Friday, September 10, 2010

America's Math Teacher

Today we are looking at America's Math Teacher, a web based math program.
America's Math Teacher

This program was designed by a math teacher to prepare kids for algebra by reinforcing topics already covered in any math program 4th grade - Algebra with a hybrid of drill and review.

This program has a few different components.
  • Videos - There are 4 levels of web based videos to chose from (Basic Math Skills, Advanced Math Skills, Pre-Algebra Concepts and Algebra). When you subscribe, you have access to all the levels.  This allows you to visit any topic needed for review while organizing the topics into common subjects, helping you to find what you are looking for faster.
  • Worksheets - Each level has its own style of worksheets available to reinforce what was discussed in the video for that day. In the lower levels, there are daily drills on math facts, along with review problems on the topic of the day.
  • Evaluation Center - Timed quizzes and exams to take after each topic is completed, to ensure mastery of the topic   
  • Resource Center - A list of NCTM Standards, worksheets, and speed drills in the same format found on the Basic and Advanced Math worksheets.
In addition to drill, this program does spiral, which means topics come up again and again, adding to the review and reinforcement that is at the heart of this program.

This program could work well if you have many kids to teach or an independent learner.  You can still use your regular math program, but whenever a topic comes up that they can't quite remember, it can be quickly found in this program.  Watch the video, print out a sheet, and try a few problems using that skill.  Many of the programs features are downloaded as pdf files, so you could set folders up for each child, ready for them to open as needed.  This program could also be used as a beginning of the year refresher or a summertime help to retain skills.

At our house, we have tried spiraling programs.  But both of my children are big picture learners.  They need the whole concept introduced without any other topics hanging around.  They get extremely frustrated with bits and pieces.  Because of this big picture learning, they tend to work a long time within a topic, doing harder and harder problems until they own that topic.  Review makes them feel like they are going backwards, instead of continually nibbling small bites of the topic sandwich.  And since this program isn't really designed for introducing topics without a primary instruction source (there is not a lot of "why this works" explanation), I found it very difficult to use this program.  I have spent a lot of tough years understanding how my kids learn math, and deviation from this tends to lead to months of math frustration before we end up back on course.  I tried this program briefly with my kids as instructed by the makers, but within a few lessons I was hearing the familiar frustrations and had to back off.

However, this program could work well if what you need is a drill based spiraling supplement or even just someone impartial to repeat and review topics for you.  It would be especially handy if that explanation is needed when you are busy. 

The Homeschool Memberships for this web based math instruction are priced at $195/year which gives you access to everything on the site. America's Math Teacher

You can also see free samples here.
America's Math Teacher Free Lessons

If a web based math is not what you are looking for, the creator of this program also has print materials available at the Math Essentials website.
Math Essentials

No comments:

Post a Comment