We were recently blessed with the opportunity to review Mastering 5th Grade Math – Volume 1 – Fractions produced by www.scienceandmath.com. Volume 1 of Mastering 5th Grade Math is a physical DVD with videotaped courses covering the essentials of fractions. The set also includes a PDF disk for printing worksheets. The retail price is only $15.99 and the program is recommended for grades 4-6. I used the DVD course with Ryan (5th grade) for this review.
The first thing that I did after receiving our DVD course was watch the first lesson by myself to get a feel for the program. The teacher, Jason Gibson is encouraging, engaging, and caters to both auditory and visual learners by reading aloud as he writes notes on the whiteboard. He even uses different colored markers which helps the student differentiate the various parts of the math problems. Jason makes the viewer feel comfortable and confident. I like that the lessons are short (approximately 10 minutes) and are followed by completing worksheets to ensure that the student understood the concepts taught.
The worksheets, which I printed out using the Worksheets & Digital Files disk, are colorful and clearly laid out. A majority of the lessons have two to three pages of worksheets that correspond with that days class. Most days, that was more than enough practice for Ryan to master the concepts. We would often only work through every other problem, however it is nice that extra practice is provided for those students who need a little more assistance.
Lesson One starts off with a very basic overview of fractions. Jason explains everything thoroughly and gives visual examples (such as cutting a pizza into slices). Ryan said that he “already knew these simple fractions”, but we watched the video and completed the worksheets as a review. I knew that that basics would help him as we progressed into more challenging work, and I was right 🙂 .
The lessons included on Volume 1: Mastering 5th Grade Math are as follows:
1-Review of Fraction Concepts
2-Writing Fractions as Words
3-Finding Factors of a Number
4-Finding the Greatest Common Factor (GCF)
5-Finding the GCF of 3 Numbers
9-Simplifying Fractions, Part 1
10-Simplifying Fractions, Part 2
11-Review of Improper Fractions
12-Review of Mixed Fractions
13-Converting Mixed Fractions to Improper Fractions
14-Converting Improper Fractions to Mixed Fractions
15-Thinking about Fractions as Division
16-Writing a Whole Number as a Fraction
We started off using the program by just watching the video together, but as the lessons progressed in difficulty we discovered that it helped if Ryan took notes and copied the work as Jason wrote the problems on the whiteboard. That way when it was time to complete the daily worksheet, Ryan was able to go back and see how to work the problems out. This also helped to reassure me that he was paying attention to the lesson :).
Quite a few times while we worked through the course, Ryan told me that he “liked this math.” Coming from a child who’s not big on math, this is a HUGE compliment!!!
The picture below shows Ryan working on reducing fractions. He was having some difficulty understanding, so I pulled out a set of Unifix Cubes to help him visualize the concept. It didn’t take too many practice problems for him to figure it all out! It may be helpful for www.scienceandmath.com to include a list of common, household manipulatives (i.e. – sectional candy bars, Legos, graham crackers, etc.) that can be used for kinesthetic learners.
Other math courses provided by http://www.scienceandmath.com/ include:
Algebra 1 DVD Course (suggested for grades 7 and up -$26.99)
Algebra 2 DVD Course ($26.99)
Geometry/Trigonometry DVD Course ($26.99)
A Science Experiment DVD (suggested for grades 1-3 – $17.95) is also available and includes 23 experiments covering concepts such as heat, electricity, magnetism, chemistry, physics, and more! You can see what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members thought of these other programs by clicking on the picture below:
I would highly recommend www.scienceandmath.com and I will definitely be purchasing the higher level courses if/when Brendan or Ryan need extra assistance with math in the future!
THIS PROGRAM IS SUPER EASY TO USE…JUST PRINT OFF THE WORKSHEETS, POP IN THE DVD, AND GO!
Mastering 5th Grade Math – Volume 1 – Fractions is like having a personal tutor in your home for a FRACTION of the cost (a little math humor :))!