Math-U-See Integer Block Kit
The Integer Block Set is a 133-piece manipulative blocks set that is used from Primer through Algebra 1. This is a set of plastic interlocking blocks with blocks in different colors designed to represent each number from one through ten (there is a hundred block as well). Also includes the Decimal Street/Block Clock poster.
This 133-piece manipulative block set is the only one you'll need for all levels of Math-U-See, from Primer through Algebra 1; includes 20 ones and tens, 13 fives, and 10 each of twos, threes, fours, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, and hundreds blocks, plus the Decimal Street Block Clock poster. The durable cardboard storage box doubles as a carrying case while keeping blocks tidy and simplifying clean up.
Mastery of multiplication for single and multiple-digit numbers. Additional topics include adding and subtracting time in hours and minutes; multiplying, adding, and subtracting US currency; recording and interpreting data; understanding basic fractions and estimating and solving measurement problems.
Basic pre-algebra concepts including negative numbers, exponents, factoring, and ratios. Includes rules of solving equations using the associative, commutative, and other properties; simple operations with polynomials. Also covers geometry concepts of surface area, volume and Pythagorean theorem.
We are excited to offer this "tried and true" homeschool favorite math program! It sets itself apart from other math curricula with its focus on creating effective problem solvers who understand the underlying concepts in math and can apply math to real life situations. Honestly, as an adult, how many of us wish we had learned math in this manner?
Utilizing a Four-Step Approach, Math U See provides a K-12 mastery-based math program.
Truly multisensory, each level offers DVD instruction for the parent/teacher and student, manipulatives (through the Algebra level), and worksheets for practice. Mastery of math concepts is evidenced by the student's ability to teach the parent the concept by the end of the lesson. The authors have chosen to use letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta) to identify the sequence of concepts taught at the elementary level rather than a grade level designation. The Primer level is designed to provide an introductory broad overview and to encourage the love of math. Upper levels are titled more traditionally (Pre-Algebra, Algebra, etc.) Because Math-U-See (MUS) is mastery-based, students may enter the program at any level depending on their concept proficiency. Accordingly, it is highly recommended that all students take a placement test (opens in new window) to ensure mastery of any previously taught concepts. Placement tests are now readily available at rainbowresource.mathusee.com/
Courses provide 30-35 lessons and will usually take about one year to complete, although with mastery as the goal, this is flexible. Lessons follow a similar pattern. Watch the DVD, work through lesson examples in the instruction manual together with the parent, then the student completes worktext activities. These include practice (2-3 worksheets), review (3 worksheets), and an additional activity called the application and enrichment page. These contain topics not included in the lesson as well as familiar concepts in a new format. If your child masters the lessons quickly, skip the additional practice sheets and move to the review. Due to the mastery focus of the course, the amount of time to complete a lesson will vary. You may find it necessary to spend 2-3 weeks on one lesson, while others may be grasped quickly and completed in 2-3 days. For students needing more practice, additional worksheets are available on the MUS website.
Each lesson concludes with a test. Cumulative unit tests are scheduled regularly to assure students retain previous teaching. Each level concludes with a final test covering all concepts taught. These tests begin in Alpha rather than in the Primer.
Course components each play a role in the program's success.
Instructional DVDs provide parent-teachers an introduction to the MUS vision and methodology before transitioning to the instructional lessons. Teaching lessons are designed to be viewed by the parent first, followed by the student and parent (or student only at the upper levels or as the student demonstrates the ability to view independently). Each teaching segment is 5-8 minutes in length (upper levels are longer; 10-15 minutes) and is taught in front of a group of students and parents, who occasionally you will hear responding. The camera is focused on Mr. Demme, who explains and demonstrates the lessons on a large white board with magnetic manipulatives (or drawings). Lessons are clearly explained and easy to follow. Providing much needed teaching support, these DVDs are a big part of the appeal of the program.
The Instruction Manual. is also essential to the program. This hardcover book provides a curriculum sequence and introductory "how-to-use" information that outlines the MUS four-step teaching process. Teaching instruction with example problems for each lesson, solutions for the worksheets and tests, and a helpful glossary and index are included. The instruction is not scripted but is clearly presented and easy to implement.
The consumable Student Worktexts contain a mix of practice problems and word problems. Space is provided to work out the problems, but some students may prefer having access to "scratch paper" to work problems, especially at the higher levels. The front of the Student Worktext includes space to record grades for worksheet pages and tests.
The consumable Test Booklets are provided to evaluate student progress. Parents are encouraged to reteach previous lessons if the student does not do well. Mastery is the goal, and lessons build upon one another so that future success is dependent on students really knowing the previous concept.
The Demme Learning Manipulatives are unique. The Integer Block Set is a 133-piece manipulative blocks set that is used from Primer through Algebra 1. This is a set of plastic interlocking blocks with blocks in different colors designed to represent each number from one through ten (there is a hundred block as well). A Fraction Overlay Kit is utilized in the Epsilon course to teach fractions. This set is color-coordinated with the Integer Block Set to aid students in learning fractions. Beginning with Zeta and utilized through Algebra 1 is the Algebra/Decimal Insert Kit which is used with the Integer Block Kit to teach advanced decimal and algebra concepts.The Digital Pack provides lifetime access and includes streaming Instruction Videos, an online Instruction Manual, lesson solutions, and other online resources from any browser. You’ll also have access to the MUS Digital Manipulatives, using Chrome or Safari browsers. Digital Packs do not include Student Workbook or Tests. They cannot be purchased separately and are only available as part of the Sets.
The Skip Count CD and Songbook is optional but a suggested complement to the Primer through Gamma courses. With it your student will learn their skip counting and addition facts. There are two versions of the songs on the Skip Counting CD; one with Christian lyrics and the other with the lyrics taken from science and literature. Universal Kits for Primer through Gamma include online access to the Skip Count Songs MP3s and Songbook pdf. Please note, the online Skip Count MP3 includes the Science and Literature lyrics but not the Christian version.
All products marked as Set include: Instruction Manual with complete solutions, Instruction DVD, Student Workbook, Test Book, and lifetime access to the Digital Pack. In addition, Universal Sets include all the manipulatives needed for the selected level. Level Up Sets are for families who already own an Integer Block Kit (or Fraction Overlap Kit for Epsilon). Level Up Base Sets were created for families that own both the Integer Block Kit and the Algebra/Decimal Inserts.
As one who used this program in the early days of homeschooling, I appreciate many of the changes that have been made over the years. One of these is the systematic review as well as the additional level of challenge through the Application and Enrichment worksheets. Students who need additional review and practice will benefit from the focused practice that promotes mastery. Conversely, students who are math-gifted and require less practice to master the concept have the freedom to skip worksheets and move into the Application and Enrichment worksheet, unlike math programs with spiral review that become drudgery to exceptional math students. Additionally, the enhanced teacher explanations in the Instructor Manual and the DVD introduction will help parents feel prepared and more competent to teach math in this non-traditional, tactile way. It may be worth mentioning that if standardized testing is required by your state or organization, you may want to add a grade-specific workbook to ensure students are covering all that is required for the test. The final change I noted is that MUS has added additional topics to all levels to reflect current math standards.
As I look back on my children and our MUS experience, these improvements would have made the course easier to implement with Child B who enjoyed the hands-on approach while learning various approaches to solve equations. The philosophy of MUS was not as well-suited to Child A, who was my “just show me the steps and let me do it,” “I can memorize it through drill” child.
Keep in mind that using the mastery approach means that students spend more time on building solid foundational math skills, so it may appear that students are behind their peers in the early elementary years. They will catch up quickly and by upper middle school will be on target (if not ahead of) their peers. This is an excellent program for your hands-on student or one who wants to understand, really understand, the how and why of mathematics. There is much to appreciate in this unique program and it has tremendous potential for gifted, typical, or struggling learners. ~ Deanne
Mastery of place value and using it to add/subtract-specifically multi-digit addition and subtraction. Additional topics include telling and writing time by hours and minutes, adding and subtracting US currency, measuring and estimating length with inches/feet and centimeters/meters, comparison of numbers and lengths, perimeter of polygon, and interpretation of data in plots and graphs.
Major concepts mastered include place value, single-digit addition and subtraction, and solving for the unknown addend. Additional topics include time (hours and minutes), shapes, measurement (length), skip counting by 2s, 5s, 10s and 100s, word problems and understanding halves and fourths.
Mastery of fractions including equivalent fractions and basic operations with fractions becoming fluent with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions and mixed numbers. Also includes common factors, grouping symbols and order of operations, comparing and converting decimal fractions, area and circumference of a circle, classifying quadrilaterals, fractional measurements on line plots and number lines, and using coordinates to represent ordered relationships.
Mastery of single and multiple digit division. Additional topics include Roman Numerals; dividing, multiplying, adding and subtracting US currency and standard units of measure; angle measurements and geometric shapes including points, segments, rays and lines; classifying shapes; understanding and computing area and volume.
Mastery of basic properties, solving equations (including simultaneous equations), coin problems, exponents and square roots, scientific notation, unit multipliers, and metric conversions. Graphing lines is taught in detail, and graphing conic sections is introduced. Polynomial operations are also taught.
Primer is considered the entry level and provides a broad overview and introduction to various math topics which will be mastered in a later level. Teaching children that math is fun and leading them to love math is the goal at this level. With this big picture approach, this course lends itself to children who are beginning to recognize numbers but have not mastered counting to ten verbally or are unable to recognize the numbers 0 to 10. If your child is comfortable with both and is ready for formalized instruction, the Alpha Placement Test is recommended.
Children learn to write numerals, addition and subtraction, basic counting, skip counting, geometric shapes, telling time, and they will be introduced to the manipulative block system. It's an introduction to "doing math" the Math-U-See way.
Mastery of decimals and percents and their relationship to fractions, applying core mathematical operations. Additional concepts include understanding and simplifying exponents, negative numbers, algebraic expressions, plane geometry and geometric symbols, and ratios.
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