Posts Tagged Math Essentials
Curriculum Review: America’s Math Teacher
Posted by jlsgrant in Curriculum Reviews on September 10, 2010
America’s Math Teacher is a thorough online math curriculum that covers everything from 4th Grade Basic Math through Algebra. Using the website’s Video Lessons, the student is smoothly guided through each lesson by the instructor. The student can then print and complete written exercises and check their answers. Once the section has been completed, there are online quizzes to take as well as a final exam, both of which are graded automatically online.
The experts at America’s Math Teacher have this to say about their product:
“So many benefits to this program, and it really works! America’s Math Teacher will make each topic simple, and easy to understand. Students learn lots of math and have lots of fun while doing it! America’s Math Teacher is perfect for home schooling, and educational institutions. Our video lessons don’t include distracting sound effects, animations, or graphics, just simple one on one instruction to teach concepts and increase retention.”
“Rick designed this system for elementary, middle grades and even high school students who were not prepared for algebra, to help bring them to algebra-readiness in less than one school year. Through this program, many of Rick’s students have improved several grade levels in their math abilities in just one school year. Rick has also used the program successfully with students who are struggling with math and have limited English skills. This award-winning program compliments all basic math textbooks, so it is a perfect partner program for schools.”
Here is a list of benefits from the website:
- Online access anywhere anytime
- Access entire library of courses
- Provides great addition to classroom learning
- Students learn and master exact topics recommended by the National Math Advisory Panel
- Excellent for families with children at different levels
- Curriculum spans Grade 4 through Algebra, and Algebra II COMING SOON!
- Written exercises ensure practice a necessary part of learning
- Resource Center with Glossaries, charts, tables, and more.
- Students can work at their own pace and repeat lessons when necessary
- Students will master the topics necessary for success in college
- Excellent for adults as well as children No fluff or side topics: just good solid instruction
This product truly has the potential of being a tremendous asset to any homeschooling family and could easily be used for traditional school children who are in need of a math tutor. There are many benefits to having this kind of content available for the whole family, instead of buying curriculum for each child individually. Only one of which is the potential cost savings. The videos are generally less than 10 minutes long and can be followed up with a portion of the related written exercises. The website is very content-rich and appears to be largely based on the author’s more traditional product, Math Essentials, which includes a workbooks and DVDs. (More information can be found by clicking the Math Essentials link below.)
However, at the time of our review, much of the website was under development and there are apparently some bugs that still need to be worked out. I found the navigation to be a little cumbersome as well. The videos are easily located from the Learning Center, but I found that the corresponding written exercises were more difficult to locate, in the Resource Center, four or five clicks from the video. From a navigation standpoint, it would be simpler for the user if the written exercises for each video were easily located on the same page as the video. (Or as an alternative, there should be instructions to print the written work and answer sheets for each section first, then watch the video lessons.) In writing this, I double checked the website to make sure I hadn’t missed those instructions and here’s what I found: “Once you have worked through some problems by watching the video lessons, you can then work through some exercises on your own by printing them out from the list on the right.” (Additional note: No “list on right” found.)
On a positive note, I loved the format for the written exercises, both visually and content-wise. Take a look at these sample pages:
We also had a lot of fun with the wheel format for the online speed drill. It’s nice to see a different format for this imperative exercise! The system generates the problem and highlights the associated numerals, then the child slowly and methodically quick-like-a-bunny enters the correct answer in the box and the next problem appears on the screen. Check this out….
As for the evaluation section, again, there is great potential. However, in my opinion it should be turned off until it gives proper results! (Sorry if that sounds harsh!) Thankfully, I did an evaluation myself before having the kids test it out because correct answers were marked incorrect and some multiple choice questions did not have the correct answer as a choice.
This website easily has the potential of having a full “Five Rock” rating; a virtual pocket-full of rocks! However, in my opinion, the website has been released to the public pre-maturely. Before being able to recommend this website, it needs to be thoroughly evaluated and proof-read, page by page by the developer. As stated above, the Evaluation section needs to be taken off the website, until it is working properly. With all of that accomplished, it could be developed into a premier product.
(Word of Caution: As part of a family who has developed, owned and managed a fully internet-based business application for over 10 years, I may be a little biased in the functionality of this type of product. In my opinion, this website should be considered more of a “beta” site, then a finished project at this time.)
Free Trial Available at America’s Math Teacher
Other Products: Math Essentials
Disclaimer: Members of the TOS Crew were given free access to this product for their families’ use. In return, they were asked to post an honest, informational review on this product. No monetary compensation was received.
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