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Mathematics Review


Cuisenaire Rods
Learning Wrap Ups
Making Math Meaningful
Quarter Mile Math Series on CD-ROM
Stand Up Math

Cuisenaire Rods
A review by Karen Andreola

Cuisenaire Rods Introductory Set, Wood
Cuisenaire® Rods Introductory Set, Wood
Learning Resources Inc / 2000
Cuisenaire Rods sparked our children’s interest in arithmetic through lively investigation and visual and tangible confirmation of math concepts. I first read about the rods in the 1980s. I liked them so much that I used them with all three of my children when they were young and in their early elementary years. They all started out by learning the Cuisenaire poem by heart to identify the numerical value of each rod. The rods were very handy to teach concepts and beginning operations of mathematics. I found them particularly helpful with multiplication and fractions. Oh, we did our share of making sets with dried beans, forks, sea shells, and buttons, but it has been the use of the colorful Cuisenaire Rods that has come to my rescue most conveniently and logically to demonstrate what is on paper in black and white!

Learning Wrap Ups
A review by Karen Andreola

Learning Wrap Ups: Math Introduction Kit

Learning Wrap Ups

Learning Wrap Ups / 1985

Some years ago I was sitting in the waiting room of a dentist office with my young children. I had scheduled an appointment for all of us for that day. Because we were there during regular school hours each child brought a book and some Learning Wrap-Ups. “You must be homeschoolers,” said a smiling woman I had never seen before, “we use them, too.” She had a toddler balanced on her hip, a four-year-old by the hand, and another child following behind as they entered the waiting room. “Yes,” I replied, happy to receive sweet affirmation that there were other mothers around like me going through similar motions. Learning Wrap-Ups can be slipped into a purse, used on car trips, in waiting rooms, or overnights at Grandmas. They fit comfortably in a child’s hand and are self-correcting. The child winds the string around the tablet. He turns it around when he gets to the end of the string, if the pathways of the strings match the subtle markings on back, he has done the tablet correctly. I can remember those years of keeping up math skills. Review, review, review—practice makes perfect. I drilled my children on the math facts on paper, with the Cuisenaire Rods, and also with Learning Wrap-ups. They were used over and over again, student after student.

Making Math Meaningful
by David Qunie
A review by Karen Andreola

Making Math Meaningful Level 1
Making Math Meaningful, Level 1
Cornerstone Curriculum / 1997
I remember my children’s fondness of using tangible objects during their early math lessons. With the satisfaction that comes from using their own hands they counted out sets with forks, beans, and buttons, measured with spoons and cups, etc. and set up Cuisenaire Rods. Indeed, one definition of the word “tangible” is to be “capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind.” Are you looking for an alternative to monotonous arithmetic lessons that are mostly memory drill? Making Math Meaningful is refreshingly different. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts and brings meaning to math symbols. At the beginning real objects from around the house are used to solve problems. Gradually the student moves from concrete hands-on activities to abstract ones. M.M.M. is especially good at teaching the abstract. Its lessons specialize in understanding and working out a principle. Special word problems promote mathematical thinking in that the student must determine when to add, subtract, multiply, or divide. Learning is also satisfying when we are directed to find things out for ourselves and draw conclusions logically. If you would rather your student do problems based on principle rather than on quick tricks and hours of repetition M.M.M. is for you.
Some popular (expensive) math textbooks require the writing out of all problems. This can drag out lesson time. With M.M.M. even older students write in the book. The Parent Manual for levels K-4 provides a script so that the teacher may carefully assist in her student’s discovery-learning. Levels 5-Algebra are written to the student. Author David Quine is a dedicated homeschool dad with a degree in curriculum design. He created M.M.M. to be used with his own nine children and ours. I am so glad he did.
-Karen

Cornerstone Curriculum
*Note M.M.M. is numbered as to skill level, not grade level.


Quarter Mile Math Series on CD-ROM
A review by Dean Andreola

The Quarter Mile Math Series
The Quarter Mile Math: Grades K-3 Single CD-ROM
Barnum Software / 2001
Many students have benefited from the whimsical bit of change and challenge that Quarter Mile Math drills have brought to their daily routines. This animated CD ROM math software is like our old fashioned flashcards updated for the 21st century! It covers all the basic math disciplines, keyboarding, the alphabet, rounding, whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percents, math strategies and estimations, integers and equations in the form of an exciting race, with sound effects. The student can choose a horse or racecar and compete against his or her own recorded best time. The software keeps records of previous score times so your child can track improvement game to game. Building confidence and improving speed in problem solving is just a few of the benefits of this self-directed program designed to complement and enhance your current curriculum. Depending on which “bundle” you select (according to grade or ability) one game will cover a range of students in your household. Works with PC or Mac and so simply to use, very little adult supervision is necessary once the basics of the game are mastered.

Stand Up Math
A review by Karen Andreola

Stand Up Math
Stand Up Math Level 1 - Budding Genius, Grades 3-5
James Riley / Pearson Learning / 1995
I like facts presented in story form. Anyone who has read a handful of my reviews comes to this conclusion. This goes for math too. Some years age I was able to warm up my son’s mind with one fact a day from Stand Up Math. Review of math skills can be dull but not when the review is in the form of a math story. Here’s an example: President Teddy Roosevelt shook the hands of 8,513 people during a New Year’s Day party in the White House in 1907. If Teddy Roosevelt’s party lasted for 6 hours, how many hands did he shake in an hour? - A minute? Here’s another: The Goliath beetle is the world’s strongest insect. It can pull more than 50 times its own weight. This huge beetle loves bananas. If a Goliath beetle weighed 1/4 pound, how many pounds of bananas could it pull? (taken from Level 2)
There are180 problems in Stand Up Math under such topics as: history, geography, animals, food, the planets, etc., with a pen and ink illustration on each page. This flip over book can perch on a window-sill, rest on a kitchen counter or desk. It will add a nice touch to any math course.
Level 2 ages 9-11
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Homeschool Highlights provides homeschooling resources for home schooling parents and students. This site is hosted by Dean and Karen Andreola, noted authors who brought to light the works of Charlotte Mason. They also review "living books" and homeschool curriculum materials for Rainbow Resource Center.

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