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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Math Mammoth Schoolhouse Review

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Math has never been our favorite subject. It has come easy for some of my kids and not so easy for others. One way I have found to make math more understandable to my kids who struggle with it is to work on real problems that they encounter or may someday. That is one reason we love the Make It Real Learning series from Math Mammoth.

When we reviewed products from Math Mammoth in the past I wanted to get something for Amber because she was a little frustrated with Math at that time. I sent Marie Miller little information about Amber and she suggested we use Geometry I and Introduction to Fractions from the Blue Series, and Arithmetic I from the Make It Real Learning. Marie knew exactly what Amber needed because she loved using Math Mammoth. She wasn't too happy with Geometry, but she loved Arithmetic 1 and Fractions. When we were offered Math Mammoth to review again I asked Amber what she thought. She said, "If they have any more books like the Real Learning I used last year I want that." So we asked for and received States By The Numbers, Arithmetic II, and Sets, Probability & Statistics 1 from the Make It Real Learning series.
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All 3 of our books came as an e-book and they were very easy to download and view on our computer, but because Math isn't our favorite subject I want my girls to be as comfortable as possible when they are working so I emailed my files to our local Staples store and had them printed in black and white and had them spiral bound.

States By The Number is a 38 page e-book available for $2.99 and is recommended for grades 4-7. This may be purchased for all 50 states and of course we chose Nebraska. Place value, rounding, estimation, fractions, and percents are covered by using data from the Census Bureau's 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States. All  50 workbooks include basic instructions and 80 practice problems. If you don't want to print this book out it can be filled in on your computer using Acrobat Reader version 9 or greater.

Sets, Probability, Statistics I is a 46 page e-book available for $4.99. This book focuses on real-world situations using the principles of probability and statistics. The activities are set up to encourage mathematical discussion or they can be used independently. It is recommended for junior high and high school students. If you don't want to print this book out it can be filled in on your computer using Acrobat Reader version 9 or greater.

Arithmetic II is a 45 page e-book available for $4.99. Every day situations are used in the 10 activities using real world information instead of "realistic" data. Buying candy, planning a trip budget, and foreign currency are a few of the situations covered. The recommended grade is 4-7 and uses addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, and statistics.

I have been using Math Mammoth with 2 of my daughters. Delaney (age 11) has been using States by the Number and Sets, Probability, Statistics I, Amber has been using both of those plus Arithmetic II. I had them work together on the first two and Amber is working independently on Arithmetic II. The problems were easier for Amber and she would help Delaney if she got stuck on a problem.

It has been really interesting using the States by the Numbers book. The girls read through the problems together and then they would find the answers themselves. I stayed close by while they were working because it is kinds fun to hear all the facts about NE, and my girls kept asking me if I knew this or if I knew that. We learned about population, personal income, average number of acres on a farm, wrote fractions to compare water area to total area of NE. Not only did my girls work on their math they also got Social Studies covered at the same time.

Both of my girls are enjoying working on the Sets, Probability, Statistics I. They were hooked on the book from the very first problem. Of course it pretty easy to work when you are talking about items the kids love. Learning to predict the probability of the color of the next fruit snack and classifying chocolate bars was very interesting to them and they wanted to know the answers.

After using Arithmetic I Amber had a completely different attitude about math. Thank You Math Mammoth! She said it still isn't her favorite subject but she doesn't mind it now. She is still using Arithmetic II and she said it is just as good as the first book. The problems in this book are things kids can relate too. Candy, baseball, soccer, planning a trip, and iPad sales are a great way to teach math.

My girls have always liked story problems because it gives meaning to the math problems. They get tired of working on page after page of just math problems. They have actually enjoyed working through these books because the problems are things they are interested in.

All the Math Mammoth books can be purchased individually or as a set, and they are all very reasonably priced.

Members of the Schoolhouse Crew could chose their review item from Math Mammoth. Sail over to the Crew Blog to read what other books were used.

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1 comment:

Jen said...

Math is not one of our favorites either. But your review has me excited about possibly using it next year.

Especially the Arithmetic II. Those are things kids need for everyday life.

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