Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A+ Interactive Math Math Mini-Courses (A Review)

My Youngest has been a regular number cruncher ever since he was an itty bitty, but every now and again I like to check and see if there are any "Holes" in his maths education. Our latest review from A+ Interactive Math can help with catching and filling some of those holes. Although I haven't been on any of the other reviews, the TOS Crew has reviewed A+ Interactive Math's individual grade level packages in the past. This time we had the chance to check out their newest offering, Math Mini-Courses, for grades K-8.

There are 20 Math Mini-Courses available. I'm listing them below in approximate order of grade:
  • Counting and Identifying Numbers (1st-3rd) - 15 lessons
  • Place Value and Number Combinations (1st-3rd) - 15 lessons
  • Naming, Comparing and Arranging Numbers (1st-3rd) - 17 lessons
  • Early Elementary Fractions (1st-3rd) - 10 lessons
  • Early Elementary Addition (1st-3rd) - 17 lessons
  • Early Elementary Subtraction (1st-3rd) - 15 lessons
  • Elementary Geometry (1st-4th) - 19 lessons
  • Elementary Algebra (1st-4th) - 27 lessons
  • Time (1st-4th) - 20 lessons
  • Money (1st-5th) - 18 lessons
  • Tables, Charts and Graphs (1st-6th) - 17 lessons
  • Elementary & Middle School Multiplication (2nd-6th) - 13 lessons
  • Elementary & Middle School Division (2nd-6th) - 15 lessons
  • Measurements and Conversions (2nd-6th) - 23 lessons 
  • Number Types and Conversions (3rd-6th) - 35 lessons
  • Ratio, Proportions, Probability & Statistics (3rd-6th) - 14 lessons 
  • Decimal Numbers (3rd-7th) - 20 lessons
  • Advanced Geometry (4th-7th) - 35 lessons
  • Advanced Fractions (4th-8th) - 26 lessons
  • Percentages (5th-8th) - 13 lessons

Some of the concepts are very basic, and others more advanced or something that might be left out, particularly if you don't follow a specific curriculum and teach math more "organically," which is actually something I did with my Eldest through about 4th grade.
She learned basic math (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, Decimals, Time and Money) as we went through life, and with a hodge-podge of worksheets and activities. 
If these had been around then, I might have chosen to use the Tables, Charts, Graphs or Measurements and Conversions, Number Types and Conversions, or Ratio, Proportions, Probability & Statistics, as those weren't things that came up in our daily life. 

Moving on to the present time, and my Youngest... as I said, he's been fond of numbers (and used them fairly well) since he was about two. He has had the benefit of using more actual "Curriculum" for the early grades than his siblings, but even so, there are some skills that could use a little more work. 

Because we are right in the middle of 3rd grade, it seemed like a good idea to check out 
Elementary & Middle School Multiplication as well as Elementary Algebra.

I will say that the interface for A+ Interactive Math isn't exactly intuitive for me, so it took a while to get used to where to find things, and how to actually submit answers, and finalize quizzes. They do supply a pdf guide to help you get started, but if your student is used to entering a number and then using the "enter" key to submit the answer, it may take a while to get used to this. We also made the mistake of closing the window when reaching the end of a worksheet or quiz without saving or finalizing the worksheet, and *poof* it was gone. Not a major issue, just something that we had to "learn" in order to use the program properly. :) This is a screenshot of part of the pdf explaining how the program works. 

The first page of the Quick Start-up Guide shows what the student dashboard looks like. From here they will access the Video Lessons which include Interactive Review questions before moving on to the next icon which is where the online worksheets and tests are generated. If your student prefers pencil and paper for their mathwork, visit the blue icon to the right to access pdf worksheets. The green icon is also for those who like to have a hardcopy in their hands. This is the place to print the information from the video lessons in pdf form~ a print-on-demand "Textbook" if you will.

The bottom row of icons are the "details" ~ The first icon for Assigned Online Worksheets and Tests doesn't show up on my son's dashboard, as I chose not to "assign" anything, but rather to let him work through at his own pace. Very adaptable as to how you use this program!  The second icon gives you a place to view worksheet reports, test reports, Interactive question reports (from the video lesson), and video lesson completion summary. 

This screenshot is from the worksheet report the week we started using the Mulitplication course:  
Elementary and Middle School Multiplication (2nd-6th grade) lessons: 
  • 1 - Introduction to Multiplication
  • 2 - Multiplication in Relation to Addition
  • 3 - Multiplication Using Objects
  • 4 - Multiplication Using a Multiplication Table
  • 5 - Multiplication Tricks
  • 6 - Multiplying a 2-digit Number by a 1-digit Number
  • 7 - Multiplying a 3-digit Number and a 1-digit Number
  • 8 - Multiplying a 2-digit Number and a 2-digit Number
  • 9 - Multiplying a 3-digit Number and a 2-digit Number
  • 10 - Multiplying a 4-digit Number and a 2-digit Number
  • 11- Multiplying a 5-digit Number and a 2-digit Number
  • 12 - Multiplying a 3-digit Number and a 3-digit Number
  • 13 - Multiplication with Three Numbers

As you can see, it does get more difficult, so we haven't worked all the way through this course just yet. I do appreciate the ability to just hang out on a topic and have worksheets generated (and graded) until I'm sure that he has a handle on the concept. 

We've also done some work in the Elementary Algebra Mini-Course. 

1.1 Recognizing and Predicting Patterns
1.2 Extending Patterns
1.3 Increasing Number Patterns
1.4 Decreasing Number Patterns
1.5 Balancing Equations
1.6 Arithmetic Number Patterns
1.7 Geometric Number Patterns
1.8 Find the Missing Number
1.9 Properties of Addition and Multiplication
1.10 Completing Equations
1.11 Numeric Expressions and Equations
1.12 Number Comparisons using Symbols
1.13 Completing Number Sentences with Addition
1.14 Comparing Number Expressions with Addition
1.15 Completing Number Sentences with Subtraction
1.16 Comparing Number Expressions with Subtraction
1.17 Number Patterns using Addition and Subtraction
1.18 Number Patterns using Multiplication and Division
1.19 Unknown Variables in Mathematical Equations
1.20 The Number Line
1.21 Variables, Expressions and Equations
1.22 Writing Expressions and Equations
1.23 Inequalities using Variables
1.24 Formulas
1.25 Order of Operations
1.26 Evaluating Expressions
1.27 Equations with One Variable

While some portions of this course are solid, it was good to check out the patterns lessons. They include a variety of pattern types, so that my son learned to look at a string of numbers from a variety of angles to discover what the pattern might be. 
This screen shot shows the end of a pattern worksheet, and the directive to complete the worksheet. :)

The A+ Interactive Math Mini-Courses offer a comprehensive way to fill holes using a variety of methods... video lesson, pdf lesson (textbook), online interactive questions, unlimited generated worksheets/test (Graded for you!), pdf worksheets/test with solutions. Many different options. This can also be a great resource to include in your child's portfolio, especially for those who do math more organically and need something to show for it. ;)

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
You can visit A+ Interactive Math on their Social Media Channels:
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

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