Archive for the ‘Math’ Category
If there is one subject that Hailey would skip if she could, it would be math. She tries regularly to get me to let her skip math. Math was always my favorite subject- I loved it when I was in school! I would get excited when I had math homework. A little bit strange, I guess, but I have always loved math. To me, it seems a little strange that someone would not love math. But to each their own. We have tried different math curricula, but Hailey just doesn’t like math. One of the things she has a hard time with is her multiplication tables. I have tried games, apps that are supposed to be fun, and anything I could think of. But it just didn’t work well for her.
Recently we were given a chance to check out Times Tales, a fun program from The Trigger Memory Co. that helps kids (or anyone, really) memorize multiplication facts. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and see if this would help Hailey with her multiplication facts. We received the downloadable version of Times Tales, but it is also available as a DVD. The file is pretty big, so depending on your internet connection it could take a little while to download it. Once you have downloaded the product (or received your dvd) you simply start watching.
The Times Tales has 2 different parts. In Part 1 your child will learn the upper 3′s and 4′s multiplication facts and in Part 2 your child will learn the 6′s, 7′s, 8′s, and 9′s. Each part is about 30 minutes and includes 6 steps. The facts are taught using fun stories that will make it easy for your child to remember the times tables.
Here is a brief overview of what each step includes:
Step 1: You meet the characters that are part of the stories.
Step 2: You learn the stories.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
This is one of the stories- in this story you learn that a butterfly (that looks like a 3) flew by a treehouse (that looks like a 9) and found a treasure chest with 27 cents.
In another story you learn that Mrs. Week (the 7) went butterfly (the 3) hunting. She caught 20 in her net and 1 landed on her head.
There is a different story for each multiplication problem.
Step 3: In this step there is a little quiz to go over the stories.
Step 4: In this step there will be pictures from the stories and your child will get a chance to tell each story.
Step 5: Here your child will see flashcards using the symbols from the stories.
On this flashcard we see the butterfly (3) and the treehouse (9). If you remember the story you know that the butterfly found a treasure worth 27 cents. Since your child will likely remember the story, he or she now knows that 3×9=27.
In Step 6: You will see flashcards again, this time without the symbols.
All of the different multiplication problems will show up during this little quiz, but will look like regular numbers, rather than the characters from the stories.
Once you have gone through the steps there are printables to use to practice what has been learned.
Hailey did a crossword puzzle to practice the stories. She also took a quiz using the number symbols.
Times Tales makes learning the multiplication facts fun. Kids remember the stories very quickly and can use the stories to get the answers correct. Times Tales can be used with any age to improve multiplication memorization.
Before we used Times Tales Hailey would take a long time to figure out her multiplication facts- because she was adding up the numbers, rather than just knowing the answer from memory. I have seen a huge improvement since she has watched the stories. At first I could see she was thinking about the stories to remember the answers, but as time has gone on, she just knows the answers from memory.
Hailey told me that Times Tales makes math fun, and for someone who really does not like math, that is saying a lot!
The first time Hailey watched the Time Tales, she was on step 6, answering the flashcards without the symbols. As she was going through the questions she suddenly stopped and said, “It’s working Mom! I’m getting them right!”
And that is why we loves Times Tales!
Check out The Trigger Memory Co. on Facebook!
Finding the right math curriculum can be quite a challenge. There are so many different learning styles and teaching styles for math. For kindergarten and first grade, Hailey went to public school. I started homeschooling her in second grade and I used the math curriculum that was recommended with the boxed curriculum we bought. It wasn’t a bad math program, it just didn’t work for us. For third grade I found a math curriculum that is working well for us. The problem is that over the lasts few years Hailey has used several different math programs. I have been worrying that with all of the switching around there must be gaps in what she has learned.
I was given the chance to review the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan from A+ Interactive Math. The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan is a program that is meant to identify and close the gaps in learning math. This is exactly what I believe Hailey needs to make sure she isn’t missing anything after all the switching around we have done.
So, how does the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan work? It is an online program, so you will need to have internet access in order to use it. You will be able to use the program on a PC or a MAC. Your child can use the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan for up to 3 months to work towards closing the learning gaps in their math knowledge.
When you first sign up you pick a grade level for your child. Then there will be several different math topics to pick from. Your child will take a quiz on which ever topic you want to start with. You do not have to go in any particular order but I noticed that the first topics were the easiest and it got harder as we went along. After the quiz your child will get immediate results- either to say that he or she needs to work on that topic or that he or she is at grade level and doesn’t need anymore work.
If your child needs more work to be at grade level there will be individualized lesson plans for your child to use. There is a lesson and after the lesson there are interactive questions to make sure your child understands what was covered. Once all of the lessons in a topic are completed your child can go back and retake the quiz. If you don’t think your child needs to go over all of the lessons you are able to skip them or just have your child do the interactive questions at the end.
If your child doesn’t have any gaps in their math learning, A+ Interactive Math also has an option for a Family Math Package that might be a better fit for you.
So, how did we use the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan? I signed Hailey up for the third grade level and had her start taking the quizzes.
After the quiz is over the student sees a screen like this to show how he or she did. This particular quiz showed that Hailey got 15 questions correct, she missed 5 questions, and she skipped 3 questions. This was one where she did not score at a third grade level, so an individualized lesson plan was created for her to cover the concept that the quiz covered.
The online lesson plans are pretty short and the concept is covered very well in the short time. After Hailey watched her lesson plan she would complete the interactive questions. There were a few times that Hailey insisted she knew the material being covered in the lesson plan, so I let her skip the lesson and go right to the interactive questions. If she missed any of the interactive questions then I had her go back and watch the lesson.
As a parent, this is the dashboard that I see when I log in. I have the choices to review the placement tests, view Hailey’s reports, look at the lesson plans, or watch a tutorial. When I click on the student reports I can look at a progress report or a summary report.
This is Hailey’s progress report. It shows where the goal is for a third grader to score and then it shows where she scored on her quizzes. Right now she has surpassed the goal in all but measurements. She did not originally pass the goals though- this is what her progress looks like after she watched the lesson plans and the gaps she had were covered.
This is Hailey’s summary report. I can see how many times each quiz was taken and whether or not she is at grade level for each concept. We have not covered some concepts yet, so those still say NA.
The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan from A+ Interactive Math is a great program, which I would recommend. Hailey enjoyed using it- her review of the program is, “I liked taking the quizzes and doing the lessons with the questions.” If Hailey says she likes something related to math, then it must be doing a good job of making it interesting. Not only did she enjoy it, but she improved her math skills- and definitely closed some of the gaps she had.
Want to learn more about Interactive A+ Math:
Here are some of things we have been up to. These activities are almost a month old, I just can’t keep up anymore!
We read my favorite Halloween book Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and then Hailey did this beginning, middle, and end activity.
We used some activities from the pumpkin unit at The Razzle Dazzle Classroom. For this activity Hailey pretended that she went to the pumpkin farm and picked out a pumpkin. When she got it home is grew legs and started walking around. Hailey wrote a little story and then made a pumpkin. Harper loves this pumpkin and she smiles at it, laughs at it, and talks to it whenever she sees it hanging on the wall.
We have continued our study of Ancient Egypt. We followed the directions at Creekside Learning and mummified a Barbie.
It was messy, but fun.
Hailey added some amulets just like they did in Ancient Egypt.
The completed mummified Barbie.
And just for fun- Hailey as a mummy.
Using printables from The Razzle Dazzle Classroom, Hailey made a book about the life cycle of a pumpkin.
After reading several books about the life cycle of a pumpkin, she described each step in the process and drew a picture to go along with it.
On Halloween, Hailey made a self inflating ghost using an idea I saw at Mama Smiles.
Hailey did this fun Spooky Sums math paper on Halloween. I wrote out the questions and then used a white crayon to put the answer inside the ghost. After Hailey did the math problem she used water colors to paint the ghost to check her answer.
We’re actually working on Thanksgiving themed activities right now. Hopefully I’ll get those posted before Christmas
Last week we started third grade. Which is really hard to believe, because I’m pretty sure it was just last month that we started second grade. But apparently it’s been a whole year. Anyway…
On Wednesday we had our first day of homeschool co-0p. So here is Hailey all ready to go to co-op. She was so excited to back and see all of her friends from last year.
Posing in her new outfit.
Then, on Thursday we had our first day of school at home. Hailey, Hunter, and Harper were all excited for the day to start!
Since it was the first week of school and we only had 2 days of school I don’t have a lot to share, but here are a few of the things that we did:
Our calendar board is much simpler this year and so far that is working very well for us. Hailey is doing everything on the board except the weather, which Hunter is doing. Last year there was just way too much on our calendar board and it took forever to do everything.
As part of the beginning of our day, Hailey is also doing a page from Critical and Creative Thinking each day. So far she is enjoying the activities.
On the first day of school Hailey filled out a Back to School survey about a variety of things she likes to do. She did one on the first day of school last year too, and I hope to remember to do it every year since it will be fun to look back at them in the years to come.
Hailey also drew a self-portrait, which is another thing we do every year.
Another back to school activity we did was this All About-Me Robot.
We are using Grapevine for Bible this year and so far Hailey and I both really like it. The simple drawings (that even I can do) make it much easier to remember the information being taught.
For math we are using Teaching Textbooks and Hailey loves it! What a change from last year. She cheers when it’s time to do math and that was certainly never the case before. I hope her enthusiasm continues.
We’re using Science in the Beginning and Hailey really liked that too. We are doing it every other day, so we only had science once. We did a fun experiment and read a short lesson. Then Hailey did an entry in her science notebook.
So far, so good. Let’s hope that continues.