Friday, November 11, 2011

TOS Review: Math Mammoth

While Gess is an excellent reader, one area that she really struggles with is math, which is pretty typical for children with Down syndrome. Because of that I planned on tackling some life-skills math topics such as time, money and measurement this year. So when I saw I had the chance to review Math Mammoth I jumped at it. I was hoping to be able to review at least one of the topics mentioned above, but was pleasantly surprised when they allowed me to review all 3 of them! So what is Math Mammoth?
"Math Mammoth offers affordable, yet quality math worktexts and workbooks for grades 1-8, available as both downloads and printed books. These books concentrate on conceptual understanding and are strong in mental math. The directions in the worktexts are written directly to the student, and are often self-teaching, thus requiring little preparation and involvement from the teacher."
I can certainly vouch for the affordability, quality and ease of teacher preparation. Each of these books allowed us to jump right on in and begin learning. They are visually appealing, engaging, and offer some hands on work to make it perfect for special learners like Gess. As for affordability I would imagine you could not find a better deal anywhere. You can get the Math Mammoth books in a downloadable PDF format for under $5. The Money book is only $3.25, the Clock book is just $4.00 and Measuring 1 is still a bargain at $4.50. You can also purchase the printed book version for a little bit more if you truly want a text book in front of you.

Math Mammoth also offers a complete math curriculum titled the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series which is a full elementary mathematics curriculum for grades 1 -6. The supplemental materials, such as the ones I reviewed, are organized into categories by colors as well. The Green Series are worksheets by topic while the Golden Series offers worksheets by grade. The Blue Series are worktexts by topic and focus on a few specific topics (this is the series that my products came from). They also have a Making it Real Learning series that teaches you to solve problems from real life and States by Numbers that is basic practice using real life data.

So, what did we think and how did Gess like it? Well, I have only had them for about a month and since Gess moves slowly in math (and we had 3 topics to cover) we didn't get that far, but what I can say is that Gess has enjoyed and comprehended every lesson that we have done so far. Let's start by taking a quick look at each one.

Math Mammoth Money
"Math Mammoth Money is a worktext that covers U.S. money-related topics usually encountered during grades 1-3. The book contains both textbook explanations and exercises, and is designed to be very easy to teach from, requiring very little teacher preparation (you do need to find some practice coins before the lessons)."

On the Math Mammoth Money website you will find more information about what all it entails including the following sample pages: the table of contents, practicing with money, adding money amounts, counting change and quarters.

Here Gess is doing one of the hands on activities in the workbook. We have some plastic coins that came with a game we picked up for a buck one time. They work perfectly for this but any fake money or even real money will work. We started with dimes and pennies. Here Gess had to put the appropriate amount in each box. You can also draw them if you wish, but I think this is much better.





I was really impressed with how well she was able to count out money. Here she is counting out change using only dimes and pennies.


This week we added in nickels and she counted pretty well. We have been working on skip counting for quite some time and it has paid off. She has been able to transition from counting in tens (dimes) to fives (nickels) and then ones (pennies) to see how much money she has. There are still times she gets mixed up and tries to keep counting by tens when she hits nickels, so we are taking it slow. Still, this material has her moving along fairly well and I am pleased with it.

Math Mammoth Measuring 1

"Math Mammoth Measuring 1 is a worktext that covers measuring length, weight, volume, and temperature as they are typically covered during grades 1-3.

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.

This book is NOT organized by grade-levels nor with increasing difficulty. Instead, I have grouped together first of all the lessons on measuring length, then measuring weight, then measuring volume, and lastly temperature."

The Math Mammoth Measuring Page tells you all the other information you need to know and has the entire equipment list needed for these lessons, most of which you have laying around the house anyway. It also offers sample pages of the contents, centimeters and millimeters, weight in pounds, using grams, volume, and measuring nearest 1/2 inch.

I really loved the opening lesson that helps explain to the student why a standard form of measurement is important. First we have the student try to measure the length of the table using a shoe (representing a foot). But what shoe do we use? Does it matter? Well, we found out that it did. Here is Gess measuring the table using a big shoe (mine) and a little shoe (hers).

We discovered that our little table was 3 big shoes in length and 4 little shoes. Now we have to see about measuring liquid. It wanted us to fill a bucket or something with cups of water. Again, we want to use a little cup and a big cup.



It took 20 little cups to fill that up! I wonder how many big coffee cups it will take.



It turned out it only took 6 of those! What a difference. Next we logged our answers. I had her fill this in on the board to really see what happened.



Now that we know how important it is to have a standard method of measurement we went on to learning to measure things. So far we are measuring by inches. Gess is really getting handy with a ruler and can tell you to the inch how many inches long something is.

This past week they introduced the 1/2 inch to her. That may take some thinking but I am sure she will get it. I love how the pages are so easy for her to read and use. Just look at the measuring to the nearest half-inch page for an example.

Math Mammoth Clock

"Math Mammoth Clock is a worktext that covers telling time and reading the clock, telling time intervals, and understanding the calendar. It is suitable for grades 1, 2, and 3.

The book contains both textbook explanations and exercises, and is designed to be very easy to teach from, requiring very little teacher preparation...

You will need a practice clock, such as an alarm clock, where the child can turn the clock hands."

The Clock page also has more information and sample pages covering the contents, whole and half hours, half and quarter hours, how many minutes pass, and using the calendar.

I had already purchased a practice clock at a homeschool convention awhile back so we were prepared and ready to start.

Gess also was already familiar with the hands on the clock and could tell time to the hour. What I loved about this book is how it explains more about what the hour means at least relative to other time. For example this week we not only worked on how to tell the time on the clock now but then we had to find one hour or a half hour later and write that time down too. I think it really helped Gess to watch the time pass on the clock.

First I had her set the clock to what the problem called for which for this problem was 6:30.


Once she finds 6:30 we can do the problem. Now it wants us to find a 1/2 hour later. She finds and writes down 7:00. But we are not done yet. Now we have to find yet another 1/2 hour later.



Ok, now we look at the clock and see what time another 1/2 hour later is.

Then we write it down on the worksheet.

Here you have the final answer. Another 1/2 hour later is 7:30.


Eventually you will do it without the clock, but it has been extremely helpful for Gess to see it and move the hands herself.

As I mentioned above Math Mammoth offers many other math topics including a full curriculum for grades 1 through 6. This supplemental material has worked really well for us. To learn more about Math Mammoth visit their website or see what other TOS Homeschool Crew members have to say about it.


As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free digital PDF copy of the Math Mammoth Clock, Money and Measuring1 books for giving my honest opinion and assessment of this product in my review.

3 comments:

PK @ Knee Deep In Grace said...

Excellent review, Lori! I just reviewed this program, myself, and I enjoyed your review, more! =) I love the personal pictures of your daughter using the pages. My teen son wasn't interested in modeling for my blog post. LOL There's an easy rhythm to your writing.

I am happy to be following you, now, via GFC.

Blessings to you and yours,

PK

DANIELLE said...

still confused on what to order, all the series and colors confuse me. i have a daughter that cognitively impaired and would not know where to start. is there a phone number to speak with someone?

Lori said...

They don't have phone support but you can email them. They were EXTREMELY helpful when I was trying to figure out what to choose for Gess. You can find that here?

http://www.mathmammoth.com/contact.php

Also if you look to the right on each page they list several sample pages to give you an idea about what's involved.

I hope that helps!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...