Right now I am working with #3 on his fractions using Math Mammoth Blue Series (Fractions 2). I discovered Math Mammoth a few years ago when I needed some resources for teaching #2 maths. At that time #2 was in lower primary level and he needed more guidance and help with maths.
There are many Math Mammoth series : Light Blue, Blue, Golden, etc. I have not explore the other series. I only use the Blue Series and like it because it is targeted at one topic per book. To quote Math Mammoth : ” Blue Series books are topical work texts for grades 1 – 7, containing both instruction and exercises. This series covers all elementary school mathematics from 1st grader addition through 7th grade equations. The Blue Series books are not tied to grade levels and are great for review, reinforcement, filling in gaps, or initial teaching.”
“Filling in gaps” and “reinforcement” are exactly what I need when I turn to Math Mammoth. Usually, my children do not have problems with every maths topic in the syllabus but once in a while, they may face challenges with one or two topics. When those topics are what I consider ‘fundamental’ topics, very important to their maths foundation, I will pay particular attention to make sure they understand them thoroughly. E.g. understanding of Place Value is so important because it affects how you understand the four operations and even decimals. Not understanding fractions well will ultimately affect whether you can grasp ratio and percentage because they are essentially the same concept in different forms.
Why did I not just get one of those assessment books from Popular? Well, we did have those but I needed something more targeted on one particular topic and most of the books out there in the local bookshops covered every other topic in the syllabus as well. I did not want to buy a book just for one topic out of maybe ten. Since most books cover every topic in the syllabus, they also do not devote too much space to systematic teaching of each topic in detail or have enough practice per topic.
In comparison, Math Mammoth Blue Series goes more in detail for each topic it covers. Take the Fraction 2 book that I just bought as an example, it breaks down the topic into many sub-topics such as simplifying fractions, then followed by multiplication of fractions, division of fractions and finally touches a little on decimals and ratio. Within multiplication of fractions itself, the child first learn and practise on multiplication of fractions by whole numbers, then move on to multiplication of fractions by fractions, and finally multiplication of fractions by mixed numbers. There are enough explanation and practice each step of the way to make sure the child is firmly established in the learning of the topic.
Of course, since Math Mammoth is not aligned to our local curriculum, there are certain things within each topic that our kids do not have to learn. Those are not many and can be easily skipped over without affecting the learning of the topic as a whole.
I like the way Math Mammoth works from simple understanding to harder concepts, building up understanding of the topic bit by bit systematically and at the same time provide enough practice to solidify the learning. It also uses pictorial representations as a starting point, and works towards numerical representation from there. This really helps a struggling child to ‘see’ what is actually happening when he carries out the maths operations and not merely remembering the steps by rote. Math Mammoth is practice but not drilling, if we want to make a distinction between the two.
The other thing I really like about Math Mammoth is that I can get it instantly. Math Mammoth books are ebooks which you can get immediately upon purchase. Like a few days ago, when I discovered that I needed to really make sure #3 gets fractions very well, I immediately turned on my computer, placed my order and instantly, I got my book. I didn’t have to wait for the delivery of a physical book.
As ebooks, I can also use whatever I bought for all my children. What I bought for #2 a few years ago, I could also use it with #3. So it is really cost saving for me and makes the books so worth getting. The prices are not expensive. The Fraction 2 that I bought a few days ago cost me USD5.75. And if you don’t like to print things, you can use it on a tablet using a pdf reader that allows you to write on the pdf document.
Math Mammoth has a website with tonnes of information, and free worksheets and videos. You can download three free books to try out! They are Place Value 2, Add & Subtract 4 and Percent. The teaching videos are especially useful and the author also has her own Youtube channel which you can refer to. Here’s #3 watching a video on Simplifying Fractions before Multiplying, before attempting the exercises in the book.
You can find out about the other series from the website. But to purchase the books, you have to purchase from one of Math Mammoth’s several resellers. I purchased mine from Currclick, where you can also find tonnes of other curricula and teaching materials.
If you are looking for something that is good for the practice and learning of one maths topic per book, try the Math Mammoth Blue Series. But do check out the other series also because they may meet your needs better.
Disclaimer : There are no affiliate links in this post. I am not an affiliate reseller of Math Mammoth or Currclick.