Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Math Enrichment Resources

A few weeks ago I asked Crazy Bug what she wanted to do this summer.  I expected the typical responses: swim, go to Six Flags, camp.  Instead she said, "Math! Lots and lots and lots of math."  So math it is!

We are currently using Math Mammoth 1b as our basic curriculum.  It's a nice, steady, easy to implement mastery-based approach to math.  I love that you can just open it up and go because I don't have time for lots of planning.  While its nice to know the basics are covered and Crazy Bug is not missing any concepts, I have to admit that Math Mammoth is a bit dull.  So I supplement with other materials that increase critical thinking skills and mix up the material a bit.

Here are some terrific supplements:

Sunshine Math is a program created by the Florida Department of Education to challenge advanced students.  The worksheets are available for free online.  Each worksheet has a mix of concepts and problem types, and many explore concepts outside of the general grade-level curriculum.

Singapore Math's Challenge Word Problems is another great resource.  Word problems ensure that your child not only understands how to do math, but also when and how to use each concept.  These problems are a little tough, so you may need to go down one level from your child's general math level.  Be prepared to provide support and assistance while your child adjusts to this type of problems.

Critical Thinking Company offers a large variety of math and non-math resources.  They all challenge children to expand their ways of thinking about and solving problems.  This year I'm using Mathematical Reasoning Level B and Building Thinking Skills Level 1, as time allows.

Dr. Wright's Kitchen Table Math: Book 1 is the first in a series of three books for elementary school children and their parents.  The three books span the entire elementary school math curriculum with easy, hands-on math activities to do at home.  If your child is a tactile learner, then this is a great place to start.  Personally, we have only used Book 3, which focuses on non-arithmetic math: geometry, problem solving, probability, graphing, and more.

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