Theres a whole lot to like about this well-conceived and inexpensive math program. The main features of this program, according to author Maria Miller, are:
- *Focus is on conceptual understanding rather than rote problem-solving
- *Teacher instructions are right in the book; no need to buy a separate teacher book
- *Clear explanations are written for the student, so the lessons are virtually self-teaching
- *Lessons use lots of visual and pattern exercises
- *Mastery oriented:concentrates on each topic for a long time studying fewer topics per grade than with spiral
- Emphasis is on mental math and number sense
- *Very little teacher preparation is required
- *Content aligned to Common Core Standards
These are all valid claims and sum up this approach nicely. Its linear approach is similar to that of the MCP Math program. Topics are introduced, studied in depth, then the student proceeds to the next topic. Visually, it reminds me of Developmental Math because of the extensive use of pictorial representations. Users posting online have compared the course to Singapore Math, but I dont really see much similarity. While they both emphasize conceptual learning and mental computation skills, Math Mammoth has a much more traditional feel. A distinguishing feature of this program is the authors amazing ability to simplify and clarify math processes so children can understand them easily. Even in printed form, this course is the easiest on the budget using a strictly by-grade comparison. And for those purchasing the complete program on CD (or download), the savings are even greater. Imagine getting a complete, masterfully taught math curriculum for grades 1-7 for less than $150. I would call that frugal and smart.
Each grade level set consists of four components: two student workbooks an (optional) set of Tests and Cumulative Reviews and an Answer Key containing answers to both workbooks and tests. Currently, we carry the curriculum in print format or CD format by the grade level, Grades 1-3 and 4-7 combined on CD, and the entire course on CD. The course is also available as a download (go to mathmammoth.com site) for slightly less than the CD price. Both download and CD have colored student pages.All grade levels of printed materials are now available in your choice of black and white or color. Currently, the CDs also include bonus software Soft-Pak for Windows only (math, language arts and testing).
Student Workbooks A and B for each level have varying numbers of chapters, each focusing on a math topic. These are sometimes very broad. For example, one very large chapter (68 pages!) in Worktext 4-B is simply e