Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A TOS Review: ScienceandMath.com (Essentials of Fractions)

Despite my own math phobias, I have to say that I am always glad to review a Math product for The Crew. I need all the math help I can get, folks.
Today I am going to share a truly wonderful Math DVD with you. Josiah and I were fortunate to be able to review Mastering 5th Grade Math – Volume 1 – Essentials of Fractions from ScienceandMath.com.


What I Received
ScienceandMath.com’s founder, Jason Gibson, has spent the past 10 years creating award winning videos that are designed to help kids discover a love for science and math.
I received Mastering 5th Grade Math – Volume 1 – Essentials of Fractions. This Video Series is suggested for use with grades 4th-6th. The cost is $15.99 for a 2 set DVD. The second DVD contains all the lessons in mp4 format in addition to printable worksheets in PDF form.  There is also a downloadable version available for $14.99.

Both DVDs can be played in any player (mac, PC or DVD player) that is capable of playing a DVD. 


This volume provides 16 lessons and includes the following:
Lesson 1: Review of Fraction Concepts
Lesson 2: Writing Fractions as Words
Lesson 3: Finding Factors of Numbers
Lesson 4: Finding the Greatest Common Factor
Lesson 5: Finding the GCF of 3 Numbers
Lesson 6: Prime Factorization
Lesson 7: Equivalent Fractions
Lesson 8: Renaming Fractions
Lesson 9: Simplifying Fractions, Part 1
Lesson 10:
 Simplifying Fractions, Part 2
Lesson 11: Review of Improper Fractions
Lesson 12: Review of Mixed Fractions
Lesson 13: Writing Mixed Fractions as Improper Fractions
Lesson 14: Writing Improper Fractions as Mixed Fractions
Lesson 15: Thinking of Fractions as Division
Lesson 16: Writing Whole Numbers as Fractions

How We Used It

Surprisingly, working with simple fractions has been something that has come easier to Josiah. I say surprisingly because my dyslexic boy struggled with memorizing his basic math facts. He has had some basic instruction in fractions, but we haven’t quite jumped in feet first! Given this, I was pleased to find Essentials of Fractions was something I could really adapt to his particular needs and speed.  It really lays a great foundation; whether your child is just starting the Fraction Journey or well on his way.

The DVD lessons are fairly short. Which is a good thing for boys who find themselves daydreaming about epic space battles with intergalactic villains or quests to find ancient relics. Jason Gibson does a fabulous job. He is thorough in his explanations and practical. Jason breaks down all the little steps, which is so important in math instruction.

I did use our DVD player in our living room. There is nothing quite like learning about Prime Factorization on the Big Screen.

Every lesson comes with 2-3 printable worksheets on the accompanying CD. This allowed me to provide Josiah additional reinforcement.

We did use Mastering 5th Grade Math – Volume 1 – Essentials of Fractions as our primary math 4 days a week.

I want to give you a bit of example of how a typical lesson went.  This is Lesson 2: Writing Fractions as Words.
This is a screen shot. In this lesson, the student obviously is learning how to write fractions as words. This was a little challenging for Josiah. He wanted to switch the order of the words. For example, if the fraction was 3/4, he wanted to write it as four thirds. I am sure that the trouble came as a result as his dyslexia. Having this lesson to repeat for a week was so crucial in helping him master the concept. 
math tutoring

There were 2 worksheets that accompanied this lesson. This first worksheet got a good workout! I liked, however, that there weren't so many problems on the page that were initially overwhelming or later would turn to boredom.

math tutoring

My Thoughts and other Tidbits

This product was not only a hit with me (mom), but Josiah was an instant fan. And that is saying a lot. He liked watching Jason, the instructor, and I actually got a “this is cool, Mom” comment now and again. Even as I was preparing this review, Josiah came up behind me and said, "That guy is awesome!"

I think this would be a great math resource for a variety of learning styles. It does not have the hands-on approach with manipulatives per say, but I think the worksheets provided give ample practice for the lessons. I also think it is wonderful for those of us who like to review over and over (and over) again.  It would also be a great benefit to those who kiddos learn at a quicker pace. As I said, the lessons are short and there aren’t hours of unnecessary clatter. 

This product is not only great for homeschoolers, but I think it would be a fabulous resource for math tutoring for kiddos who are in a classroom and just need extra math help. 

I want to emphasize that I found the instruction to be straight forward and I was even reminded of some important fraction learning that had sifted from my brain since college. In fact, I found I learned a few “explaining concepts” tools myself. Where were you when I was in college, Jason? 

You can actually receive the first lesson in this series FOR FREE! Now that sounds like a great way to check the whole thing out. 

I look forward to using other products by ScienceandMath.com. You can see more reviews by clicking the banner below. Members of the TOS Crew also reviewed Amazing Science, Volume 1 and Algebra: Volume 1.

You can connect with ScienceandMath.com on Facebook

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