set of books about arithmetic that a kid can pick up and read and reference and poke around with until they get the ideas they need. It's over when the kid that started this book, that poor kid shouting frustration at the sky, gets to just hang out with a friend and feel good about telling stories about math.
That is a good question that turns out not to need an answer. We don't know. They spend the book in pith helmets and scuba gear so we never find out. That's on purpose. I drew them as stick figures so I initially dodged the question, but as I drew I realized that was how it should be. The reader can decide. They can both be girls or boys, or maybe it's one of each. There are two kids, one who loves the table and one who hates them and the reader can make that story match up to their own story any way they like.
Another good question with an iffy answer. The short answer is 7-12...ish. The math is pretty common around 8 or 9. Lots of kids get a jump start and lots of kids take longer. The jokes and reading level are probably more like 10 or 11, but again kids stretch all over the place. Younger children love to read about older children. On the other hand, a couple of the adults I've shown the book to were amazed to learn new multiplication tricks, so there's no top end.
pledged of $5,000 goal
seconds to go
May 12, 2012 - Jun 30, 2012
Pledge $5 or more
Make your own prize with a digital copy of the cover! You can use it for a background or a screensaver. A small poster or a hat or a broach or a butterfly!!! How cool will you look when the kids see "I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! splashed across your screen?Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
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I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! The book! You buy the book, only from me. As an extra bonus, the chance to give me feedback for the second edition. Who needs editors when you have friends?Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! 1st edition copy signed by the author. As an added bonus I will listen to your feedback! Just kidding... (About what you might ask, but that's my little secret.)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Teachers copy. A first edition copy of the book and a teachers guide. The guide will consist of lessons and ideas for the kids who hate the times tables as well as the ones that love them.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! 1st edition copy signed by the author AND the artist.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Teacher package #2 I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! Plus, my sailing unit, Tallship Racing. It's great fractions work and a lot of fun for a class, a family, or a couple inventive kids with access to a photocopier and somebody to help them start. It's a favorite every year in the kids' reflections.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! Pair and Share 1st edition copy signed by the author and artist for you and a second copy for you to share with someone. Or let us know and we'll send it to whoever you like.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Triple Teacher pack! I HATE THE TIMES TABLE!!! Tallship Racing and! Block Cars! It's an engineering simulation that uses locking centimeter cubes and a lot of math to let kids design the guts of cars, power to weight ratios, required components...sports cars to ambulances to farm trucks shaped like the animals they serve. Another favorite in class.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $100 or more
1 backer Limited (4 of 5 left)
Math teacher expert guy for an hour! (Plus or minus...) don't get why they are teaching multiplication that way? Looking forward to long division? Just want some support in your back pocket or wish you knew a cool challenge to work on with your kid? TADA!!! Expert on call. If you're already a friend of mine you can get this for free, but what if you don't have a math person in your social group? For a limitied time this one is for rent.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $250 or more
1 backer Limited (1 of 2 left)
You or you child in a one of a kind, hand drawn version of of one of the pages from the book. We can't stick you in the book, but we can pretend. Will you see the terrible multiplication table in its natural habitat or will your kid chat obliviously while doom approaches?Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
1 backer Limited (1 of 2 left)
Math expert guy for a day. If you are more than 200 miles from Seattle you'll have to figure out how to get me to you. I may only have my small odd area of expertise but I do rock that small world. I can speak to a faculty or a sub group on ways to do math. Or you can have me virtually! Have a class project you wish had more math in it? Want a math filled class project tied to your curriculum? Ideas for a homeschool group? Even better, think of it as an entertaining long shot. If you had J.K Rowling or Dr. Suess as a speaker for your school or parent group how cool would that be! Well I'm not either of those people, but what if there's a time when people go, "You got the Times Table guy to for 500 bucks?!?!?!" It could happen.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (2 of 2 left)
You or your child will appear in the next book! It's not finished and there's room for a visiting professor or confused passerby. Maybe even room for kid to say thier favorite thing about the times tables.Estimated delivery: Oct 2013