America's Math Teacher
Cost - $195.00 / yearly subscription
Ages - Basic Math through Algebra
America’s Math Teacher is an online math program from people wanting to improve their children’s (or even their own) math skills. The founder of the site and the program, Rick Fisher, has been teaching math since 1971. Originally a paper-based curriculum entitled Math Essentials – America’s Math Teacher is the online version.
There are four components to the site.
The lessons are broken into four major categories: Basic Math, Advanced Math, Pre-Algebra and Algebra. I wasn’t sure where to start my seventh grader. I knew he wasn’t ready for Pre-Algebra, but I wasn’t sure where to start in the Advanced Math. I had him try a few of the quizzes to determine where he was comfortable starting. The quiz section is still being updated, so we couldn't get a solid feel for where to start. I looked over the materials and we began by watching a video lesson based on what I knew he needed to learn. Benjamin is taking Algebra, so that was easy to figure out. My boys and I both liked the video lessons. Mr. Fisher works at a pace that is easy to follow, but not too slow so that the kids got bored. It was nice to have one location where they could both go to to work on their math. I do wish it went beyond Algebra.
The program is setup so that a pdf file is downloaded for each section of math as the student progresses. Each sheet has speed drills, review, helpful hints, problems for the current lesson and a word problem. There are ten problems total plus the speed drills and word problem. The boys certainly liked the pace. Having much fewer problems than they were used to made them happy. I felt like they were getting a good basic overview of what was being taught with the assignments. As preparation for the start of the school year, this approach worked very well for us.
The Evaluation center is where the quizzes and tests for each section are located. Rick also provides pre-tests for students to practice their skills prior to testing. The tests have about ten questions that help evaluate what the student has learned and what he hasn’t. Answers are typed in online and automatically graded. The quizzes, to date, weren't fully integrated. We recevied timeouts that made it hard to complete the quizzes. However, once this section is operational, what I do like is that I could go back and have my student review a section he is having difficulty with very easily by reviewing the video and practicing on the worksheets again.
The Resource Center is provided to help each parent see the standards that are covered by this program. Additionally, access to speed drills, free lessons and worksheets, and a list of all the content that is covered throughout the course is provided. As the site grows, I can imagine the Resource Center will grow as well. This is a good place to start if you want to “test-drive” the program.
Overall, I like the approach that Mr. Fisher takes to teaching math. Videos are a great way to engage both the visual and auditory learner. By providing worksheets, the skills are practiced easily and fairly stress free. My first thought when starting to use this program was that my 17-year-old son will really benefit from the math review prior to taking his SAT’s. He can go through Algebra and hone his skills in areas he may have forgotten over time.
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** I received this product free of charge for review purposes. **