Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Monday, November 14, 2011

Math Mammoth - Light Blue Series - 1st Grade

I'm going to cut to the chase here and state up front that I dislike math. If you've read any of my previous posts on the subject, you'll see that I've made that abundantly clear. Knowing that I approach it with this bias, I really do try to tackle it head on, and jump in with both feet. So, when the opportunity to review Math Mammoth arose, I eagerly got to work with the girls.

We've been using the Light Blue series, and I absolutely love it! You can look over the available curriculum and grade levels to decide where to start your child, and/or take one of the placement tests. Math Mammoth creator Maria Miller works overtime to make sure you not only get to the right level, but that you are completely satisfied. As for our family, I looked over the choices and decided upon the Light Blue series, 1st grade. 

I was/am delighted with what we received, a full year's curriculum, which is divided in 2 sections -A and B, teacher helps, tests, answer keys, game ideas and suggestions, worksheet makers, oh I know I'll forget something here...

I have a 1st and 2nd grader, and the older needs a little more time and practice before she really understands some of the math concepts, so this level has turned out to be a wonderful choice.

Here is what you can expect your student to learn with this series (this is from the website):

The two student books (A and B) for 1st grade cover the following topics:

•addition and subtraction concept and basic facts within 0-10

•place value with 2-digit numbers (a.k.a. tens and ones)

•some adding and subtracting within 0-100

•some geometry and measuring topics

•reading clock to the half-hour

•counting and using coins (US, Euro, or Canadian)

Some main features of the Lightblue Series books are:

•focuses on understanding of mathematical concepts

•uses clear explanations, lots of visual exercises and pattern exercises

•mastery oriented: concentrates fairly long on a topic, with fairly few topics per grade

•emphasizes mental math and developing number sense

•very little teacher preparation needed

I like the term "mental math". That's been one area that we've really struggled in - being able to figure out the problems in their head(s). There are sections for ever few pages that encourage students to do the math in their mind, and it's helped the girlies quite a bit.

We, (okay it's me) also like the variety in the methods taught in learning the various concepts. There are images to count, charts to fill in, word problems, games. Now, I do have to be upfront and say that while *I* loved these methods, my girls weren't always thrilled at having to think :) hee hee. But boy, they've made some impressive progress.

The teacher prep is as simple as anyone could ask for, since there's  like, none. Directions are aimed toward the student, so there's not a lot of explaining to do.

We received our curriculum as a download, which has made our lives even easier. All I have to do is print off the sheets we need for the day (which has been 2-3 average), and then we get to work. Easy Peasy! There is a CD and a print version available if you prefer though.

What else to say? I love this program, and we'll be keeping this one for our math studies in the grades to come. It's been a great fit for our family, and Math has been much less of a chore. You can visit their website here and see if it will work for you.

You can also read what other crewmates had to say about Math Mammoth over here...

Math Mammoth
Ages: Curriculum available for grades 1-8
Price: $34.00 for the Light Blue Series Grade 1 full year curriculum - download. Individual workbooks/worktexts available, including print version, see website for more info.

**I received a free download of the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series- Grade 1 curriculum in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.**

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