"I was inspired to begin writing by a basket of dominoes. One day, while helping in my daughter's first grade class, I noticed that all the dots on the dominoes had a pencil mark, which meant that kids were counting them instead of seeing them in groups
It immediately struck me that dot patterns could be a great visual way to teach arithmetic and maybe even problem solving too."
"My challenge was to figure out how to make this idea fun and instructive. Instead of dots, I thought about grouping things kids would like – acorns, snowflakes, frogs, bugs – just to name a few. By coloring, spacing and arranging them in strategic ways, I discovered I could create simple problems that were challenging and fun for people of all ages. And it all started with a basket of dominos!"
"Suddenly, I not only had a way to teach kids to think in groups rather than count by ones, I had a way to teach true mathematical thinking. Over the next few years, I turned this insight into The Grapes of Math and seven other books from Scholastic. Later, it helped me write my Go Fast, Go Far mental math series for Houghton Mifflin’s textbook program, and became the inspiration for my approach to teaching."
Greg Tang grew up in Ithaca, N.Y. with his two sisters. His father taught electrical engineering at Cornell University and his mother taught mathematics at Ithaca College. Greg earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Harvard, and later earned an M.A. degree in Math Education from New York University. Greg is certified as a middle and high school math teacher.
In 1997 Greg moved to Boston, where he opened a Tae Kwon-Do school and managed the health club Fitness First in Arlington. It was at this time that he endured a surprising divorce, and with three little kids at home, made the decision to become a part-time writer and full-time hockey dad.
Now, 20 years, 8 books, 2,500 workshops, and 3 wonderfully grown kids later, Greg is enjoying life with his wife Tammy and working harder than ever to make math a better, more enjoyable experience for kids everywhere.
Greg Tang is the NY Times best-selling author of eight math picture books from Scholastic. His books are also available as Storia eBooks, and have been translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Turkish and Hebrew. More than 1 million books have been sold worldwide.
Greg’s Math Appeal was recently voted Best Non-Fiction eBook by teachers, joining Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hunger Games and Huckleberry Finn as Gold Medal winners.
In 2001, Greg’s first book, The Grapes of Math, spent 3 incredible weeks as a New York Times best-selling children’s book. That same year, it won both Oppenheim Gold and Parent’s Guide Awards, was named Best Math Book by Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club, was a Book Sense 76 selection, and was voted an IRA Teachers’ Choice in 2002.
Two of Greg’s other books also garnered Oppenheim Gold Awards, with Greg’s second book, Math For All Seasons, winning in 2002 and his math and art history book Math-terpieces, a BookSense76 selection, winning in 2004.
GIGS: Greg Tang is called the "math missionary" for the dedication and passion he has shown in sharing his love of math with students, teachers and parents. Since 2001, he has done nearly 3,000 conferences, workshops and author visits, taught more than 500,000 children and adults, and accumulated more than 1,000,000 frequent flier miles on 4 different airlines!
Today, Greg strives to provide unparalleled math, professional development for inservice teachers. Through his company Creative Smarts Inc, he offers workshops, institutes and conferences throughout the U.S. and overseas.
1-day Workshops. Greg's goal is to give teachers a deeper, more connected understanding of critical math concepts. Each workshop targets important skills, strategies and standards, and combines Greg’s proven techniques with the best practices from around the world. Teachers consistently rate Greg's workshops among the best they have ever attended.
2-day Institutes. Greg is hosting three Summer Institutes in 2018. The first will be his Northwest Math Institute for K-6 educators, July 23-24, 2018 in Seattle. Joining Greg for the third year in a row will be renowned Singapore Math educator Dr. Yeap Ban Har.
Greg will host his New England Math Institute for K-8 educators on July 30-31, 2018 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Joining Greg will be Dr. Yeap Ban Har, John San Giovanni, Dr. Jennifer Bay-Williams, Cathy Kuhns, Tammy Tang and Greg Tang Jr.
Greg will host his Mid-Atlantic Institute for K-8 educators on August 6-7, 2018 in Baltimore. Joining Greg will be Dr. Yeap Ban Har, Cathy Kuhns, and Dr. Nicki Newton.
3-day Math Plus Conference. Greg will host the 5th annual Math Plus Conference in Kansas City, Missouri on July 10-12, 2018. Greg's amazing lineup of speakers this year includes Dr. Yeap Ban Har, Dr. Juli Dixon, Graham Fletcher, Dr. Nicki Newton, Dr. Jennifer Bay-Williams, Dr. Sandy Atkins, Cathy Kuhns, and Dr. Monica Neagoy. Many teachers have described Math Plus as the best conference they have ever attended.
Parent Workshops. In just one hour, Greg makes sense of new and unfamiliar teaching methods by focusing on three important aspects of effective math instruction: visualization, reasoning and number sense. Parents come away with an instant appreciation of visual models, number bonds, and the work our teachers are doing, and in a stunning turnaround, even the most vocal critics become supportive and enthusiastic about learning more. Greg’s parent workshops are some of the most important work he does.
Author Visits. Since 2001, Greg has visited more than 750 schools across the U.S., Canada and Asia. He continues to do a limited number of visits each year. Principals, teachers and parents rave about his ability to engage and excite even the most reluctant learners. Whether it's 50 or 500 students, Greg makes math a true joy for children of all ages.