Monday, August 6, 2012

Review Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy


Teaching and Learning Made Easy are simple and easy to use workbooks for addition and multiplication created by Glenda Brown James. These workbooks are designed to teach 36 addition and 36 multiplication facts during a 6 week program. Finger counting will be a thing of the past.

Please note this is not a math curriculum to teach concepts. It is a workbook to teach or reiterate addition facts. 

A moms review:
We reviewed the Addition Workbook. The spiral bound workbook is broken down into 6 weeks with a lesson each day of the week (Mon-Fri). Throughout the book flash cards, games and lots of fun worksheets (which all offer a unique activity) are utilized. I really liked the diversity of the activities because it helped keep Gwyn's (age 6) attention.

I have mentioned this previously that math scares me!!! I have never been very good at math and it is my biggest fear when it comes to teaching my children. When I read the philosophy of Teaching and Learning Made Easy I had an AH HA moment!!!! I NEVER recall memorizing addition facts in school and now find myself wondering why???? Higher level math may have been so much easier for me if I had memorized these important additional facts. I must admit I was always a finger counter and still am sometimes.

The Addition workbook is recommended for 1st and 2nd graders but can also be used with Kindergartners or older struggling learners. Heck its even good for moms like me who struggle with math.

The initial step before beginning the first lesson is to eliminate the easiest math facts which are 0's and 1's. So for the first few pages your child will focus on understanding that zero plus another number equals the other number and that one plus any number equals one more. During this initial step children will begin to notice that the order of the numbers being added together doesn't matter. There are two fun worksheets for 0's and 1's practice. Gwyn had no problem learning her 0's and 1's and had a HUGE boost in confidence when I showed her how many math facts she had mastered using the included addition table at the front of the book.

Finger counting is discouraged throughout the book but use of manipulative such as pennies, buttons, cotton balls etc is encouraged so that children will be able to visualize the concept. We have several types of math manipulatives like bingo chips, pennies, seashells, blocks and linking cubes that we use. Gwyn prefers to use pennies most of the time though.

Also located in the beginning of the book is a Pre-Test and Post-Test. The Pre-Test will be taken on the day you begin.  And the Post-Test will be taken the day your child finishes the program. Gwyn has just started learning addition so she was very frustrated by the Pre-Test because she could only answer about 4 of the problems. I explained that since she is just starting to learn addition it was okay that she didn't know that many and that by the time we get through the entire book she would.

Located in the back of the book are flash cards that will be used to drill after each lesson. These are perforated for easy removal. For extra durability I laminated our cards.

Also in the back of the book are three games which are used for reinforcing each week's addition facts. The games are fun and simple. A few extra supplies are needed for the games like a brad and clothes pins for each fact. One game recommends laminating the game pieces for durability. Gwyn liked the doll game the most (but I don't think this game would appeal to boys very much).  I placed all our game pieces in a file folder with the sides taped for easy storage.

After 0's and 1's are mastered it is time to start the lessons. Each lesson will follow this format:
  • Follow the instructions for each daily activity worksheet.
  • Follow the instructions for a game or two.
  • Use the flash cards to drill.
  • Make up daily reviews for your child.
  • Each week give the weekly review from the back of the book. 
The lessons are not overly long and can be completed in about 15-30 minutes depending on your child's skill level. Because math is not my strong point I tried to use the book following this format (or as close to it as I could).

Again I would like to mention that these worksheets are lots of fun! NO boring DRILLS here. The worksheets are each different but do follow a similar format each week. Monday is Gwyns favorite!!!

Monday - color by number worksheet. Kids can also learn to read their colors while doing this worksheet.
Tuesday - crack the code worksheet with a picture to color.
Wednesday - cut/paste puzzle worksheet.
Thursday - review page with addition problems (3 activities). I like how one of the activities even introduces kids to Algebra.
Friday - Math problem of the week. This is in a word problem format which I thought was another  great way to sneak in a higher level math skill and get in some critical thinking skills.  

Children are encouraged to proceed at their own pace working a page a day as labeled or as many pages as they like. The idea behind the Math Made Easy program is that your child will eventually be able to answer each fact in 8 seconds or less, will not need to use their fingers to add and will in turn be very successful at math. I can tell you it will probably take us longer than 6 weeks to get through the program because we don't follow a set routine or schedule each day. One day we did a couple of worksheets and games and another day we did only one game. We firmly believe in letting our children go at their own pace so if they are struggling with a subject or concept we don't push them.

Cons (just a few):
It would be awesome if this workbook was available in an E-book format so that it could be used with multiple children especially if they are close in age. Because I would like to eventually use the book with Rowyn (age 5) I used one of our nifty page protectors and placed it over the page Gwyn was working on to keep the book intact. I did recently discover though through some of the other TOS Crew Reviewers that the worksheets may be reproduced to use within the immediate family! After I found out the workbook was reproducible I agreed it was well worth the $24.95 fee, prior to that I thought it to be a little on the high end. 

If your child doesn't like worksheets (like Rowyn) then this may not be the program for them. I am going to eventually try this with him but he is not ready for it quite yet. Who knows he may enjoy it but considering he doesn't like to color or like worksheets this may end up not even being for him.

When I saw "package" on the website I was expecting a little more. I think a few more games would be an awesome addition. Also the games should probably be for all genders (boys may not like the doll game). I plan to make up a few more games on my own to mix it up a little over the remaining weeks.


Gwyns review (6 yrs old):
I really like the color by number worksheet. I like the way it teaches me math. I like the flash cards. And I think the doll game is FUN! I can now add numbers together which is cool. 0 + 9 = 9, 1 + 4 = 5, 5 + 5 = 10 see I know my math!

Links to follow:
-Math Made Easy Website
-Math Made Easy Facebook page 

Where to buy:

The workbooks (addition and multiplication) can purchased on the Math Made Easy website and cost $24.95 each. 

If you have an older child who needs the multiplication workbook be sure to check out the reviews from the other TOS Crew Members by clicking the links below!

Click here for more Math Made Easy reviews from the The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

*Disclaimer - As part of the TOS Review Crew I received a copy of the addition workbook in return for my honest review. Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.

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