Friday, June 7, 2013

Math Mammoth

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I received a downloadable copy of Algebra I worksheets from Math Mammoth by Maria Miller.  I received Algebra 1-A worksheets which focus on:

  • Introduction to Algebra
  • Real numbers and their properties
  • Solving & Graphing Linear Equations & Functions
  • Solving & Graphing Linear Inequalities
I also received Algebra1-B worksheets which focus on:

  • Powers
  • Polynomials & Factoring
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Rational Expressions & Equations
  • Radicals & Geometry
I received the answer keys to both 1-A & 1-B as separate files.

I can’t begin to explain the frustrations I dealt with when taking my oldest daughter through Algebra I last year.  We had to switch approaches and resources so many times that she ended up not completing the course for that year.  For this reason I decided to outsource math for her each year thereafter.  But even with an outside teacher for Geometry there are still some gaps in her learning.  She may have finished the course but she didn’t master all of the concepts.  This is my art kid not my math kid!  Having the math mammoth worksheets last school year would have been great.  At least I have them for the two kids that follow. 

Learning from my experiences with Princess (oldest kid is always the guinea pig), I decided to ease Pumpkin into her Algebra studies.  After Christmas I added a supplemental program to her math studies that has been taking her through the fundamentals of Algebra I.  This is to prepare her for the start of Algebra I in August 2013, the beginning of her freshmen year of high school.   The program starts at exactly the same place Math Mammoth Algebra 1-A begins.  However, one key difference with Math Mammoth is the inclusion of conceptual thinking and word problems.  For example, writing variable expressions and equations is not something we have ever worked on but I’ve seen these problems in different review books.  My kids always have difficulty with them.  Heck…I have difficulty with them!  They make you think.  Quite frankly that is one of my goals in homeschooling - teach my kids to think.  Math mammoth believes conceptual thinking is important too.  Here is one such example of a variable expression from page 11 of  the Algebra 1-A worksheets:

The product of a whole number and the net consecutive whole number is 30.  What is the number?

We started out trying to figure out these math puzzles (which is what I like to call them) as a first step to using this curriculum.  All three of my kids together (10th grader, 8th grader, and 6th grader) worked together to solve these problems on the dry erase board.  My kids have had tons of pages of straight math calculations which have its place but to think through the math conceptually is just as important if not more.   Here is a word problem from page 30 of Algebra 1-A:

At the end of the day, Janelle had $10 more than three times the money she had in the morning.  She now has $160.  How much did she have in the morning?

We are had lots of fun with page 30! Here is a sampling from math mammoth of more problems like these.

I will continue to use these sheets as a review with my 10th grader throughout the summer.  She will be doing Algebra II next school year but is a little rusty on her Algebra I material.  I’m privileged to have this curriculum as my 8th grader is preparing for next year.  I will work this curriculum into her core program for additional practice.  My youngest daughter will probably do Algebra I as an 8th grader at which time I will pull this curriculum out again.  It is very thorough.  However, the Algebra I program I received can not be used as a stand alone product.  There is no instruction on how to actually solve the problems.   

Maria Miller gives some of the best advice I’ve seen on how to teach Algebra I to students here.

The only thing I do not like about this curriculum is the way it is packaged and priced.   Packages are parts of a color coded series and available as bundles with other series or as stand alone products.  Many of the series cover many grade levels so it is a little difficult to understand the overlap and to figure out which product you need to cover the concepts you're looking to cover.  Perhaps more guidance on which package and/or product to purchase would be helpful. Algebra 1-A & 1-B worksheets I reviewed is available as a download from Kagi as part of a Gold/Green Series bundle for $65.  A CD bundle is available for $70.
The Gold Series includes worksheets for Grades 3-8/9.
The Green Series includes worksheets by topics including measuring (grades 3-6), multiplication & division (grades 3-6), fractions (grades 3-6), decimals (grades 3-7), geometry, statistics (grades 3-7), numbers & operations (grades 3-6).

Or just purchase the Algebra 1-A & 1-B downloadable bundle for $13.50.
The answer keys are available for $2.00 for Algebra 1-A and $2.00 for Algebra 1-B.
Purchase the Algebra 1-A worksheets only for $8.00 (download) or
Purchase the Algebra 1-B worksheets only for $7.00 (download).

There are many other products available from  These products cover every grade level.  Many of these products can be used as a full math curriculum or as supplements like the Algebra worksheets.  

You can also purchase math mammoth products at and purchase hard copies of math mammoth products at LuLu and Rainbow Resources.  

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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