Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Demme Learning's Math-U-See Digital Packs - Delta Review

We have used a wide variety of math programs in our many years of homeschooling.  We frequently switch between online programs and textbooks style.  I like this flexibility with homeschooling.  I can use what is working best for my child and then switch it up.  but we recently had the opportunity to review the new Digital Packs from Demme Learning's Math-U-See.  Now we have an online teaching option as well as workbook style work.  So we have the best of both worlds.

Demme Learning's Math-U-See Digital Packs are available in all grade levels.  These Digital Packs provide twelve-month access to the enhanced Instruction Pack to the Math-U-See program that you purchase.  From any internet connection, you and your student can connect to their math lesson as well as PDFs of lesson materials for the teacher's manuals.  You also receive access to their online digital manipulatives program and many other free resources to go with your level.  

You can use the Demme Learning's Math-U-See Digital Packs ($38.00) program with any device that uses internet browsers.  We have used both our laptop and tablets.

The Demme Learning's Math-U-See Digital Packs ($38.00) do not include the Student workbook or tests.  You do need to purchase these in addition to the Digital Pack.  You can either purchase the Delta Student Pack ($40.00) or you can purchase the Delta Level Up Set ($85.00) and this includes the Digital Pack, Student workbooks and tests as well as a printed Teacher Manual and DVD.  We chose to purchase the Delta Student pack for $40.00.  By the way, the shipping with Demme Learning Math-U-See is phenomenal.  I ordered and paid for express shipping expecting to need to wait for a couple days for the order to be processed and it shipped immediately.  It beat us home from our trip.  So they are really on top of things in that area!

Lydia has been using the Delta Level Digital Pack for the past few weeks.  Until we started using Demme Learning's Math-U-See Delta Digital Pack, she has been using a mix of worksheets and an online digital program combination as we made our way through her grade level math.  This was a bit of a new experience though since you do not interact with the math program.  It is well written video instruction.  She is pretty quick with math, she also has some requirements about a math program.  The lessons and practice need to be short.  Her attention span wanes on almost every subject, but math is not her favorite but she knows she will need it for her future career in animals.  I was worried about how she would react to watching an online video and then working out of a workbook, instead of an online interactive program.

Our first day using Delta Level Digital Pack went very smoothly.  We logged into our Demme Learning account to access our lesson.  The program is very easy to use.

Drop down menus make it easy to navigate for independent learners.  Parents can either watch the lesson video with their child or watch it and then discuss the material with their child.  I chose to watch the video with Lydia.  I did preview the video before though and also read through the Teacher material for the lesson.  You can choose to print these PDFs or simply read through them on your computer.  For me, if the lesson was something I didn't feel comfortable trying to teach her, I would print the teacher manual for that lesson.  There is very little prep work needed to use Math-U-See Delta Level Digital Pack.

Each video lesson so far has been under 10 minutes.  Which is perfect for students with short attention spans.  He gives explanations and examples using the block manipulatives.  So he is not just saying, this is how you do it.  The kids can watch him solve several sample problems.

We actually purchased a set of the block manipulatives (which are sold separately and can be used with every level).  But I was worried about needing to carry them when we travel.  That is a big box to need to carry.  But Demme Learning has that covered.  The digital manipulatives that you have access to are wonderful.  We have only used them a few times, to get a feel for them.  She simply clicks on the link to open them up and they are ready to go.  She can drop and drag the number she needs or build whatever combination you would like.  There have been a couple times when she ran out of specific blocks and needed more.  So this has been a great tool.  Plus I do not have to store it.  You can purchase an app for your iPad for an additional $14.99, but we have not done that.  The digital link provided in the course has worked out well for us.

Lydia has been enjoying Math-U-See Delta program using the Digital Packs.  She is flying through the Delta level which is emphasizing her simple division, geometry, fractions, up to trillion place value, and even long division.  It's building her confidence and she is even getting some building time in as I catch her building designs with her manipulatives while she is working.  So she has been in love!

I really appreciate how he emphasizes not to move them too fast and let them master each concept before moving to the next level.  Each lesson is provided with 7 worksheets that not only give the student work in the current concept introduced but also continues to review previous concepts.  The early lessons of the Delta program refer back to the multiplication from the Gamma level.

At the front of her student workbook is an easy way for me to track what pages she has completed and I can mark how well she has done.  It's a great addition to put in her assessor portfolio at the end of the year.

I know families that use the DVD instruction packs from Math-U-See, but wasn't sure how it would differ using the Digital Packs.  I had not switched to Math-U-See since most of our new laptops do not even have a CD-Rom drive in them.  Plus I didn't want to travel with a DVD since our kids are not well known for taking care of things.  I could see the math DVD conveniently lost many times.  With the Digital Pack, a few key strokes and we are up and running.

I was so happy with the material that we were using the first week of using Math-U-See Delta, that I ordered Caty the Math-U-See Gamma program.  She has been happily using the Gamma Digital pack and student pack just a long.  Her math continues to flourish.  She choses math to do first almost everyday.

I would like to point out that you do not need to view the lesson video everyday.  If your student seems to be grasping the concept after watching the video the first time, they can simply work on the worksheets in their textbook until you see mastery.  But if they are struggling, then it would be a good idea to watch the video multiple times.

We will be switching Joey to Math-U-See Beta or Gamma soon.  He struggles with math so much.  But I could see him doing well with this program.  I like the mastery emphasis provided by the program.  I think the visual part of the program really helps to see why the problems are solved.  Demme Learning has placement tests available for each level so that you can determine where your student will fit into the program.

The only thing I would love to see Demme Learning to create is a separate login page to access our lessons.  In order to get to our digital pack, we need to login to my store account each time.  It would be nice to have a separate page for this.  It would make it easier for younger kids or even kids who cannot handle multiple steps to get into their programs easier.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out the various math levels created by Demme Learning's Math-U-See.  Take some time to see what level you would fit into and see how they used it in their homes.

Demme Learning's Math-U-See Review

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