Saturday, June 01, 2013

Review: Make It Real Learning (Math Mammoth)

I've been a fan of Math Mammoth for a few years now.  While we don't use it program as our main math curriculum, I love having it on hand for supplementing or a change of pace when we get stuck on a concept.  I've been interested in the Make It Real Learning books, but have never taken the plunge.  I was excited to have the opportunity to review three of these books:

The Make It Real Learning present real-life math problems to the students.  I know I spent a lot of time wondering when I'd use certain concepts when I was a student, and these books strive to answer those questions.  There are 22 books available, covering everything from basic arithmetic to calculus, and just about everything in between.

The Arithmetic I book (sample here) has the student use basic arithmetic to solve problems such as using bar graphs to compare country populations and calculating money amounts in order to determine if they have enough money to purchase what they want.

The Fractions, Percents, Decimals I book (sample here) uses Hershey's chocolate bar to teach adding and subtracting fractions, and shopping at a famous clothing store to help teach percents by determining sale price and tax.

The Sets, Probability, Statistics I book (sample here) uses a restaurant menu to teach the student how to determine the number of two-piece meal combinations that can be made, and to use probability to determine the likelihood of certain combinations of fruit snacks occurring in 5 bags.

The books are $4.99 each, and are available for download.  Answers are provided, though there is no teaching about how to do the concept being practiced. It is expected that the student will be comfortable enough with the concept that they can work through an application problem.  The problems in each of these books vary, and they do require thought.  I used these books with my 8th, 7th, and 5th graders, and I did find them to be a nice addition to our math curriculum.  I printed the books out, though they are PDFs that can be edited on a tablet or computer, if you wanted to go the paperless route.  It took us 30 minutes or so to work through the problems, and it was a nice change of pace from our regular math.  I thought I would be able to use the first book with my 3rd grader, but after looking it over I decided it would be too frustrating for him.  That said, I'd definitely recommend these books for middle and high school students.

For more reviews of Math Mammoth, visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


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