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Math Mammoth

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Math Mammoth

I hate to say I was less than thrilled to think about reviewing another math program. We love our MathUSee, and when I first looked at Math Mammoth I thought, "Oh boy, not another workbook." I tried to keep an open mind, thinking, "but what if it’s not just another workbook?"

Let me digress for a moment. Math has been about our toughest subject to find something that "works." Morgan has been ok with most of the programs we have tried, but always less than thrilled with math in general. Taylor disliked everything we tried until we found MathUSee, and hasn’t really cared for anything else that we have viewed for review purposes. (We haven’t looked at any other math programs since we found a perfect fit with MathUSee.)

That being said, we looked through the many different options that Math Mammoth offers, and Morgan decided to try Decimals 1 and 2 books,  from the Blue Series.

Math Mammoth Decimals 1 math book coverMath Mammoth Decimals 2 math book cover

I talked Taylor into giving the Grade 3 books from the Light Blue Series a try, and she reluctantly agreed.

cover for Math Mammoth Grade 3-A Complete Worktextcover for Math Mammoth Grade 3-B Complete Worktext

Both the Blue and Light Blue series contain problems with explanations, while the Golden and Green series have problems only. The Blue series is for grades 1-5 and  the Light Blue series is for grades 1-4, while the Golden and Green series include grades 3-8.

Once we received our downloads, I printed off several worksheets to begin with. One reason I chose the series with explanations was to try this out as independent study. When I began to view the worksheets, I was pleasantly surprised that indeed, these did NOT look like "just another workbook."  I really love the way she puts several different patterns together to show the child the relationship between patterns of numbers, not just printing a whole page of random numbers to add or subtract. I thought Taylor would just roll her eyes and say "oh no, not more addition problems…" but she too realized that this was more than just pages of practice problems. She really liked it! Wow!

Maria Miller from Math Mammoth says that the Light Blue series:

  • focuses on understanding of mathematical concepts
  • uses clear explanations, lots of visual exercises and pattern exercises
  • mastery oriented: concentrates fairly long on a topic, with fairly few topics per grade
  • emphasizes mental math and developing number sense
  • very little teacher preparation needed

    She says that this curriculum aims to concentrate on a few major topics at a time and study them in depth. We’ve chosen that method before with other subjects and it really seems to fit our style better than continually spiraling step-by-step where each lesson teaches a little bit about a different topic from a previous or next lesson, including a lot of review problems from previous lessons. My girls get really bored going over and over and over the same things with not enough detail to make them interesting before moving on. They more enjoy diving into something and learning details to mastery before moving on.

    I’m really excited to have found this program, because it seems to fit well with MathUSee for extra practice and acts as a perfect self-directed study for day’s I’m not able to sit and explain things in detail. I believe the part I love the most, though, is the way the program emphasizes mental math and "number sense".  It really has the flavor of a critical thinking program. This program would definitely be a stand alone math curriculum as well.

    Morgan has enjoyed the decimal books. She says that the explanations are very clear and the exercises don’t overload you with boring review problems over and over. Morgan says she loves how Maria includes not just "how", but also "why."  Those are Morgan’s own words, so I believe Maria has accomplished her goal of "teaching math so students can really understand what is going on"!

    I’m so happy to have been introduced to this program, and I will most certainly recommend this to others, because, honestly, I think this program has something for EVERYONE. This is one of the most affordable programs I have seen, as well. I really have a hard time imagining anyone NOT being thrilled to have found Math Mammoth!!

    For each of the books offered on the website, there is a description and free sample pages. If you subscribe to the newsletter or to the "math teaching" article series, you will receive a package of about 280 free sample sheets!! Wow! Check it out!

    Enjoy your kids!

    Chris

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