Monday, April 18, 2016

A+ Interactive Math Mini-Courses Review: Closing the Learning Gaps

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}
Throughout the course of their years in school, most every student hits a snag sooner or later, especially in math.  Sometimes the lesson moves too fast.  Other times a student just struggles with a concept, needing extra support.  It is even common to enter into a new mathematical area only to find out that a basic principle is really weak, requiring some reinforcement before advancing.  For whatever reason, learning gaps happen.   In this review we discovered that Math Mini-Courses from A+ Interactive Math, is a good tool for closing those gaps. 

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

During the review period we received access to 2 Math Mini-Courses, Counting and Identifying Numbers and Place Value and Number Combinations.  Each mini-course that I reviewed included 15 online video lessons with interactive review questions, online and printable worksheets, tests, lesson pdfs, solution guides and summary reports providing a variety of learning platforms.  The content in each course follows a logical progression of a specific mathematical concept increasing from beginner to advanced levels of skill.  I requested these two courses because my son is just getting started in school and while he had some knowledge already in these areas, I expected that he could use some reinforcement.  As I had hoped, Counting and Identifying Numbers was a good place to start. It was familiar enough content that he wasn't lost, but going through each lesson helped him slow down and fully grasp details.  It took your basic knowledge of counting to 20 and expanded it to 1000 while incorporating counting by 2s, 5s, 10s and even backwards.  There was also multiple examples in multiple formats, not assuming that one explanation in one way would work for every student.  I really appreciated that built in to the lessons.  At the end of every instruction portion there were review questions to answer.  At first we had a little trouble because in order to submit your answer (on most questions) you were supposed to click on a frog on the screen.  We kept forgetting and then it wouldn't record the answer, requiring us to go back and repeat questions.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

The second Math Mini-Course, Place Value and Number Combinations continued the same format but began to highlight new territory for my son.  When the new concepts would grow too challenging he could immediately go back and listen to a portion again.  I appreciated the multiple visual demonstrations of place value in this course because of how tricky it can be for a beginner.  The course does a good job of ensuring comprehension via multiple avenues.  If there was a mastery deadline or some kind of other test we were preparing for, there are worksheets and tests available with different content.  In this way, these targeted lessons are an important asset to public and homeschool alike.  For our household and learning needs, Math Mini-Courses would not be good for a primary curriculum or main source of math instruction simply because it is all online and doesn't involve manipulatives or games in the instruction.  However, for specific skill work or supplemental reinforcement it is a great tool to have in the bag. 


What surprised me the most was how often J requested to do one of these lessons.    Honestly, the graphics and color scheme, while very effective in instructing, at first glance reminded me of a DOS program and somehow that equated to outdated, less than engaging and just not fun in my mind.  Thankfully, my son is less judgmental than I and seemed to really enjoy it!  If his little sister came around making too much noise and he got distracted during an instruction portion, he always made me stop it and start back where he was in order to not miss something. After one, he was usually done and ready to go run around, but he seemed to look forward to the one most days. This was certainly not something I had to force him to do very often.  

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

We are just getting started in elementary math, but A+ Interactive Math Mini Courses offer 20 different courses from counting all the way to geometry, decimals and statistics. Each course varies in price (for an entire year's use) from $9.99 to $19.99.  Perhaps your math education needs are currently filled and you don't see a place for something like this.  The likelihood is that it will be useful to someone's education in your family in the future so be sure to follow them on social media:

Twitter @aplustutorsoft

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}
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