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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Review - Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps by Maureen Stearns

Book Review
Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps
Multiply and Divide with Sticks and Steps
by Maureen Stearns

About the Author
Maureen Stearns, MSMaureen Stearns enjoys fostering personal growth in others. One outlet for this is her work as an Exceptional Student Education teacher in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Maureen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg in 1992. Then, in the late ’90s, she decided to work toward a Master’s Degree in Community Psychology at Springfield College in Tampa. During this coursework, Maureen chose courage as her topic for an “I Project.” The goal of this project was to pull something out of one’s self that had deep meaning and to develop it in some way. Her project on courage grew into the book, Conscious Courage®, and will be the inspiration for future books in this series. Maureen received her Master’s Degree in 2000.

Book Description
Math concepts can seem very abstract, but in just a short time, literally in just 5 minutes, students can learn how to multiply. This book concretely shows what multiplication is, instead of just having students memorize the times tables. It gives step-by-step instructions as well as sample problems showing how the process works. A natural flow occurs throughout the book as concepts get more difficult. Also included are easy ways to divide, find least common multiples, and square roots.
This simple, hands-on method will help students achieve a better understanding of mathematics and boost self-confidence as well. Students will become so proficient they will be able to teach Sticks and Steps to others who struggle with multiplication and division. Multiply and Divide with Sticks® and Steps is easy to learn, easy to teach, and so logical, it's easy to remember. An essential resource for parents and educators to carry with them in their bag of tricks.

Our Book Review
When I read through the book I found myself wishing I had found this a few years ago when my son was at the stage of learning his multiplication and division.  He was so enthusiastic to sit go through his times tables but when he became stuck and just couldn't remember seeing the disappointment in his eyes, especially with the 6x, 7x and 8x tables.  The book would have been such a valuable tool for both myself and my son.

The simple, yet clever method not only covers basic multiplication in detail, it also covers what's the missing number, both short and long multiplication and division sums and progresses onto slightly more advanced areas such as square root and the least common multiple. The author has also included some lovely educational quotes throughout the book to inspire.

I found the book very easy to read and understand from the simple instructions and clear diagrams.  The numerous diagrams are spread out nicely throughout the different stages of the book and you also benefit from extra examples at each stage to reiterate the problems and solutions.  For a parent or teacher it is very quick to read through and digest and be able to share the knowledge with the child.  For a child it makes learning, what can be a difficult subject, fun and enjoyable.  What I think makes it all work is the fact that they visually and physically see the problem being solved in the steps, which makes it so much easier for them to remember.

I would definitely recommend this book to any young mathematician and of course their helper !!

Our Rating



  1. Looks like a great book. Both my kids struggled with math when they were younger. This definitely looks like it will be helpful to kids that don't pick it up quickly.

  2. My youngest is in the process of learning his multiplication and division, this looks like an interesting book! We'll have to check it out :)
    Life with our Family

  3. My kids are learning multiplication and division right now. This looks like a great resource!

  4. this looks like a great book for learning multiplication and division. My daughter is not old enough for that yet but i will keep this in mind for when she is!

  5. I love seeing books that help kids understand the concept of math instead of memorizing! Very Cool!

  6. Wow! This is GREAT!! I really need this for my daughter who is going into 3rd grade next year!

  7. What an interesting looking book. I might look into this for my youngest who struggles a bit in Math. Thanks!


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