Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Math Mammoth: A Review

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With math products for first through eighth grade, Math Mammoth provides a mastery approach to learning.  A long time is spent on each of the topics, and not too many topics are taught per grade.  We had the privilege of using the Light Blue Series complete curriculum for grade 4.  

We received the downloadable version which included two separate worktexts, an answer key for each worktext, tests (and answers), cumulative review worksheets,  and printable fraction cutouts.  Text A covers addition, subtraction, patterns, graphs, place value, multi-digit multiplication, time, and measuring.  Text B has the student focusing on division, geometry, fractions, and decimals.

I had Paige do a few pages from each chapter, more if I noticed she was struggling.  She said one thing she liked was that the pages had some color on them.  Many math programs are simply black and white, but she appreciated the use of color.

We worked through everything but geometry, fractions, and decimals.  Division is a bit more difficult for Paige, but she was getting a handle on it as we worked through the problems.

Some of the word problems were a little bit confusing, but we were able to figure them out.  The section on multiplication described two methods of computation.  The first was extremely confusing to me until I figured it out.  The second was the "old-school" method that I learned when I was a kid.  Since I had already explained that method to Paige, I told her to just do it the second way.

I really like the way the curriculum teaches a concept and then provides real life word problems.  Some questions ask more than just the math concept, which allows the student to be somewhat creative.  For example, the section on temperature asked Paige to "describe a situation to fit these temperatures."  For -12 degrees F, she wrote, "'Freezing, stay indoors."  She wrote, "Hot, go swimming to keep cool," for 102 degrees F.  Her answers made me laugh.

There are two companies through which purchases can be made.  The full set for fourth grade is $34.00.  Each separate worktext can be purchased alone for $17.50 as well.  They each include the items listed above, as well as a worksheet maker and Soft-Pak (if purchasing from Kagi) which includes a language arts and two testing programs.

The other grades have a slight difference in price depending on grade.  Discounts are available when purchasing multiple grades.  The entire set of the light blue series can be purchased for $136 (downloadable) or $141 (CD).  Grades 1-3 and grades 4-6 are each available in a downloadable version for $68.  When you consider how much some math curricula cost, these are amazing prices, and the product is definitely worth it.

There are many other products available from Math Mammoth such as Books by Topic, Worksheets by Grade, Worksheets by Topic, and Real-Life Math.  Check them out.  


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