Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Math Mammoth - Green Series {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

I have one kid for which math concepts do not come easy. So whenever I get a chance to try something different that will reinforce the concepts or make them easier for her, I'm willing to to give it a look. Most recently, we got a chance to review some Green Series Worksheet collections from Math Mammoth. Kennady and I first heard of Math Mammoth when we reviewed the Light Blue series for Grade 5 in 2011, and we had a pretty good experience with it then. So good, in fact, that at that time I purchased the Make It Real Learning series! I was interested to see what Green had to offer us too.
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The Green Series are worksheet collections, each set focusing on a math topic. Each worksheet in a collection give practice in computation and conceptual understanding, and there are word problems included too. Each collection in the series contains material that spans several grades. They are ideal for comprehensive review on specific topics. These worksheets are compiled from the grade level Golden series.

We chose to try:
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How did we use it? Kennady is using another math curriculum that doesn't include a lot of written work, so these supplemental worksheets were perfect for reviewing, practicing, and even testing what she was learning. Most of her focus this year has been on Fractions, and of course understanding and working with fractions requires a good grasp of multiplication and division. She is doing well with fractions, but needs reinforcement. And while she has learned a little about decimals in previous years and has done pretty well with those too, I wanted her to have some worksheets to help her as her math program transitions from fractions to decimals.

We started off by using the Multiplication and Division worksheets as quick practice review. Certain times tables, like 6s, 7s, and 8s, are much harder for her to remember, so I had her do some practice worksheets to remind her of those math facts. She also used the worksheets to review skills like estimating and rounding, and get additional practice in longhand multiplication and division.

We made the most use of the fractions worksheets. The review and practice in working with equivalent fractions really helped her solidify her understanding of it.

We only used a few of the decimals worksheets, just as introductory material, but we will be making much more use of them as we continue.

The multiplication and division worksheets have been providing review to keep her math facts sharp, and she does a couple of them each week. I've even given her the same one to do more than once, to see if she can improve her time from one week to the next. These worksheets include tips on 'mental math' and encourage using logic and seeing patterns to solve math problems. While working with fractions, I've noticed that Kennady needs some help with finding multiples and factors - there are plenty of worksheets in the Multiplications and Division set that provide the review, practice, and skill-building she needs! The fractions worksheets are proving useful to reinforce what she is learning, and I'm finding that they make great cumulative review quizzes! And though we haven't gone very far into the decimals worksheets, we are using them to make connections between fractions and decimals, and they will continue to be used as cumulative review as we go along.  Since each worksheet is only one page, it doesn't take much time when used as a review - between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the material - and when used as an introduction to something a little new, it's short enough so that it's not intimidating. Since Kennady doesn't like math much to begin with, I like being able to give her the work in smaller, less frightening, chunks!

Oh, and I should also point out that the pdf version of these worktexts can be filled out using the typewriter tool. We chose to print out the worksheets we wanted to use, simply because that's what Kennady prefers and it avoided tying up the computer unnecessarily. But I know that for some families, that would be a fantastic option to have!

What we liked best:
  • we could pick and choose from among the worksheets and do them in any order - perfect for sharpening skills and for reviewing material.
  • just enough color to keep attention, and just enough of the simple graphics to illustrate the concepts (for example, circles or rectangles divided into fractions so the student can see that 3/5 and 6/10 are equivalent) but the pages are clean and uncluttered. Very helpful for my daughter that is easily distracted visually. She needs to see how the concept works, but if there are cartoons or lots of things to look at, she will turn math class into doodle/daydream class. Math Mammoth is the right balance for her. 
What I need to mention:
  • I would have loved if the pages had been labeled somehow letting us know what the corresponding grade level for each page would be.
  • these are supplemental worksheets, so there is a minimal amount of teaching included in this particular set
  • the answer keys are just that - they contain the answers to the worksheets, but no teaching tips or extra explanations. I didn't use the answer keys very much, but did find it a little extra work on my part to match the answers to the correct problems, since the answer key is not laid out the same way (in order to save space - it's fewer pages than the worktext). 
  • keep in mind that these contain some duplicate content with the Golden Series.
 Our bottom line: These supplemental worktexts are the perfect complement to our "regular" math program, providing as-needed review and practice, and I am also going to continue to use them that way as well as using them for testing her understanding.

Would you like to invite Math Mammoth to your homeschool? Here's what you need to know:
Visit the website at: http://www.mathmammoth.com/
You may be interested in using the free Math Mammoth Placement Tests to help you decide which level is best for your student. Also, check out the Free Samples available.

Math Mammoth products include:
Pricing: The Green Series worktexts are available as downloads. Prices for the individual worktexts vary. (I listed the prices of the ones we used above.) The entire series of Golden/Green worktexts can be purchased as a package for $65 (for download) or $70 (for CD).

Recommended Ages: The Green Series covers math topics for grades 3-7. (I listed the grade levels for the ones we used above.) Math Mammoth offers a wide range of math products for students at all grade levels.

You can also follow author Maria Miller at Homeschool Math Blog, which has tips and ideas to help you teach math.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog for more information and to read other Crew member reviews. Crew members reviewed several different products - so be sure to check out their thoughts on the other Math Mammoth series!

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