Friday, April 25, 2014

CTC Math Review

CTC Math Review

We were given the opportunity to review CTC Math's 12-Month Family Plan. CTC Math is an online math tutoring program that teaches kindergarten math through calculus. The tutor speaks with an Australian accent, so I found the lessons very enjoyable to listen to. A curriculum appropriate to United States standards can be chosen. There were a few things that seemed odd, like in the geometry lesson when he talked about the kite shape and the trapezium. I don't recall ever having learned that there is a specific "kite" shape, and we call the trapezium a trapezoid here in the United States.

The 12-month program is $118.80. This is the current sale price. The $118.80 allows the subscriber to use CTC Math for the whole family. I used the program with two of my children, one who was struggling and one who needed to review algebra to prepare for his upcoming SAT. My struggling learner truly dislikes math, so she did her lessons begrudgingly. We started with a lesson to help her understand rate, which was what she was having a hard time learning at the point we received CTC Math. Each lesson is very detailed and provides many examples to be sure the student has grasped the concept.

With a better understanding of rate under her belt, she then reviewed fractions, which was her least favorite and least understood math topic. This is all the further she got. She finished this section with a 91% and received a silver award. Whenever students finish a section, they are given an award. A gold award is received when the student achieves 95% or higher. My daughter used CTC Math as a tutoring and review system to enhance her understanding of a couple of topics.

After she listened to the tutor, she then clicked "Questions," which brought up an interactive screen with a question and a field in which to answer. She entered her answer and clicked "Submit." A green check or a red "x" appeared, letting her know her answer was right or wrong. Each lesson provides 10 questions in total. Once the lesson was complete, I had the option of printing out the worksheet with her answers on it. My daughter was also given the option of answering more questions if she had trouble understanding the concept. We did use this "More Questions" option with one of the topics she still struggled with. She could also take standard tests of the information learned in the lesson or a comprehensive test which included previously learned information.

CTC Math Review

My son is in 10th grade. I noticed that the program functions a bit differently for those in higher grade levels. Instead of interactive questions, he was given a worksheet after each lesson. As he worked through the questions on the worksheet, he would then match up his answer with one of the answers provided (in a matching format). He then needed to open a separate tab where he could enter his letter answers. The results page could be opened in conjunction with the worksheet. It didn't disappear when he went back to the worksheet but remained available. He could also zoom in or out of the worksheet if he wanted to have the questions and the possible answers visible at the same time. If he answered a question wrong on the worksheet once he submitted the results, it allowed him to fix the mistake. It then took the average of the three best attempts.

At the beginning of each new week, I received a progress report for each student. This showed the specific topic, the average of the three best attempts, the first attempt, the high attempt, the number of attempts, the number of attempts to pass, and the date passed. This is a very useful form that can be printed out, if need be, for portfolios at the end of the year. It provides an extremely concise picture of what the student learned and his/her math proficiency.

Speed skills can also be practiced. There are four levels of skills, and each level has increasing difficulty. For example, level 1 has addition and subtraction. Level 4 has addition, subtraction, multiplication, division with a remainder, and order of operations.

Because my daughter dislikes math so much, she will probably not continue with this program. My son, however, will continue using this program so that he can learn as much algebra as possible. He is learning quite a bit by using this as his sole math program. He enjoys the fact that it is interactive, though he is not thrilled about the number of problems in some of the lessons or the challenging problems. The nice thing about this program, though, is that it provides multiple attempts. The student doesn't feel defeated when they get a low grade because they know that they can bring it up.

I would recommend CTC Math for anyone with a struggling learner or a child who needs to further understand certain math concepts. It also works well as a stand-alone math program.

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