Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Math Mammoth: Blue Series {Review}

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Before I share my review, I have a confession…..we already use Math Mammoth as our main math curriculum! A couple of years ago I purchased the complete Light Blue Series at a super discounted price and we have been using it ever since!

However even though we use Math Mammoth as our main math curriculum, I had been thinking I would really like to try some of the worktexts by topic. When the opportunity to review Math Mammoth came along, I jumped at the opportunity to try some of the worktexts!

Math Mammoth was created by Maria Miller who has a master’s degree in mathematics.  This math curriculum uses a mastery based approach to teaching math.

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I chose to review the following four worktexts from the Blue Series. The books in this series cover one particular topic per book.

Decimals 1 (grade 4-5) This book deals with decimal numbers that have tenths and hundredths - numbers with maximum of two decimal digits. The idea here is to lay a strong conceptual foundation in students' minds so that they can do the basic operations with these decimals mentally.

Measuring 1 (grades 1-3) is a worktext that covers measuring, length, weight, and volume.  The book contains both textbook explanations and exercises, and is designed to be very easy to teach from, requiring fairly little teacher preparation; however in several lessons you need to find beforehand measuring equipment such as a ruler or a scale or measuring cups.

Place Value 4 (grades3-4)the focus is on place value with thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands. We also study numbers with millions a little.

Statistics and Probability (grades5-7)  The book starts with the easiest topics, such as reading different graphs. These lessons are meant for 5th grade. Some are useful even in earlier grades. Then we study histograms and various kinds of line graphs, including how to draw them.

The next section deals with mean, median, and mode—the three measures of central tendency—how to use them, and how these concepts relate to line and bar graphs. When calculator use is allowed in the problem, it is marked with a little calculator symbol.

I chose these particular topics to supplement our light blue series and work more in depth with one topic at a time that I know my boys really enjoy and/or could use some extra work in.

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What I like about Math Mammoth

The mastery approach.

Each book has an introduction that explains exactly what math concepts are covered in that particular book. The detailed table of contents helps you find a particular topic quickly without a lot of searching through the PDF. Maria also provides a wonderful list of internet resources for additional math practice on the topic being covered.  Worksheets and games that relate to that topic. 

I chose the PDF downloads and all of the pages are in color and each page is formatted nicely with color coded boxes throughout the page. Both boys love that the pages are colorful.  In addition the PDF version is enabled for annotation. Meaning that your student can fill in the pages on the computer using the typewriter tools in Adobe Reader version 9 or greater. 

Concepts are presented and taught several different ways giving the student more than one way to understand and learn a concept. 

These books are so affordable-each of the worktexts above are between $2.50 and $4.50 each.

I like that we can take as much time as needed with a concept and each of my children can work at their own pace.

I know some folks want to print all of the worksheets at once. I tend to print only a chapter or two at a time as we go. When we are nearing the end of a chapter I will print the next.

Math Mammoth is self teaching which means it is not labor intensive for the teacher. I do help the boys with concepts they may be stuck on and I check their work daily. Each book comes with an answer key.

There are placement tests available to help you determine where to start with your student. There is also a free download of over 300 worksheets for you to get a feel for the Math Mammoth curriculum.

If you are looking for a complete math curriculum or are looking to supplement a math curriculum you are already using, Math Mammoth might just be what you are looking for!

You can read the Math Mammoth Blog here.

 

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