Friday, February 26, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Math Mammoth

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given the opportunity to review several digital items from Math Mammoth - a workbook and worktext program written by Maria Miller. The downloads are designed to help students really understand math concepts. The material is available by concept, by grade level, and you also have the option of choosing a full curriculum. Some series have explanations and practice and some are just practice. It's really up to the user to decide how they will implement Math Mammoth and then decide which products are right for your situation.

As a Math on the Level user, I chose to review items from the blue series to supplement some concepts we are working on right now. My first choice was Multiplication 1- Master the Times Tables. I have been using it with my 2nd grader to introduce him to multiplication. He'd memorized a few problems from the tables, but I needed to make sure he really understood the concept. I used the introduction of groups in sets to help him see that multiplication is really a lot of addition. It also emphasizes that multiplication includes many patterns.

This is a terrific worktext that has both explanations and practice problems. At the cost of $5.00 for the download, you really can't miss with this product.

I also had the chance to use the following Math Mammoth downloads:

Clocks: (cost $3.50)
  • telling time to the half hour, 5 min intervals, and to the minute
  • elapsed time
  • calendar math
  • changing time units
Measuring 1- a hands on approach to: (cost $4.50)
  • length
  • volume
  • weight
  • temperature
  • customary and metric systems
Measuring 2: (cost $4.00)
  • time calculations
  • temperature
  • length
  • weight
  • volume
  • conversions between units
  • customary and metric systems
  • decimals in measuring units
Money: (cost $3.25)
  • counting coins
  • counting and making change
  • dollar amounts
  • mental math
  • solving simple money problems
Multiplication 2: (cost $4.25)
  • multiplying in parts
  • multi-digit multiplication
  • order of operations
  • word problems
  • estimating
Division 2: (cost $5.00)
  • long division and why it works
  • remainder
  • order of operations
  • problems solving
  • divisibility
Each of these Blue Series items includes websites with games that relate to the topic. The kids and I checked some of them out and a favorite was from the money unit. We played a game where we had to click on the least number of coins to give back change at a store. Everyone tried it and they all enjoyed it.

I just love Math Mammoth! I really like how it is so flexible that you can use it on its own or with another program for extra practice, more explanation or just for fun with all the games and websites picked out for you. The cost is nominal for the whole collection ($70 for the complete blue series download or $75 for the complete CD) or you can purchase only what you need for $5 or less. You can also purchase the blue series product which are only for grades 1-3 for $40.

Maria also has a blog- Homeschool Math Blog which I love to visit. There are tutorials, games and general math ideas for parents there. One thing I love about these products is that they are so homeschool friendly. I have found her products and philosophy so helpful as I navigate the world of leaving a formal curriculum behind.

Finally, I'm happy to share with you some new products coming your way from Math Mammoth. There are some new products coming out next week which will be of interest to teachers of older students. Next week she is releasing three new books in the Blue series for grades 5 and 6:
  • Ratios, Proportions, and Problem Solving
  • The four operations (with a touch of algebra)
  • Place Value 5

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