Math Mammoth, Grades 1, 2, and 3

By Maria Miller
Math Mammoth
www.MathMammoth.com
386-868-2944

Math Mammoth is a set of three math worktext CDs for first through third graders. It includes all the text and worksheets, answers to the problems, tests, and an extra practice worksheets maker. The format provides brief, clear instruction followed by examples and problems for the student to work. Page layout is pleasant with black text and numbers on a white ground. Some color is used for illustrations or to separate sections of problems. You will also see yellow highlights and red arrows to spotlight certain terms and digits in the procedures. The inclusion of color provides interest and clarity without being distracting.

Grade 1 covers addition and subtraction concepts and facts, place value to 100, telling time to the half hour, inches and centimeters, shapes, and coins.

Grade 2 covers adding and subtracting two and three digit numbers, place value to 1000, carrying and borrowing, multiplication, fractions, telling time in five-minute intervals, measures, weight, volume, and more about money.

Grade 3 covers adding and subtracting strategies and terminology, place value to 1000, multiplication concepts and tables, division, an introduction to fractions and decimals, telling time to the minute, elapsed time, measuring and geometry, half dollar and dollar, making change, Roman Numerals, and basic algebraic problems. The section on Roman Numerals is very comprehensive.

Each CD is divided into several chapters focusing on one concept each. In the words of the author, "This curriculum aims to concentrate on a few major topics at a time, and study them in depth. This is thus totally opposite to the continually spiraling step-by-step curricula in which each lesson typically is about a different topic from the previous or next lesson, and includes a lot of review problems from past topics."

The chapters begin with an introduction page for the teacher. Following are about ten lessons of roughly two to four pages each and a one- to two-page review. The chapter tests are one page long.

How does one use Math Mammoth? It is a complete math curriculum and can be used as your main math book or as a supplement. The author encourages you to plan out the lessons yourself, and suggests you do it as a series of topics. Because the brief teaching text is incorporated into the worksheets and the pages are so clean, I think this curriculum would be ideal for children with shorter attention spans and those who are distractible. The lessons are short, and the worksheets have lots of small chunks of problems that provide good "stopping places."

I really liked the format of Math Mammoth. It allows you and your student to get right into it without a lot of excess verbiage. The worksheets are very neat and appealing. Some of the pages were so intriguing I wanted to print out copies for myself!

My second and third grade girls preferred the variety of problems that our "continually spiraling curricula" worksheets have rather than working one concept and many similar problems per page. I wish there had been a placement test, especially for children who may be coming into Math Mammoth from a different curriculum or learning situation.

Overall, I think Math Mammoth is a great curriculum. For the younger grades especially, where children can vary so much in their knowledge of math concepts and their ability to learn new ideas, these CDs enable parents to tailor their teaching and their child's practice to precisely what needs to be learned. And it provides you with the tools to give your child extra practice in any of these basic areas of math.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, November 2007