For the past 11 years, Greg Tang has travelled across the United States doing more
than 1,500 conferences, workshops and school visits. Along the way, he has taught
more than 250,000 children and adults, helped write several math textbooks, authored
8 children’s books including a NY Times best seller, and created a family of innovative
math puzzles and games.
Now, Greg is putting everything he has learned and created on one website. It is
an important part of his mission to help children and adults of all ages become
better in math. Greg is working hard to create better teaching methods, shift the
focus to more critical, abstract thinking skills, and make important mathematical
concepts easier and more intuitive.
Greg believes that to be good in math, children need to learn to think abstractly
at an early age. When kids learn to think abstractly and efficiently about numbers
in groups rather than counting or memorizing, they can be taught common sense strategies
that make calculations fast and easy. Greg believes that being able to connect and
generalize these strategies across problems and operations is the key to thinking
It is a common misconception that people who are good in math are good at memorizing.
Quite the contrary, they’re abstract thinkers who are good at understanding and
generalizing concepts, then applying them to different problems and situations.
Greg’s website asks kids to solve problems quickly in their heads, and to use specific
strategies in order to develop specific skills.
The activities on this website are not only packed with great math, they’re also
so fun they’re addicting – in a good way! Each activity has a clever twist or compelling
hook that grabs a kid’s attention and makes them want to play more. For math activities
to be effective, kids have to play them enough to get the repetition and practice
needed for true mastery.
“I created Break Apart to teach kids the best strategies for adding, subtracting,
multiplying and dividing. When kids learn the proper techniques, arithmetic is easy
and more advanced concepts follow naturally. Our strategies are intended to develop
the algebraic thinking skills required for higher math.”
“With Numskill, my goal was to give kids a fun way to master their addition facts.
But instead of giving kids a problem and asking them to figure out the answer, I
realized it’s more beneficial if they have to figure out both the problem and the
answer. This increases the number of problems they have to solve, and adding color
increases it even more. Lots of practice is the key to mastery.”
“Numskill gave me the idea for Kakooma. One day it occurred to me that a series
of Numskill-type problems could be used to create one final problem. This “puzzle-in-a-puzzle”
idea became the unique twist that makes Kakooma so compelling. Solve a series of
mini-puzzles and their answers turn into another puzzle! We started with addition
of positive whole numbers and now have negative numbers, and multiplication.”
“I created Math Limbo to help my own kids become better at math. The reason it’s
such an important game is that it gives kids practice breaking numbers apart. There
are many games that teach addition, but very few focus on decomposing numbers. Even
fewer make a connection to subtraction as well. I believe that, together with my
other games, Math Limbo gives kids the practice they need to develop great computational
Greg has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from Harvard, and a master’s
degree in math education from NYU. He is a certified middle and high school math
teacher and an adjunct Professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Greg writes children’s picture books as an author for Scholastic. He is also an
author for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s elementary math textbook program. His work
has been included in many other major textbook programs in the United States as
well, including Math Expressions, Go Math, Everyday Math and Investigations.