Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
It’s so important for kids to master addition and subtraction. Without a solid understanding of these concepts, they will have a hard time moving on to other topics in math. So, I was thrilled to get a chance to review the Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction from Math-U-See. My goal was to help my second grader reinforce her knowledge of addition and subtraction, and help her memorize more of the basic facts.
What Is This Product?
Designed to be used as a supplement for math, the AIM for Addition and Subtraction is a combination of physical and digital products. Everything is designed to help students master addition and subtraction.
We received a box with the following:
- A code for access to online training and digital material like worksheets to print (called a Digital Pack)
- Physical integer blocks
- Colored pencils
- Resource guide
- Math facts strategy posters
There are 22 lessons altogether, each meant to help students improve their addition and subtraction skills. Half the lessons are addition, half focus on subtraction. The videos are fairly short, in the 2-7 minute range.
The online portal looks like this:
You can also access resources, solutions, and activities from there. There are plenty of things to print out to accompany the lessons.
As your student progresses, they move from using the integer blocks to using a colored drawing representing the integer blocks, to using just numbers. This three-step process of teaching math is the CPA approach. It’s something that I learned in teacher college, and it really works well.
The idea behind it is to start students off with something concrete. Something they can see and feel. Those are the integer blocks. When they use blocks to build the problem out, students really connect multiple points in the brain.
After they are working well with the blocks, you can move to a pictorial model. Those are the drawings. In this case, they’re even color coded drawings to help the student remember the color of the integer blocks they were previously using.
Finally, they move onto the abstract stage. By now, they fully understand what the numbers and symbols of math represent, and can speak in that language fluently. They can look at 5+4=__ and know that it means 5 things added to four things is ___ things total.
When you gently move your child along this process, it’s a wonderful way for them to learn for mastery.
How We Used This Product
We started off with the Before-AIM Assessment to see how many facts my daughter already knew. The goal is for them to recall the answer in three seconds or less without counting. Though my daughter got many answers correct, not many of them were done this quickly. I knew we had some work to do!
As we progressed through the lessons, her understanding became more clear. I could see her grasping the concepts better.
And she really liked using the integer blocks! So did her siblings…
What We Thought of This Product
Though I’ve never used Math-U-See materials with the kids before, many of my students at the PPP where I used to teach did. So I’ve always held this math company as one that produced quality materials.
Now that I have had a chance to review this product, that opinion still stands. Except, it’s stronger than ever since it’s backed up with personal experience.
The program is not meant to be rushed through. We’re still working on it. Math mastery takes time and practice. And I really like the way everything is presented here. My daughter is really learning a lot and knows so many more facts now than when we started.
The biggest challenge for us were the videos. Our internet is metered and fairly slow on a good day. But with the quarantine now in place and ALL of our neighbors home also using the same type of internet, the last couple of weeks have been extremely slow. Thankfully the videos are fairly short, but getting through them was tough. I’m looking forward to having our internet speed pick back up in the coming weeks as things return to normal, so the videos won’t take forever to load.
All in all, I highly recommend this program for kids who need a little extra help with addition and subtraction.
To learn more about this product, and how other homeschooling families used it, please click on the banner below.