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Gaps, we all have them. It seems that it doesn’t matter how much we enjoy a subject there will always be holes in our understanding of it. Math seems to be a subject that can be hit the hardest when it comes to learning gaps. Perhaps it’s also the most important subject to work at filling in these gaps. After all, if you don’t understand the basics of math it really does make learning the next step harder.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
One of my favourite math companies A+ Interactive Math has created a set of Math Mini-Courses just to help you fix the gaps in your children’s math understanding.
What Are Math Mini-Courses?
A+ Interactive Math currently offers 20 Math Mini-Courses
- Counting and Identifying Numbers
- Place Value and Number Combinations
- Naming, Comparing and Arranging Numbers
- Early Elementary Fractions
- Early Elementary Addition
- Early Elementary Subtraction
- Elementary & Middle School Multiplication
- Elementary & Middle School Division
- Tables, Charts and Graphs
- Elementary Geometry
- Elementary Algebra
- Advanced Geometry
- Advanced Fractions
- Decimal Numbers
- Number Types and Conversions
- Ratio, Proportions, Probability & Statistics
- Measurements and Conversions
Each of these courses is an in-depth instruction and review of 1 specific math concept. When your student login they have to launch the class from their student dashboard.
After that, they are presented with a screen with multiple options. The 3 most important ones are the Video Lessons with Interactive Review, View Lesson Plans, and View Printable Worksheets.
Sample lesson in the Time unit.
Your first stop will be to click the Video Lessons button. This opens a new screen. On the left is a table of contents for the unit. After you select the lesson you want to work on it begins to play in the center of the screen.
After the lesson has been watched the student clicks on the button to go to the interactive Q&A. Here they work through a series of questions to see how well they understand the material that was just taught. The questions are a mixture of multiple choice and typing in the correct number. The questions and answers are read aloud making it easy for children to follow along.
If a student answers a question wrong they watch an explanation video showing how to find the correct answer and then they have a chance to answer that question correctly again. When the Q&A is over they earn a printable certificate. It shows their score on the first and second try of the lesson.
The Math Mini-Courses are short enough that most students can complete them in 2 to 3 months but you have access to the course for a full year. This gives you a lot of flexibility in how you use it.
How We’ve Been Using Math Mini-Courses
We have been using 2 Math Mini-Courses. My 7-year-old son who is in 2nd grade is working on the Time course. It’s intended for children in grades 1 to 4. I had noticed that he does a pretty good job of telling time with a digital clock but still struggled with the analog style. So I thought that the math unit on time would be a good fit for him.
He’s been enjoying using this math course as a supplement to his normal math lessons.The lessons are short and that really helps him to get through them! Hey, he’s an active little boy sitting for a long drawn out math lesson just isn’t going to work for him.
The time unit covers more than just telling time on a clock. The first 7 lesson start with learning days, weeks, months, years, converting time and the seasons. Really how many of us think of these things when we sit down to teach our children about telling time?
I love that this math course thought to start with something that is very concrete to a child. Most children can easily tell you what a day, week or month is. Let’s practice working on that and then break these down into hours and minutes.
The 20 lesson covered in the Time Math Mini-Course are:
- Days, Weeks, Months and Years
- Converting Time: Days, Weeks, Months and Years
- The Four Seasons
- Seconds, Minutes and Hours
- Digital and Analog Clocks
- Telling Time to the Hours
- Telling Time to the Half-hour
- Telling Time to the Quarter-hour
- Telling Time to 5 Minute Intervals
- Converting Time: Seconds, Minutes and Hours
- Duration of Time
- Converting Digital and Analog Time
- Converting Units of Time
- Adding Different Units of Time
- Finding Elapsed Time
- Adding Elapsed Time
My 10-year-old daughter in 5th grade is using the Tables, Charts and Graphs Math Mini-Course.
It’s intended for children in grade 1 to 6. She has worked a little on graphs in her main math program but her primary focus this year has been on mastering math facts. So I thought this would be a fun, short unit for her to change things up a little bit. I was right she has really enjoyed working on the Tables, Charts and Graphs unit.
Sample lesson from Tables, Charts and Graphs.
She is strong in math so I’ve found that having her watch the lesson and then complete the interactive Q&A is enough practice for her.
It has 17 Lessons:
- Introduction to Tables, Charts, and Graphs
- Creating Tally Charts
- Interpreting Tally Charts
- Creating Picture Graphs
- Interpreting Picture Graphs
- Creating Bar Graphs
- Interpreting Bar Graphs
- Circle Graphs
- Interpreting Circle Graphs
- Line Graphs
- Displaying Data Using Line Graphs
- Interpreting Line Graphs
- Double Bar Graphs
- Surveys and Experiments
- Stem and Leaf Plots
- Choosing the Right Graph to Use
What I Think Of Math Mini-Courses
I’ve really enjoyed the math programs made by A+ Interactive Math since they first started a few years ago. I’ve reviewed their single curriculum and family math packages in previous years, so I was pretty familiar with how the program is laid out.
It was easy to log into my parent’s account and assign the 2 new classes to each student. This makes sure they each have their own login to A+ Interactive Math.
My older daughter can easily complete the lessons on her own. All I needed to do was review with her how to open the lessons. Whereas my son needed my help for the first few lessons. It is not always obvious where to click to submit an answer and he was getting frustrated. So I wanted to stay close to offer help if needed.
Both of my children loved that the lessons are short and to the point. There is no busy work here and even the quiz is kept short and focus on the lesson that was just taught.
If you find your child needs more practice you can easily access the worksheets from the main menu. These can be completed online and are automatically graded or you can print them off.
Although the lesson is fully taught online if your child likes to read the lesson you also have the option to print off a PDF version. I love how flexible this course is that way! You can use it entirely online, offline or use a mixture.
There are a few small things about the format A+ Interactive Math uses that I think could be made easier. First, is that when your child finishes a lesson you have to click a blue button above the lesson window to update the lesson status from in progress to completed. I really wish this was set automatically when a child finished the lesson.
I think the reason they don’t do it this way is because you can print off worksheets and then manually add grades later. I’m not sure if you can do this when a lesson has been marked as completed or not, since we mainly use the online lessons.
I also wish that when you logged in it automatically started your child at the next lesson. While the Math Mini-Courses keeps track of your child’s grades it doesn’t mark the lessons as completed in the table of contents to the lesson. So it helps to keep a notepad handy and mark down what lessons you have already completed as you go. For my younger children, I make sure to log them in and start them on the right lesson.
I love that the interactive Q&A questions and answers are read allowed and I wish this was an option for the online worksheets to! It would be a big help to younger and struggling readers. For me, these are small inconveniences that I wish worked differently and not deal breakers. My children have really enjoyed using the Math Mini-Courses and other programs from A+ Interactive Math.