Part 2: Math Curriculum (SERIES: Before You Throw the Book at 'em)
And we’re back! Since you heard from me last my sweet baby Max was born! August 26th and 14 days late! He’s a sweetie and we’ve been enjoying time with him these few weeks! Now I’m getting back into the swing of things, and I’m excited to continue our curriculum series! In fact, I’m wearing baby Max as I type!
So, Math curriculum! What are your favorites? At Yellow Wood, we’ve been long time fans of Math U See. In this post I’ll share with you 7 reasons why we love it!
This curriculum is just awesome! We’ve found it works for 95% of our students - whether gifted or struggling… or somewhere in between! Here’s why:
1. The layout is so friendly!
The pages are nice and open with just enough questions to be productive but not overwhelming. The print is a great size - not too big or too small.
For students with attention difficulties or a weak visual processing system, having too many graphics, colors, etc. on the page can be very distracting and overwhelming. Also having too many questions on the page can set a student up for failure from the get-go! Math U See addresses these issues and gives students an opportunity to feel successful in math!
2. One main skill at a time!
Most math curricula uses a spiral method, where students cover a variety of math concepts in a text book. Math U See takes a different approach and focuses on ONE main topic per math book. For example, there’s a math book entirely on multiplication. It begins with basic multiplication facts and works all the way through to multi-digit problems. Topics are taught this way all the way through basic math skills. Once students reach Pre-Algebra, books follow the typical sequence for high school math.
3. Lots of review!
Parents usually ask me if their students will retain math concepts if they’re only working on one skill at a time. Math U See does a great job incorporating review of other concepts into each lesson! This helps students especially who have trouble retaining information.
4. Word Problems!
Math U See also does a fantastic job with word problems. Every back-side of a page has a few word problems. This gives students TONS of practice in a non-threatening way so that word problems are less scary! Let’s face it, word problems are a challenge for almost every student! Sometimes visualizing word problems is tricky.
5. Lesson set up
In each lesson there are two types of workbook pages. The first few pages are “lesson practice” and these teach the new concept. Then, the next 4-6 pages are “systematic review”. These pages pull in review from previous lessons, previous books, and also word problem practice. The best part of this method is that if a student understands a concept or its a review for them, they can skip some of the “lesson practice” pages and move onto the “systematic review”! This is great for students who get overwhelmed with pages and pages of math!
6. Hands On and Visual!
This curriculum, as its name suggests, is chock full of visual ways to learn math. DVD lessons teach students the new concepts, and then they can complete their work using math manipulatives if they’d like! This is a very important component for visual and kinesthetic learners.
7. Great online resources!
Math U See’s website offers a manipulatives app for the ipad, a worksheet generator for extra practice, and more!
So, all in all, this curriculum is great for a wide variety of students. We’ve used Math U See as our main math curriculum for 4 years now! Feel free to ask me any questions about it or whether it might be a good fit for your student too!
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