Thursday, June 6, 2013

Math Mammoth Blue Series (TOS Review)

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The math program that we use in our house has worked very well for my kids. One thing that has bothered me about it was that it doesn't put a lot of emphasis on counting money, measuring, reading clock. Recently, I was offered the opportunity to review Math Mammoth and I was able to pick a some supplementary topics from the Blue Series.

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Math Mammoth was created by Maria Miller, a math teacher who has a master's in degree in math and who became a housewife and homeschooler. While tutoring other children she found other math programs inferior and created Math Mammoth especially for homeschoolers. The simplicity of this program is that it is self-teaching and doesn't require a teacher's manual.

The Math Mammoth Blue series are work texts that concentrate on specific topics. They can be used to supplement to a math curriculum, review, or as a means to help a child who is behind. I was able to review:
  •  Clock - (Grades 1-3) which covers reading the clock, telling time intervals, and understanding the calendar.
  •  Money - (Grades 1-3) which covers counting U.S. coins, count change, and solve problems.
  •  Measuring 1 - (Grades 1-3) teaches all units of customary and metric system and some conversions.
  •  Measuring 2  - (Grades 4-6) teaches all units of customary and metric system and some conversions between the units, including using decimals and fractions with measuring units.
I received all of this in PDF format which was enabled for annotation (you can fill in the answers on the computer). While I can see the benefit of this feature I opted to print the work text out since I felt it would be easier for Chantry read and do.

Each unit contained a table of contents, an introduction, and a handy list of 'Helpful Resources on the Internet', which included at least a page and sometimes more of links to help supplement your child's learning experience. Just this section alone could provide a lot of learning experience for your child.

I first printed off worksheets from Clock and Money work texts and had Chantry work through them. The first thing I noticed was Chantry completed without any struggle. When I noticed this I moved ahead in the work text into the higher concepts, but he went through all them with ease. Yes, he is a 4th grader, but much of what he has been taught about money and clocks in our current math program has been taught in one or two lessons. I was happy to see that some real life learning has been happening in our house!

We next moved on to Measuring 1. Out of all the units I reviewed I would have to say I found this one the most confusing and at times the questions just seemed pointless. I liked the inclusion of concrete, hands-on measuring, but there were some questions and activities I felt were too abstract or maybe not even necessary for for a 1st-3rd grader to completely understand. One thing I did notice that this unit was the only one I received that mentioned it had been aligned to Common Core Standards.

While doing the review Chantry was struggling with converting feet into yards and vice versa and I first looked into the Measuring 1 unit, but there was only a small amount of practice with conversion. So I next opened up the Measuring 2 unit  and hit the jack-pot. There was a lot more conversion practice, which is mentioned in the description, and overall I just liked the feel of the whole unit better. The Measuring 2 unit is one that I will be referencing over and over.

Head on over Math Mammoth where you can browse and look at samples all that they have to offer, take an assessment test, watch a video on how Math Mammoth came to be and more. I do recommend spending quite a bit of time browsing and looking at samples since there is so much offered it can be overwhelming.

For the most part I found the math problems in the Blue Series to be strait forward and easy to understand. The Blue Series would be a great supplement to any math program or use for remedial learning.  Also for the price you really can't go wrong!

The Blue Series units are available in printed books or PDF download:
Clock - $4.00 (PDF), contents
Money - $3.25 (PDF), contents
Measuring 1 - $4.50 (PDF), contents
Measuring 2 - $4.00 (PDF), contents

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