Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Math Mammoth

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We were privileged to use the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series at Long Leaf Academy years ago (you can read that review and see how it worked for us then) and we were excited to use Math Mammoth  again this year with the Make It Real Learning Series.  We were able to put three of the different workbooks to the test to see if the kids could answer that age-old question -- "When will I EVER use math in real life?"  I don't know if your kids are anything like mine, but if I've heard that question once, I'm sure I've heard it at least a thousand times.  No matter what is going on in any given math lesson, my kids are bound to ask WHY they have to learn math and WHEN will they use it again.  I'm not really sure why they've decided that math is so awful and I'm working hard to change their thinking.  (And the funny thing is, when we were at the orthodontist today, we read through the answers that my youngest children gave at their initial assessment years ago.  Can you believe that BOTH of them said that their favorite subject was math?)

Because they are so adamantly opposed to all things math, I've looked for unique ways to make math come alive to them.  Make It Real Learning is a great tool to help students see just how important math really is -- and to understand that they WILL use it in their everyday life.  It is comforting to find workbooks that perfectly fit the needs of each of my children -- and the Make It Real Learning Series has something for everyone with over 20 different workbooks from which you can choose.  You can easily find supplemental material for students in grades 3 - 12 for a super-reasonable price.  All of the Make It Real Learning books are $4.99 each -- except for the States by the Numbers books which are $2.99 each.  There is a States by the Numbers book for all 50 states.

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Which workbooks did we put to the test and how did they work at Long Leaf Academy?

  1. Arithmetic II was an excellent review tool for my 6th grade Princess.  The 45-page workbook is written for students in 4th - 7th grade and reviews the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, statistics, and decimals.  The math problems are based around some of her very favorite things -- candy, baseball, and the iPad.  I especially liked the portion of the workbook that focused on budgeting for a trip and thinking through all that makes a trip possible -- food, gas, and hotel.  This was perfect as we prepared for their trip to California with the LEGO Robotics Team. 
  2. Sets, Probability, and Statistics I is written for students in 6th - 10th grades but worked well as a tutorial for my Junior as she prepares to take the ACT for the very first time.  The 46-page workbook covers mean, median, and mode, counting, Venn diagrams, permutations and probability.  Although I thought the candy bar questions were the best, my Junior preferred the Province discussion about license plates in Canada.  That girl loves Canada -- and finding math problems that she could relate to was a SCORE for me.  My 9th grade Boy Scout is also using this Statistics workbook but the soccer problems are by far his favorite.
  3. States by the Numbers is the workbook that I just got downright tricky with when I introduced it to the Boy Scout and Princess.  I didn't introduce it as a math workbook at all.  Instead, I included it as the final portion of their Mississippi State Notebooks that they were finishing in History.  Yes, I'm guilty of sneaking in a little extra math here, but all of the problems were based on the Mississippi Census.  This 38-page workbook offered practice exercises in estimating, percent, fractions, place value, and rounding.  They jumped right in and completed it together.  This was a great way to see math at work in real life. 

In order for us to get the most out of each of these workbooks, I printed each child a copy of the one they would be working through as soon as I downloaded the file.  We 3-hole punched their personal copy and added it to their 3-ring binder.  We do math lessons daily so it was easy to spend time working through the pages of the Make It Real Learning workbooks.  I had each of the kids spend 15 - 30 minutes each day working on the various math problems, then I looked over their work and made corrections as needed.  There were very few complaints and they didn't mind the short lessons.

Math Mammoth offers both complete curriculum and supplemental materials for students of all ages and all abilities.  Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the free placement tests to help you assess what your students have learned as the school year winds down.  Math Mammoth author Maria Miller would love the opportunity to help you decide how to best provide success for your students.  Visit the website and  talk to her today.  You'll be glad you did.

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 I was given the opportunity to use and review part of the Make It Real Learning Series by Math Mammoth  as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

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