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Disclaimer: I was given, "The Verbal Math Lesson Series" (2nd Edition) for review.
I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own!
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I was recently given the opportunity to review the e-book set "Verbal Math Lesson Series" (2nd Edition)! Being a classroom teacher for over ten years has given me plenty of opportunities to teach math and use different methods and curriculum to accomplish that goal! I was very curious to review this material as a way to encourage students to become more proficient at mental math.
There certainly seems to be a lack of mental math these days with the availability of technology! Yet being able to compute in your mind is essential to becoming a proficient math student!
Mental computation focuses on automaticity (producing correct answers quickly) and the process the mind uses to produce the correct answer! In order to accomplish mental computation the student must also have a solid foundation of number sense (understanding numbers and operations).
After reviewing this series I told a friend it's best described as brain exercises! For example, when we begin an aerobic exercise routine first we need to learn the routine. After it is learned, we practice the routine repetitively and master the exercise. Likewise, with math we need to LEARN (understand the particular problem and ways to arrive at the solution) then PRACTICE to yield mastery! The Verbal Math Lesson provides the PRACTICE (all done verbally) to yield mastery.
The Verbal Math Lessons Series advertises itself as a "supplement for learning speed and accuracy in doing math problems." What that means is this is not an all encompassing curriculum for math. This should be viewed as an additional resource to go along with a current math curriculum you may be using. This book set will not eliminate or substitute a math curriculum yet it will enhance your chosen curriculum in the area of mental computation.
Furthermore, when I was considering this material for my students I was curious as to what part of "math" the series covered. Did it consist of operations, fractions, geometry, counting coins, telling time, reading a calender, etc. After reviewing each books' table of contents I was able to have a better understanding. Book one consists of counting, addition, and subtraction. Book two consists of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Book three includes properties of numbers, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, counting money, converting time, fractions, and algebra. Each book advances the difficulty of each skill so skills are building upon each other in a sequential order.
What I like about this book is the ability to TALK about math!! I also appreciate the one-on-one approach. I feel a student would choose sitting with their teacher solving math problems verbally over doing a worksheet independently, any day!
How I would use this supplemental math series...
Children need to be taught math. There are many ways to teach math to children to help them learn and understand. Using different learning modalities to teach math is essential to develop good mathematicians. Different modalities can be achieved through a variety of activities including singing math songs, using visual aids, reading math books, playing games, independent work, or verbal discussion (just to name a few)! The Verbal Math Lesson provides one way to reach your math student. I feel it will provide a positive math experience, a personal/caring interaction between teacher and student, and great brain exercises to work towards mastery of certain math skills! More specifically I would use a specific verbal math lesson after the concept or skill has been explicitly taught in a variety of ways. It would be used to reinforce the taught skill and move the student to metal math computation mastery! Furthermore I would not hesitate to use a visual aid, 100's chart, paper/pencil, etc. if the child needed to have explanation on a particular problem/lesson in the Verbal Math series.
I appreciate the opportunity to review these materials and look forward to trying them with my children and students!
Have more questions? The Verbal Math Lesson has a FREE 76 page download of the material that you can review to see if this would be right for your student(s)! Download them HERE