What are Math Mini Courses from A+ Interactive Math
Math Mini Courses are multimedia lessons, just like the primary math programs available through A+ Interactive Math, designed to teach a particular math concept in a coloring and engaging animated video lesson. The entire program is online, accessible through any computer via streaming. The lessons are interactive and contain quizzes and tests. Grading and tracking are automatic and within all the courses. Full text versions of the lessons are provided if you do not want to do them online and there are printable worksheet sand tests for extra practice and offline work.
There are 20 Math Mini Courses available to choose from and they are for all math levels beginning through middle school. Some of the math mini courses available include: Counting and Identifying Numbers (1st-3rd), Place Value and Number Combinations (1st-3rd), Elementary Geometry (1st-4th), Advanced Fractions (4th-8th), Measurements and Conversions (2nd-6th), and Percentages (5th-8th) to name a few.
How We Used Math Mini Courses
We received 2 math mini courses for our review – Time Math Mini Course and Money Math Mini-Course. We used both of these with our 1st grader. He likes online work so we thought this might be a good fit for him. He is doing a regular math program but we thought that an intensive review and deeper study of Time and Money would be good.
The Time Math Mini Course has 20 lessons and each is about 20 minutes long for us. There is a short, interactive lesson about what is being studied followed by questions to ensure understanding. The lessons cover topics like days, weeks, months, and year, converting time to day, weeks, months and years, the four seasons, second, minutes and house, converting time, digital and analog clocks, adding different units of time, and elapsed time.
You can read the full list of the course contents by clicking here.
The Money Math Mini-Course has 18 lessons and each is about 20 minutes in length. Each lesson is interactive and is followed by a quiz to test retention of the topic covered. The lessons covers topics in understanding the identity of the coins, understanding their worth, converting one set of coins into other likes nickels, dimes and quarters into pennies, counting coins up to a dollar, counting dollars and coins, comparing money, converting money into decimal points, making change, money games, family budging, calculating commission and sales prices, and interest rates. Some of the later topics seems a little advanced for my 6 year old but we will see how he does when we make it there. I am considering using this as a review for my 5th grader if advanced lessons in budgeting, commision and interest rates seem good.
You can see a complete course contents for the Money math Mini course by clicking here.
What We Thought of Math Mini Courses
My son liked the frog that was in each of his courses that you press to submit your answer and fireworks at the end of the lesson highlighting your grade. He really didn’t know if his grade was good or not because we don’t emphasize that a lot in our school at his age but he definitely liked the fireworks surrounding it.
I liked that, if the student misses a question they get a second chance to guess it in most cases and then, if they do not get it right, the explanation of the answer is provided in a teaching model on the screen.
The Teacher/Parent Dashboard is very intuitive and allows you manage your courses and your students. So, if you have multiple students doing different level mini courses, or even the full A+ Interactive Math course, you can manage it in the Parent/Teacher Dashboard. Then, for each student and each course you can view the interactive lessons with quizzes, view the lessons in pdf format, view printable worksheets and tests, view reports, parent/teacher controls, and a “how to get started” video.
I liked that you can check the reports and view each section that has been completed or what sections are in progress within the courses sorted by student. The Parent/Teacher Controls allows you to add extra time to your child’s test time, which I think is a great feature. You can check the scores on their worksheets or how many of the online quizzes they are getting right as well as view a cumulative average of their work within the course.
The student can view several of these charts within their dashboard as well, though mine didn’t really look at those. The person teaching the lessons has a pleasant voice that speaks slowly; however, I thought it was not very animated. I mean, like the voice inflexion wasn’t very dramatic so sometimes it seemed almost monotone, but this was only in places. My son didn’t seem to mind though. However, he did NOT like that the course asked questions within the interactive lesson but left very little time to answer out loud. So he would become frustrated because the “teacher” would say “Do you know what what the 12th month is?” then there would be a pause for an answer, but it was rarely enough time for him to think of the answer so he would get frustrated. I realize that they are trying to make sure that the lesson doesn’t take so long but maybe having the child pause to give the answer or giving a little more time would be good.
My son didn’t like doing the worksheets offline, but that is a nice option. He liked doing them online better. He made through the lessons fine, taking about 20 minutes per lesson unless he got stumped on something. I like that the lessons end so the student can work independently and knows when the lesson is over. However, it would be nice if the lessons became highlighted or checked off in the left sidebar instead of having to mark them at the top of the lesson. My son is not a good reader yet so he didn’t see this and it was confusing at first that he had completed a lesson but it wasn’t marked completed. I did like that if the lesson was completed (and you had marked it properly) and you clicked on lesson, a popup box told you you had done the lesson already.
I liked that these lessons are short, manageable, and available on a particular topic that might require a new way of presenting a topic or some extra work to grasp. I think this is a great way, and economical, to work on an individual math subject like fractions or percentages. I think this would be a very valuable supplement to any math program if the student needed some extra help and a fresh explanation for the subject.
Learn more about mini courses, which there are 20 available and range from $9.99-$19.99 per year per student, which is really quite affordable.
You can read my review, Filling in the Gaps with A+ Interactive, from 2015 on their Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan and their 2nd Grade full curriculum review from 2013. And see what the rest of the TOS Review Crew had to say about the Math Mini Courses from A+ Interactive Math that they used by clicking the banner below.
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