We have decided to change the direction of the Hurtova Foundation and the Kayla website. The cost of printing books has skyrocketed and we have decided to publish all of the Kayla Books on this web site. (As of November, 2021, Books 1 through 11 are available.) We never were interested in making money; the books are intended to help kids improve their math skills and problem solving abilities. So here they are.
Below the row of asterisks is the original site; it will be changed as we continue to think about its role in math education.
Welcome to the web site that provides practice problems (and their answers) for the series of books, “Learning Math With Kayla,” by Vicki Meyer. The site is under construction right now, containing mostly general information. However, the problems and answers for Books 1 through 9 are in place, and those for the following books will be added as we work our way through the list.
The Hurtova Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation which sponsors the series of books. It is named in honor of Vicki’s Mother, whose formal education stopped at 4th grade, and who successfully raised a family while working outside the home. Here is a first draft of the mission and purpose of the Foundation:
The Hurtova Foundation, Inc.
Mission Statement: To improve the understanding of math and the development of basic math skills in elementary school students.
Problem: Too many elementary school children, particularly children from lower socio-economic families, have below grade level math skills.
Solution: Multidimensional math program involving the following:
1. A focus on at-risk minority and poor children with below grade level math skills, to be identified in school districts.
2. Specialized math books, “Learning Math with Kayla,” created by The Hurtova Foundation, focus on positive behavior reinforcement, simple math models, and creative-expressive experience for the child. Books use step-by-step math lessons appropriate for the child; they are short, culturally focused, and geared to the child’s experiencing a sense of mastery. Unlike most math books for young students, these books engage the reader using a narrative style from the point of view of a student who is struggling with math.
3. The Hurtova Foundation will provide advisers to parents, guardians or older siblings to assure positive reinforcement and a uniform process that encourages them to act as tutors.
The immediate goal of the Hurtova Foundation is to donate a set of Kayla Books to each of the Public Libraries and Elementary School Libraries in Sarasota County.
Unsolicited support for the Kayla Books:
The Economist, October 19, 2019, reports on the Nobel Prize in Economics. The researchers in question were cited for “their pioneering efforts to understand poverty.” Their study was world-wide and looked at extensive sets of variables.
One of their findings was that “focusing extra teaching resources on pupils who had fallen behind paid big dividends.”
This is exactly what The Hurtova Foundation is attempting to do with the series of books, “Learning Math with Kayla.” Each book includes a page entitled “About Tutoring” which encourages the reader to volunteer, recognizing the importance of one-on-one interaction with the student.
Here is a list of the twelve books in the “Learning Math With Kayla” series:
Book 1 – Adding and subtracting like fractions
Book 2 – Multiplying fractions
Book 3 – Learning multiplication facts
Book 4 – Place values and Multiplying large numbers
Book 5 – Adding and subtracting unlike fractions
Book 6 – Dividing fractions
Book 7 – Learning about improper and mixed fractions
Book 8 – Adding and subtracting large numbers
Book 9 – Solving long division problems
Book 10 – Working with decimals and percents
Book 11 – Learning about negative numbers
Book 12 – Problem solving!
And here’s a word from Kayla:
Hi! And welcome to my web page, where you can find problems to work on, so you can get your math “down-pat” just like I did! You can also practice adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing in timed activities, so you can see that you’re getting better with practice. Probably the most important thing I learned from Ms. Gibbs is that practicing what you want to learn makes it easier and easier.
When you want to practice one of these skills, click on “Online Practice” near the top of the home page. You will see four links below it; just click on the one you want to practice.
If you want practice doing problems, click on one of the links below. There are two links for each book; the first one just repeats the problems that are in the book, and the second one contains all new problems. Click on whichever one you want, and you will jump to a page with the right kind of problems for you to work on. At the end of each problem page is a link to the answers for that page.
Don’t be discouraged if you get stuck on a problem. Getting the right answer is great, of course, but you will also benefit from the time you spend trying to figure out how to get that answer. If you work hard on a problem but don’t get the answer right away, don’t worry about it! Just think about somebody who exercises by running around on a track. If they run around it ten times, they are right back where they started; they didn’t get anywhere! But did they benefit from their running? Of course they did! And you benefit from your thinking about a problem in the same way: you are exercising your brain even if you don’t solve the problem. But you will find that as you progress, problems that seemed very hard at first become easier and easier. Trust me; it’s true!