Lauded for providing effective, hands-on math curriculum materials, Math-U-See earns high regard. Thus, even though I am satisfied with my children's current full math curricula, when I was offered an opportunity to review Math-U-See's Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division complete set I was interested.
This instructor/parent-guided student-centered intervention program is specifically designed for students 10 years of age and older who wish to increase retention of basic multiplication facts. It focuses on:
- specific mathematical strategies for each set of facts based on a process, not tricks or skip counting
- "key" facts and "companion" facts that help students learn more quickly (applying the Commutative Property)
- hands-on work with manipulatives which is faded out to instant recall when faced with oral or written multiplication problems
- a logical bridge to division
Plus, the program can be used in conjunction with any math curriculum and includes everything you and a child need to move towards math mastery. That is:
- an AIM Multiplication Resource guide with program overview, lesson instructions, and more.
- Math-U-See Integer blocks which are integrated into each lesson and strategy
- Paper-sized Math Fact Strategy Posters which act as a visual reminder of multiplication strategies
- Fact Check Cards which are used as an instructional tool to help determine mastery (and, according to my daughter, are strangely "satisfying to tear apart" on their dotted lines - LOL)
- an access code for the AIM Multiplication Digital Pack which, of course, requires internet connection to access and includes lesson videos, instructions, solutions, printable resources, etc.
In our home, this handy package helped two children.
One child already knew his multiplication facts pretty well, but had a few that sometimes escaped him as far as instant recall goes. Thus, we moved fairly quickly through materials with him, using the cards to (re)check each set of facts, then moving through the strategies in the lessons which corresponded with the facts he was weaker with.
To be 100% honest, this child said that our use of AIM Multiplication was "a little boring, but helped me get better and faster" with some facts.
Mind you, we are talking about a kid who would rather dispense with hands-on manipulatives and just keep moving forward, so his comment did not surprise me, and, knowing his opinion and preferences, I began to fade him quickly from use of the integer blocks, focusing more on the strategies for target sets and practice with the word problems and such.
This worked well for us, keeping "boring" at bay and moving us toward success.
Our use of AIM Multiplication helped this child strengthen his speed and sureness with the few math facts that had him stumbling.
AIM Multiplication also seems to be helping another child of mine.
This child has long struggled with math facts and benefits from using a variety of tools to help her review strategies and work towards more instant recall. AIM Multiplication is our latest tool and is helping her work out more answers correctly even if not always super quickly while getting speedier at a few facts along the way.
Since this child tend to have a pattern where it seems like she has mastered math facts, but then later "loses" them again, I won't be able to say for a while if the kit has truly given her final mastery, but I will say it has been helping her gain ground with both speed and accuracy - and that is a good thing.
It's also good that the product can be easily stored and brought back out if needed. Not babyish. Slim to store. Concrete to revisit. It will be easy to take out again down the road if my daughter needs further revision of facts and strategies.
Bonus - it is already proving easy to help me with a tutoring student.
Indeed, the other day, I took out the posters and manipulatives to use with a tutoring student whose mom asked me to help with division.
Undoubtedly, solid multiplication facts help with sound division strategies and this kit is a superb tool for that.
I would recommend the kit to anyone whose older children need some help with multiplication facts as well as to teachers and tutors that work with children with a wide variety of skills and styles. The combination of online/digital printables and videos, hands-on integer block activities, logical math strategies and corresponding posters, etc. all make AIM Multiplication adaptable and effective for learners.
If you'd like to see how other homeschoolers have been using AIM Multiplication, be sure to head on over to find links to other Homeschool Review Crew video, social media, and blog reviews.