Saturday, March 28, 2009

Teaching Textbooks: Our New Math Program!!

Student Learning Math by Using a Blackboard by Fritz Goro
Student Learning Math by Using a Blackboard

I don't like math. I thought that I should just come right out and say it. I'm not horrible at it or anything. I made it through Math Analysis. I just have never liked it. I fear passing that feeling on to my children.

I have been happy with Horizons Math, which we have been using for the past couple of years. I think that it is a great program and it has served us well.

The only problem that we have had lately, is that I don't seem to have time to teach the math lesson to each one of the kids individually (Ellie -4th, Kate-2nd, and Lexie -K) It's time consuming. So, I end up not giving them the lesson. I just hand them the worksheet.

Then they do it on their own and have to ask a number of questions (of course all at the same time - which is frustrating and distracting to everyone). Then we move on to another subject, often without me even grading their papers until the next day!! This obviously isn't the way to teach math.

Yesterday, I found a great new program called Teaching Textbooks, which we are going to try out next school year.

The kids get their lecture and sample problems on the computer!! Then they have a workbook page to do, but they enter their answers into the computer as they go and are told if it's correct or not. If it is wrong, it explains it to them. Plus, it keeps the grades for me!

This really sounds like it will simplify our school day a bit and I'm excited about any little change that can make our day run smoother.

The textbooks currently range from Grade 4 to Pre-Calculus, so Lexie will continue on with Horizons 1 next year - which is fine with me. She is not old enough to sit and do it on her own anyway.

I had Kate and Ellie take placement tests for the program and Kate will be in Grade 4 and Ellie in Grade 7. That sort of surprised me. Technically, they should be in 2nd and 5th grades next year, but Kate was already a year ahead in math. So, I'm not sure if the program is that "off" from Horizons or what, but we took the tour and did the example lessons and it seems wonderful!!

Besides going over the normal math subjects, it also addresses math in the real world - taxes, sales, quilting, carpentry etc. I am all for learning the practical, everyday uses for math!

I feel like this is going to lighten my load a little bit and also bring some excitement back into math. They want to start RIGHT NOW! They will have to wait until the coming school year though...

Don't just take my word for it! Head on over to Teaching Textbooks and check it out for yourself!!

1 comment:

heidi said...

We have been using MathUSee but my son (8) takes to math rather easily. I'm going to switch him to Teaching Textbooks next year. There are a couple of things he doesn't quite grasp yet but he seems to fit into TT level 5. He can do pre-algebra. But the fractions and the decimals seem to catch him up some still. Someone from TT at a convention suggested placing him in 6. Maybe I should listen to that.

I think TT is awesome. Wish this was around when I was a kid. I might not have struggled so much. Very well thought out. I wish they would make all their programs Mac friendly though. We have a PC laptop just it will still work.