Sunday, June 2, 2013

Math Mammoth--Make It Real Learning {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

You know I've said it before, but math is not our best subject around here. Well, except for Little Bit; he loves math! Have your children ever said to you, "When am I ever going to use this?"

The past few weeks we have had the opportunity to try out three of the Make It Real Learning workbooks, from Math Mammoth. These workbooks contain activities or problem situations taken from real life, with real data. The problems were written by math teacher, Frank Wilson.

The workbooks we received were:

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals 1, best suited for grades 4-8.Topics covered in this workbook are baking cakes, children making money, cooking in the kitchen, counting candy, measuring liquids, and shopping at sales. Costs $4.99.

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals 4, best suited for grades 4-7. Topics covered in this one are body mass index, target heart rate, scale models, gardening, Iowa caucuses, and Presidential elections. Costs $4.99.

(These could also be purchased as part of a bundle, either in Activity Library, Volume 1 or Volume 2, for a cost of $39.99 per volume)

And one of the States by the Numbers: Mississippi. The problems can be used on grades 3-7, although probably the best fit is for grades 4-6. The problems are based on data from the Census Bureau's 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States. Using this data, the topics covered are place value, rounding, estimation, and fractions and percents. Costs $2.99. (Can be purchased in a bundle of all 50 states, for $19.99)

Yes, you might have guessed that one of the reasons I chose book 1 is that cooking is a big part in our homeschooling. I've seen how my children struggle with figuring out how to cut a recipe in half, or double or triple it. I thought this would be good, to give Botanist Boy more practice.

To be honest, I actually had Jen working on the Fractions, Percents, and Decimals with Botanist Boy, because I know it has always been a struggle for her, too. (Maybe I was avoiding working on these with him, since fractions were always my weak point, too! ;-) ).

One reason I chose book 4 is because of the Botanist Boy's love of plants/gardening/landscaping. Also, he used to enjoy model trains, and miniatures. Jen liked it, because Tim Tebow was mentioned in one of the problems. (Yes. We are still Florida Gator fans, and Tebow fans. ;-) ).

I worked with the boys together on the States book. Botanist Boy did well, but Little Bit (my math-lover) just really struggled. I was afraid to push him too much (I could see him starting to "shut down"), because I was afraid it might damage his love for math. He needs more hands-on, manipulative type math.

Math Mammoth offers many other quality math worktexts and workbooks for grades 1-12. Be sure to check them out. And be sure to read the rest of the Crew members' reviews!

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