Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Math U See (A Homeschool Crew Review)

 Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew  

 My kids have really struggled learning their multiplication tables.  Actually, I take that back, they know them to an extent but they lack confidence and often second guess their answers.  When were given the opportunity to review Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division from Math-U-See, we were really excited.   In the past, the kids had reviewed the Addition/Subtraction version of the same program which really helped them so I was hoping this program would work just as well for them.

In the package we found everything needed for the program. This included the resource guide and information for registering online to access the digital toolkit to use with the program, a set of integer blocks, fact check cards to be used with each lesson, and math strategy posters that help to illustrate the strategies used in the program. 


AIM stands for Accelerated Individualized Mastery - meaning that this product is designed specifically for students who struggle and have not yet mastered their multiplication facts, causing them to struggle as they advance to other math skills  The program uses three modes of instruction:

  • Accelerated – The opportunity for students to move quickly through a skill set they have not yet mastered, without extra distractions.
  • Individualized – Each student is different, as are their learning preferences. Using as many approaches as possible, the program creates an environment for a student to master the skills they still need at their own pace.
  • Mastery – In this program, mastery means that a student can recall all the math facts using as little mental energy as possible to remain engaged in the process of problem solving.

The AIM program uses explicit teaching and modeling of fact strategies, linking that understanding thru the "build, write, say" process (which I'll describe in just a moment), practicing to mastery by use of both what the student has already learned (referred to as facts known in the program) as well as new multiplication facts, and the use of short, frequent sessions to avoid burn out and maximize retention.

Major Concepts and Skills Include:
● Mathematical strategies that build number sense
● Specific mathematical strategy for each set of facts based on a process rather than a trick
or skip counting
● "Key" facts and "Companion" facts (application of Commutative Property)
● Methods for fading from use of manipulatives
● An optional section highlighting the relationship between multiplication and division
Product Components:
● Math-U-See Integer Blocks
● Resource Guide
● Math Fact Strategy Posters
● Fact Check Cards
● Digital Pack - Note: The Digital Pack includes lesson videos, instructions, solutions, and
printable resources required for successful implementation of the AIM for Multiplication
program. Internet access is required to utilize the Digital Pack.

Session A presents the new lesson information.  During this portion, the student uses the Build, Write, Say method.  The teacher presents an equation, to which the student the uses the manipulatives to "build" the problem,  they then write the problem down on a piece of paper, and finally they repeat the equation and the answer aloud.  The student then takes a break.

Session B is demonstrating understanding of the material using word problems.  This confirms that the student can still demonstrate the facts using the manipulatives after taking a break.  If the student does show the need for more practice at this point, the teacher can use the additional activities in the resource guide or also go to the digital toolbox and access various activities to help with more practice.  The student again takes a break following this session.

Session C is set to transition math facts to the visual memory of the student. This helps the student move from using the manipulatives and instead use the colored pencils to draw the equation rather than build it. The colored pencils coordinate with the same colors as the blocks, so the kids are asked to use them to build the equation on the paper.  The program calls this "fading". The student should be able to draw, write, and say each math fact card for the lesson.  Cards are divided into to piles in this session: facts known and facts not yet known.  Facts known are those the student can draw, write and say from memory where the second pile is those facts the student could not draw, write and say.
These facts are then reinforced by having the student either use the manipulatives to build, write and say the facts or choose a game from the activities section to help them learn the facts.  


Session D is Access for Memory.  Using the fact cards, students are asked to solve the equation from memory.  Again, each equation is placed in 2 piles: those equations the child was able to correctly answer quickly and those that the student needs to practice again.  Each equation on the fact card is to be answered correctly three times - each correct answer a star is filled in at the bottom of the card indicating a correct response.  This step is repeated until all fact cards for that lesson have been answered correctly three times and all stars are filled in.  Once all cards are mastered, the student is ready to go on to the next lesson.

In addition to the activities available for extra practice, the digital toolbox also offers a worksheet generator which can create a twenty question printable worksheet to use with your student and drill generators.  You can also print fact mastery charts to use rather than the fact cards.   

We really liked the additional activities that the tool kit provided.. These included games that incorporated the skills as well as additional handouts that the kids could work on. 

 This is a program we will be using for a while until the kids get their multiplication facts completely, but it has helped their confidence greatly as they know do not hesitate to answer the facts they have already learned. 



 For more information, be sure to visit the Math U See website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathusee
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mathusee
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mathusee/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mathusee
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/mathusee 


Be sure to click the banner below where you can read how other families used the program with their families.

Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division Reviews

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