And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mini Math Sessions

A+ Interactive Math gave us access to two of their new online Math Mini-Courses to review. I selected Ratios, Proportions, Probability, and Statistics and Tables, Charts, and Graphs. While both kids would have fit under the suggested grade levels for these courses, I decided Speedy should do both of them.

Ratios, Proportions, Probability, and Statistics is a 14 lesson concentrated course recommended for 3rd-6th graders. Each lesson is given in video form with an interactive question and answer session at the end. Students can complete the work on their own, and the program automatically grades their results. In addition to these lessons, you receive access to printable worksheets and answer keys for each of the 14 lessons. We haven't utilized the printables because Speedy has been doing fine with the interactive questions and answer sections. The course also includes 3 printable exams with answer keys. I'm not exactly certain when the exams should be scheduled. It would seem after a certain set of lessons, but we've abstained from the exams for now.
Student Dashboard
Many of the concepts in these lessons were unfamiliar to Speedy, but he has done very well with the math lessons. The one day he had a big problem understanding the lesson, we realized he had skipped the previous lesson. Once he did them in order, he was able to clearly understand the concept. I have had him re-do a couple of the Q & A sessions to make sure he completely grasped the lesson before moving on. I think the appropriateness of these lessons would depend on the student. Those very strong in mathmatic concepts could take this Math Mini-Course at 3rd or 4th grade. Students who struggle in math may need to wait until 5th or 6th for this particular Math Mini-Course.

Immediate Scores

Tables, Charts, and Graphs is a 17 lesson concentrated course recommended for grades 1st-6th. Like the other course, this includes video form lessons with interactive question and answer sessions at the end of each one. There are 17 worksheets and 2 exams available to print with this Math Mini-Course. Speedy has done very well with this set of lessons. I think it has been beneficial for him to spend more time learning and understanding tables, charts, and graphs. I believe taking this course now will help him as he works into higher levels of math in the coming years.

Printable Worksheets

These lessons are short. We have used them during our regular school time to supplement the full math curriculum Speedy is working though. Each lesson only takes him 10-15 minutes. I've had him working through the lessons on alternating days so one on Mondays and Wednesdays and the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Immediate Results

Under the parent dashboard, you can find a tab marked "Parent/ Teacher Controls". In that area you can remove the calculator option from your student's account and you can request that the student be given extra time (in minutes) for exams. I'm not sure the timing was an issue for Speedy in these Mini-Courses, but I added some just in case. In the parent dashboard, you can also view reports for the courses to check grades and progress.

I like sseveral things about these courses. My child enjoyed them. They are short and hold the student's attention. It is a great way to improve or excel in a particular area of math. It includes extra options (like the worksheets and exams). The Math Mini-Courses are not very expensive, and you receive access to them for one year. We used them at home on our laptop through Google Chrome, but it would be easy to use them on the go via a laptop. They are great for homeschool families or families looking for extra math work for their children to do at home. There are 20 separate Math Mini-Courses available for grades 1st-8th.

Lessons Summary Report available under Parent and Student Dashboards

We only had a couple of small issues with the courses. The student or teacher has to keep track of progress. The program won't show the student or take them straight to the lesson they need to work on next. They must select the lesson from the list. That's how Speedy got out of order. Also the course doesn't mark the lessons complete for the reports. They must be manually marked as complete. It seems like a passing score should automatically make the lesson complete. The last issue is one we did not experience (that I remember) when we reviewed the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan from A+ Interactive Math last year. On questions that are not multiple choice, the student must type in their answer then press "Submit" on the frog's belly and then press next. While the instructions are clear on the screen, this threw my student for a loop several times. He also figured out that wrong answers could be corrected as he went thus giving him a perfect score even if he missed some problems. Since this is a brand new set of courses, I'm certain some of these things will be worked out in the future. Customer Service is always fast to respond to inquiries and very friendly.

Example of a question that required a click on the frog's belly.
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