Modern Curriculum Press Mathematics Review


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Mirror, mirror on the wall. Which is the best, most effective, least difficult to teach math curriculum of all??? This could very well be the question of the decade for me, and even into the next.

It appears that each publisher has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to Math curriculum. Currently, we're using Modern Curriculum Press for 4th grade. For part of the year we've used Saxon. I love the fact that Saxon introduces Geometry early, and uses it throughout the year. The way it builds its concepts makes perfect sense. Saxon has it's strengths, but in order to get Bethany ready for next year, I felt we needed to pull in something else. Enter: Modern Curriculum Press,        Level D.

Interestingly, I bought Modern Curriclum Press at the beginning of the year, but quickly shelved it because some of its mental math was waaaay above her head. But it turns out that Bethany likes the challenge of mental math, so far be it from me to remove the opportunity to try.

Take a peek at Level D's Table of Contents:

1. Addition and Subtraction Facts
2. Numeration
3. Addition of Whole Numbers
4. Subtraction of Whole Numbers
5. Multiplication Facts
6. Multiplication of Whole Numbers
7. Dividing by a 1-digit Number
8. Measurement
9. Multiplying Whole Numbers
10. Division of Whole Numbers
11. Geometry
12. Fraction
13. Adding and Subtracting Fractions
14. Decimals
15. Graphing and Probability

It's interesting because some of this she's covered in Saxon. She's well into multiplication and division. Yet, in MCP Chapter 2 they cover numeration, which is the understanding of numbers into, in this case, hundreds of millions. That's new to Bethany, so we're covering that chapter this week.

Each lesson has a primary topic, and the picture in the student page is the jumping off point for learning about the concept. At the end of each lesson is an excursion! Wow, sounds exciting to me! Today's excursion was writing checks. You'd be surprised what a humdinger that was for Bethany. We'll be writing more "fake" checks tomorrow. Notice: fake is different from hot!

Other positives of MCP Math: 1.You can write in the workbook. 2. It has a copy and do section giving practice of copying the problems accurately, but not too many. 3.The paper has a bit of a rough texture which makes it easier to write on. Since Bethany has some "gripping" issues with her pencil, this kind of paper is a bonus. 4. The lesson basically sticks to the concept taught that day. But if an excursion is included, then it gives you a new way to venture out in what you've learned to date. 5. As you can see from the Table of Contents, each chapter has a focus, yet every lesson has variety.

The Teacher's Manual is important, but since ours is packed away, I'm continuing without it. It has a lot of great mental math to begin the lesson with. I'll be heading to the storage unit soon enough to dig that out. For now, however, I've been able to teach the concept just from the Student Worktext.

Personally, I love it. It's not everything this math-challenged Mom is looking for, but I am beginning to feel confident enough to know what to do when something is lacking. Favorite math trump card: "Danny, can you help me with this?"

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