Thursday, March 28, 2013

(REVIEW) Math-U-See


 “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I understand. Let me do it, I remember” ~Ancient Proverb 

I was so honored to have been chosen to review Gamma level from Math-U-See.  I have literally studied this curriculum since Abbey began school and I just had not made the purchase jump yet.  
The full level Gamma package comes with the following:

·         Single and Multiple-Digit Multiplication Student Workbook

·         Single and Multiple-Digit Multiplication Instruction Manual (with DVD of all lessons)

·         Single and Multiple-Digit Multiplication Tests

·         Manipulative Block Set 

     The Gamma level covers the following: 

Major Concepts and Skills Include:

  • Using strategies based on place value and properties of operations to multiply
  • Fluently multiplying any combination of whole numbers
  • Solving for an unknown factor
  • Solving abstract and real-world problems involving addition, subtraction, and multiplication
  • Measuring and computing area
  • Relating concepts of area to addition and multiplication

Additional Concepts and Skills:

  • Skip counting as a precursor to multiplication
  • Adding and subtracting time in hours and minutes
  • Multiplying, adding, and subtracting U.S. currency and standard units of measure
  • Representing, recording, and interpreting data
  • Understanding of basic fractions
  • Estimating and solving measurement problems

 How we used it:
To get myself familiar with the program, I first watched the DVDs by myself to learn Mr. Demme’s teaching style.  The videos show him standing in front a class (which remains off screen) teaching the particular lesson and conversing with the class, asking them questions and interacting with them.  Abbey actually liked that there is a classroom on here. I think it made her feel like part of the class to have him look at the camera and ask the questions, and to hear the class on the video answering.  Soon, she was answering right along with them. 

During each lesson in Gamma, he demonstrates a concept with the manipulative blocks—his are larger and are magnetic for teaching purposes on his whiteboard, but Abbey understood which ones he was using and how they coordinated with her set.  She would get out the same blocks and follow along with him as he taught.  While she tells me she doesn’t enjoy playing with the blocks, I really see her “getting” it on a different level than if the blocks were only on his screen and not under her fingertips.  

We found a fun, portable way to keep Abbey's manipulatives at her fingertips!

Abbey’s learning style is very visual, and she really does enjoy learning from videos and DVDs.  Even though these DVDs are not of the greatest picture quality, Abbey did not notice at all, and loved having Math-U-See creator Steve Demme teach her the new math concepts each week.

After each lesson, which is usually less than 10 minutes each, Abbey opens her student workbook and begins working on the lesson concepts just learned on the DVD.  

Math-U-See has recently updated all student workbooks to include more practice in each chapter.  There are seven pages of new concept, review, and application for each lesson---plenty of opportunities to figure out if your child is understanding the new concept or not. 

As we began the work in the student book, I would have Abbey work each “A” worksheet. If she did well, and I could tell she was understanding, I would then have her work one or two problems on each of the next six pages for extra practice, especially focusing on the application problems so that she understands how to apply the new concepts to real life.   If she was struggling through the “A” worksheet and not quite grasping the new work, she was required to work the entire “B” worksheet.  If I felt she was still struggling, an entire “C” worksheet was done.  And yes, I would let her take a few days to get through a lesson if necessary.   

I love, love, love that Math-U-See says to the us, the teachers—"mastery of a new concept can take two hours or two weeks--listen to your child!"

The program emphasizes mastery of each concept before moving on.  “Knowing how to divide is important, understanding when to divide is equally important.” ~Math-U-See Instruction Manual. 

More tips for success with this program:

·         Build—Use the manipulatives to demonstrate and model problems from the instruction manual.
·         Write –Write down the step-by-step solutions as you work through the problems together, using the manipulatives.
·         Say—Talk through the why of the math concept as you build and write. 

Here’s what I think:
While Abbey is still not jumping up and down to do her math each day, I have seen a real change in her. She is finally understanding that pesky Times Table and is feeling proud of herself in terms of math mastery. I see her moving more and more quickly through each worksheet and enrichment activities.  I can verbally quiz her now and instead of scrunching up her face is utter frustration, she thinks for a split second and answers the math fact! This alone makes Math-U-See worth its cost!


Here’s what Abbey thinks:
I can sum that up in one statement she made recently:  “You have GOT to tell Claire’s (her BFF) mom about this program, Mama!” 

 The Math-U-See site offers sample videos, sample pages from each level, and free placement testing so you can decide which level is best for your child. The levels are not determined by grade level, so I encourage you to take time on their website, and I especially encourage you to make the purchase, considering it an investment in your child's future. 

How to purchase: 

 Gamma Instruction Pack (includes Instruction Manual with full solutions and DVD): $44.00

 There were many levels of Math-U-See reviewed by my fellow Crew Mates, so please click the banner below to see their experiences! 

©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your review. I have a little one working on her multiplication tables, too. I've been interested in learning more about Gamma. Thanks! ~Stopping by from the Crew.


I am greatly encouraged by your comments! Please engage!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

All posts are my intellectual property and are copyrighted.