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Our Family

Monday, June 3, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Math Mammoth

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"Math Mammoth offers affordable, yet quality math worktexts and workbooks for grades 1-12, loved by parents, homeschoolers, and teachers. " I first heard of Math Mammoth in 2011 when I had an opportunity to review the Light Blue Series.  You can read my review on that here.  Also, when one of my children was struggling with fractions I purchased Fractions from the Green Series to help him master them.  Having been very pleased with both of these products, I was happy to have an opportunity to review 3 books in the Make It Real Learning Series: Linear Functions I,  Quadratic Functions I, and Graphing and Other Algebra Skills I.

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The Make It Real Learning Series shows children grades 3-12 exactly how learning Math will apply to real life situations.  Each workbook has a suggested grade range and mathematical theme.  Each workbook contains real problems taken from real life situations using real data.  The workbooks do not contain the instruction of the concept, or an in depth explanation of the answer, so these workbooks would be best utilized as a supplement to reinforce skills that have already been taught.   The workbooks do contain the worked out solutions to each problem on a separate page so the student cannot see them.  The PDF files can be printed out or if you prefer worked out on the computer using the typewriter or Acrobat Reader 9 or greater.

Each of the workbooks can be purchased separately as a download for $4.99.  Or you can purchase 11 workbooks in a bundle with a choice of Activity Library Volume I or II for $39.99.  Make It Real Learning also has a series of smaller workbooks called States By the Numbers which contains one workbook for each state.  These can be purchased for $2.99 each or a bundle of all 50 states for $19.99.

Here is a sample from Activity Library I.

Here is a sample from Activity Library II.

Here is a sample of States By the Number.

Linear Functions I is for students in Algebra 1 or 2.  The download is 46 pages long.  It focuses on real life situations that can be modeled by linear equations.    There are 10 different activities with each activity containing between 5-7 questions for the student to answer.  Topcs include: Choosing a Cell Phone Plan-T-Mobile, Choosing a Cell Phone Plan-Verizon, College Graduates-Michigan, Converting Temperatures, Government Nutrition Program-Alaska, Government Nutrition Program-Hawaii, Government Nutrition Program, Longer Life Spans, Making Money and Yahoo Music Downloads.

Quadratic Functions I  is for students in Algebra I or II.  The download is 46 pages long.  It focuses on real life situations that can be modeled by quadratic functions.  There are 10 different activities in the workbook with 4-7 questions for the student to answer in each activity.  Topics include:  Autism Awareness: Creating and Using Quadratic Models, Autism Awareness: Solving Quadratic Equations, Business Growth-USAA: Quadratic Function Modeling, Changing Population-Kentucky: Analyzing and Modeling Solutions, Changing Population-New York: Modeling With Quadratics, Changing Population-South Carolina: Analyzing and Modeling Data, Falling Objects-Empire State Building: Working With Quadratics, Falling Objects-Sears Tower: Working With Quadratics, United States Population: Using Quadratic Models, and Using the Body Mass Index Formula.

Graphing and Other Algebra Skills I is for students in grades 7 through High School.  The download is 45 pages long.  It focuses on real life situations that can be analyzed using graphing, functions, inverse functions, and geometric series.  There are 10 different activities with 3-7 questions for the student to answer in each activity.  Topics include: Autism Awareness: Interpreting Graphs, Designing Paper: Setting Up and Solving Problems, Personal Income-Saginaw: Interpreting Rates of Change, Portable Music Players: Interpreting Graphs, Reading the News: Using Function Inverses, Reading the News 2: Using Function Inverse, Restaurant Sales: Composing Functions, Saving For Retirement: Using a Finite Geometric Series, Simple Interest Savings: Using Sequences and Series, and Take Home Pay: Composing Functions.

My daughter Chelsea started Algebra 2 in February.  She does NOT like Algebra very much, so I thought it would be helpful to show her that it really does exist for a reason and that people actually use "this stuff" in real life.  I decided not to print out the worksheets.  Instead, I downloaded the workbooks to my computer and them emailed them to my iPad.  Once on the iPad, I opened them in my Notability app so we could fill the answers in.  You are able to do this on the computer as well if you have Acrobat 9 or greater, but using the iPad made it even easier, and more portable.

One of the suggestions says that these exercises would be great for small groups, so the children can work together and figure out the solutions to the problems.  Even though they can be done by individual students as well, I thought it would be more fun (and a little easier) if Chelsea had someone to work with.  So I worked on the workbooks with her.

I love the entire concept of the Make It Real Learning Workbooks.  Using real life data makes it much more interesting and relevant to the students.  The topics chosen for the three workbooks that we reviewed: choosing cell phone plans, music downloads, reading the news, autism awareness, etc. . . are very relevant to high school students.  These exercises showed how people use data and equations to solve real problems.  Not all of the questions require you to complete a math problem, but instead to interpret the data you are given.  For example: "A school district is planning to add more staff to serve its disabled students.  Using the graphs, give an argument why the district should hire someone with expertise in working with autistic children."  Chelsea said, " that is not a math problem."  I explained that yes it is.  People use mathematical data like this every day to make decisions.  It really changed her thinking on what is/is not math related.      I am very glad that the solutions were included in the workbook.  Some of the questions were challenging and the teacher needed a little refreshing of her memory ;)  Our favorite of the three we reviewed was Graphing and Other Algebra Skills.

I think the Make It Real Learning Workbooks would be a great supplement to any Math curriculum that you are currently using, or for some Math reinforcement over the summer months.  It also would be great in a co-op or small group setting.

Members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a variety of products from Math Mammoth.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.


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