Monday, April 18, 2016

Dollars, Cents and Telling Time (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

I've mentioned a few times before, my kids are not the biggest fans of math. Things have started to get much better now that we've found a curriculum that seems to be a much better fit for us but there are still things that I feel they either need help with or need to get caught up with.  This is why when I was given the opportunity to review the new Math Mini-Courses offered by A+ Interactive Math, I was pretty excited.

Mini Courses are great ways in which to work on a particular area that your children need extra help with without having to buy an entire curriculum.  A+ Interactive Math was extremely generous and allowed us to review not just one but two of their courses. We opted to try to Money and the Time courses because both were areas that Ashleigh really needed some extra help with, however, there is a huge selection of 20 different classes we could have selected from.

Currently available for Mini-Courses are:

  • 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 & Middle School Multiplication (2nd-6th) - 13 lessons
  • Elementary & Middle School Division (2nd-6th) - 15 lessons
  • Tables, Charts and Graphs (1st-6th) - 17 lessons
  • Elementary Geometry (1st-4th) - 19 lessons
  • Elementary Algebra (1st-4th) - 27 lessons
  • Advanced Geometry (4th-7th) - 35 lessons
  • Advanced Fractions (4th-8th) - 26 lessons
  • Decimal Numbers (3rd-7th) - 20 lessons
  • Percentages (5th-8th) - 13 lessons
  • Time (1st-4th) - 20 lessons
  • Money (1st-5th) - 18 lessons
  • Number Types and Conversions (3rd-6th) - 35 lessons
  • Ratio, Proportions, Probability & Statistics (3rd-6th) - 14 lessons
  • Measurements and Conversions (2nd-6th) - 23 lessons

After having previous experience using the A+ Interactive Math format, we were quickly able to navigate through the menu and get started.  Since Garrett does really well with math and numbers but Ashleigh seems to struggle a bit more, I decided to allow Ashleigh to work on both classes.  (Although part of me was almost tempted to allow my 16 year old Public School Junior to take the time class, as reading an analog clock is not something she was taught).   I typically get her to do two to three lessons a week, switching back and forth between the two classes.

The first thing we noticed was that it's hard to just pick up and return to where you left off because it doesn't seem to keep track. Instead, you have to actually go in and complete the lesson once you finish it.  Many times we would forget to do this step and upon returning would be completely lost as to where we were in the lessons.  This also makes it near impossible to allow Ash to do the classes independently as she couldn't ever figure out how to clear out the completed classes.

One we do figure out where to pick up, the lessons are great.  The audio and visual lessons are clear and easy to understand and do a great job of explaining each concept. After each lesson, students are able to complete an interactive quiz that contains 7-15 questions (depending on the topic) to see how well they understand what they have just learned.   Also include is a digital worksheet generator where students can answer even more questions for even more practice if necessary.  Through the parents portal, parents are able to see their child's progress as well as how they have performed on the interactive quizzes and worksheet practices.  A PDF version of the lesson is also available to print out as a study sheet for offline use.

The Money Mini-Course was a lot more in depth then I was expecting.  Starting with counting coins and moving on to dollars, the course starts off much as I would have expected.  However, through the course of 18 lessons, it gets into more complex lessons such as calculating salaries, commissions and interest rates.  This will probably be slightly more than what Ashleigh will need to know for 2nd grade, however, as this course is for grades 1st thru 5th and is appropriate for 5th graders.

The Time Mini-Course follows the same format as the Money course but covers topics concerning time.  There are 20 different lessons for the Time course, starting with the very basic concepts of Days, Weeks, Months and Years, the seasons, and then covering reading time on a clock. Higher concepts such as adding elapsed time units are also included.  This course is designed for grades 1st-4th but very little of it seems to be too advanced for Ashleigh, so I found it to be an overall great course for her and she is learning much from it.

Most classes are designed to be completed in 2-3 months, however, we have gone through it at a much slower pace.  We like the idea that we have access to the mini-courses for a full year because this means we can watch the lesson multiple times so that I know that Ash is getting a solid understanding of what she is learning (this is especially true with the money course as we have not covered skip counting 25 yet and so she is struggling with counting multiple quarters at this point).

Priced at $9.99 to $19.99, I believe these courses are priced nicely, especially in comparison to purchasing a full math curriculum and I hope to see more courses added in the future.

Learn more about A+ Interactive Math by visiting them on the following social media sites:

Members of the Review Crew were given the opportunity to try all 20 Mini-Courses available from A+ Interactive Math.  Click the banner below to read what others thought of the courses they reviewed. 

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

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