Thursday, March 13, 2014

ScienceandMath.com ~ Algebra 1 Tutor DVD Review



Near the beginning of my TOS Review Crew journey in 2009 I was introduced to Jason Gibson and his Math Tutor DVD's. You can read my review of Algebra 2 and Word Problems in It's Not Rocket Science, People! It is worth noting that this particular review was written when I didn't have an age appropriate student doing Algebra~ but I was still highly impressed!

I later reviewed the Pre-Algebra and Texas Instruments TI-84/TI84 Calculator videos. Once again, my students were not at *quite* the right age for the DVD's (my daughter has passed Pre-Algebra, and my Middlest wasn't there yet), but I was again impressed.

This year I was given the opportunity to review for Jason Gibson once again via his new website,  ScienceandMath.com, with the only Algebra level I hadn't yet had experience with, Algebra 1: Volume 1 and Fractions Thru Algebra Companion Worksheet CD. This time I have a student who is actually in just about the right place for this! Hurrah!

Just a quick word about Jason Gibson~ he *is* a rocket scientist, and he truly has a heart for making math and science understandable and accessible. With the resources found on his website ScienceandMath.com he is hoping to help students not only gain mastery of their science and maths, but also to understand why they are useful and how they fit together. There *is* a purpose to being able work with fractions, but if one doesn't understand the application, it is difficult to generate student enthusiasm.

Now to some specifics about our experience this time around.

Although Middlest isn't *quite* at the Algebra 1 level, he was close enough for me to want to give this a go and see how he did. So far it has been a winning combination. Jason moves very methodically through the material, making no assumptions about prior knowledge. He explains the concept thoroughly, and then walks the students through a number of example problems for each concept to help ensure that they know what they are doing.

Middlest has decided that he really likes the Algebra 1 Tutor video lecture approach over a text book approach, because he felt that the visual explanations and multiple problems worked by the instructor were more thorough, and helped him to have a greater grasp of the concept.

We decided to work through the DVD doing basically one lesson per week, especially as this was just a tad above my son's working level. Middlest watched the lesson the first day, and then went back to watch (if necessary) specific problems when he was going through the Companion Worksheets. The worksheets correspond nicely to the video, with very detailed answer keys, to help explain exactly what should be done if there were any problems.

There are a number of sample videos like the following clip available on the ScienceandMath.com website. 
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The contents of Algebra 1: Volume 1 :
Disk 1
  • Sect 1 - Real Numbers And Their Graphs
  • Sect 2 - Review of Fractions
  • Sect 3 - Exponents and Order of Operations 
Disk 2
  • Sect 4 - Adding and Subtracting Real Numbers
  • Sect 5 - Multiplying and Dividing Real Numbers
  • Sect 6 - Algebraic Expressions
Disk 3
  • Sect 7 - Properties of Real Numbers
  • Sect 8 - Introduction to Equations 
  • Sect 9 - Solving More Equations
  • Sect 10 - Simplifying Expressions to Solve Equations
The Worksheets cover the material in both Volume 1 and Volume 2 are as follows:
  • Worksheet 1 -- 25 Pages - Real Numbers And Their Graphs (There is a sample of this worksheet if you scroll to the bottom of the Worksheet DVD page)
  • Worksheet 2 - 96 Pages - Fractions 
  • Worksheet 3 - 31 Pages - Exponents 
  • Worksheet 4 -- 27 Pages - Add and Subtract Real Numbers 
  • Worksheet 5 -- 32 Pages - Multiply and Divide Real Numbers
  • Worksheet 6 -- 27 Pages - Algebraic Expressions
  • Worksheet 7 -- 27 Pages - Properties Of Real Numbers
  • Worksheet 8 -- 33 Pages - Introduction to Equations 
  • Worksheet 9 -- 28 Pages - Solving More Equations 
  • Worksheet 10 -- 30 Pages - Simplifying Expressions 
  • Worksheet 11 -- 26 Pages - Solving Inequalities
  • Worksheet 12 -- 42 Pages - Natural Number Exponents
  • Worksheet 13 -- 27 Pages - Zero and Negative Exponents
  • Worksheet 14 -- 27 Pages - Polynomials
  • Worksheet 15 -- 25 Pages - Add and Subtract Polynomials
  • Worksheet 16 -- 25 Pages - Multiplying Polynomials
  • Worksheet 17 -- 25 Pages - Divide Polynomials by Monomials
  • Worksheet 18 -- 24 Pages - Divide Polynomials by Polynomials
  • Worksheet 19 -- 24 Pages - The Greatest Common Factor
  • Worksheet 20 -- 21 Pages - Factor By Grouping
  • Worksheet 21 -- 19 Pages - Factor The Difference Of Two Squares
I will repeat what I said in my previous reviews~ The instruction on these DVD's isn't flashy or exciting, but it IS understandable, dependable and promotes steady progress. Because of this, Middlest is beginning to feel confident in his ability to work Algebra problems, having worked successfully through a number of the lessons on the DVD. If you are intimidated by teaching higher maths, this might be a great resource for you.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 

Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.
Blessings~



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