Nothin' 2 Prove

The building of Gunn Ranch Academy one caliche rock at a time; our friends, family, passions, learning adventures and our little piece of HIStory in the making!

Crew Review: Math Mammoth 1st Grade

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Math Mammoth offers high quality mathematics curriculum materials at very affordable prices.

They offer a wide range of products from full blown complete grade curriculum to individual topic workbooks.  For review we received Grade 1 Complete Curriculum (Light Blue Series).

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The Light Blue series from Math Mammoth is their full elementary curriculum for grades 1-6.

Each level consists of two student worktexts (A & B), a separate answer key for each, and cumulative reviews and tests. The download version also has a worksheet maker and an option for the student to fill in the worksheets using the computer.

The Math Mammoth website has links for several purchase options. The materials are offered in download form (which is what we received) for $34.00 for the whole Grade 1 set, CD form for $39.00,   and printed workbook options are also available. (See website for more information.)

Math Mammoth had its start in 2002 when Maria Miller, who has a Master’s degree  in mathematics, was tutoring homeschooled children and took notice of the difficultly parents were having in explaining math concepts. This led to her writing workbooks for specific topics, which led to a series of workbooks, then in 2007 the Light Blue series of complete grade levels was created.

Math Mammoth is basically a mastery-based approach to learning, with some overlap of concepts between grades as necessary to concrete the topics together.

There are some simple manipulatives that are helpful to use with the curriculum such as a 100 bead abacus, analog clock that you can move the hands on, ruler, all the obvious hands-on stuff you need to teach math concepts. (Measuring cups, kitchen scales, thermometers with other grade levels.)

So how does it work?

Well, it’s not a “scripted” curriculum, so you don’t just sit and read the instructions to your child, leaving you both stuck if something doesn’t make sense.
The student work-texts have instructions and explanations  built right into the problems.

At the very beginning of each chapter is a short “introduction” for the teacher with some advice, free online games and other resource links.

The curriculum is as easy as print and go! Sit down with your child and start reading together, letting the child work problems himself as you see he understands the concepts.

As the child gets older the materials very easily lend themselves to independent study.

The scheduling of the worksheets will vary with the lesson and the student’s progress. That’s what I really like most about this program! There are no “rigid” lessons to follow that must be completed all at once or the student gets lost.  If you need a schedule, guidelines for scheduling are included with a chart you can fill in for your number of school days and recommendations on allowing several days for testing and cumulative reviews.

For more specific information on the 1st grade Light Blue series from the website:

The four main areas of study for first grade are:

  1. The concepts of addition and subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction facts (chapters 1-2; chapter 4);
  2. Developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value till 100 (chapter 3 and chapter 7);
  3. Developing understanding of measuring lengths as iterating length units (chapter 6); and
  4. Reasoning about attributes of geometric shapes, such as the number of sides and the number of corners, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes (chapter 6).

Additional topics we study in first grade are clock to the half hour (chapter 5) and counting coins (chapter 8).

First Grade Math at Gunn Ranch Academy

This year has been a very successful year for my first grader in so many ways.

I’ve really put some major thought into mathematics instruction at the elementary level through my years of homeschooling. My more relaxed approach to hands-on learning and teaching Levi when he is excited and ready to learn has been the key to our success this year in all areas of learning.

When faced with the opportunity to review a full grade math program at the end of our “grade” year, I realized this was a blessing in disguise.

We’ve used some online math resources, played lots of games (which in my opinion is the golden egg of teaching numbers, counting, and spacial concepts!), done lots of “kitchen” math together, and many other hands-on learning activities. But so far, I haven’t introduced too many sit-in-your-chair worksheets. Really, until just recently, Levi hasn’t been wired to sit and write. But as his writing and attention spans both improve, introducing seat-work to him has come added confidence to his learning.

The download of our materials was fast and easy. I printed the 145 Worktext A and sat down with my boy and we got started.

He was a little frustrated with the beginning review pages because they were so easy, so we skipped those. As we began working, he LOVED working the worksheets because they were so easy to complete.  We usually end up completing 2-3 workpages before he is ready to move on to something else. We work the pages three days per week and play card games and continue to use hands-on activities such as cooking to supplement his learning. We will continue to use the workpages throughout the summer and should be ready for the next grade in the Fall!

The program has helped me to realize just how much Levi has learned and to evaluate his progress. I’m thrilled to have such a valuable resource to use for our mathematics journey!

We have used other Math Mammoth products in the past and I will continue to rely on them to provide us solid math instruction I can trust.

*Don’t forget to check out my crew mates’ adventures with Math Mammoth!

Enjoy Your Journey,


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One thought on “Crew Review: Math Mammoth 1st Grade

  1. Pingback: Looking Back on our 2013 TOS Crew Favorites | Nothin' 2 Prove

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