Have you found your kids asking why they need to do math? Not sure how to answer except you will use it someday? This is just where today’s review comes in. MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle by NatureGlo’s eScience brings the real world into math. It shows kids how and why math can and has been useful, all while using different types of media to engage kids. Come explore this curriculum with me as I dive into what this program can offer your family, and what it has done for mine.
The 4 Classes
- Math Connections with the Real World
- MathArt in Ancient Cultures
- Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences
- MathArt: Patterns in Nature
All of these classes are 6 fully packed weeks long. During this review period we focused on the Math Connections in the Real World course.
So how do these courses work?
Just like any other curriculum you get, the first thing you need to do is figure out how to use the program. The nice thing about MathArt Online is it is pretty much set up for you. Once you login to this class you will see on the right a list of all the weeks. Until you complete Lesson 1 you will not be able to move on to any other lessons. Each lesson is broken down into manageable sections. Pretty much each lesson has the same flow.
- Watch a video slideshow lesson with the teacher explaining this lesson’s material while the kids follow along answering questions based on the slides, marking their answers on a printable worksheet.
- Watch a video or two about the lesson’s topic.
- Read and interact with an embedded external website that relates to the lesson’s topic.
- Explore the topic with web resources and hands-on activities.
- Review the material using an embedded game from Quizlet.com.
Let’s dive into how each of these sections of the lesson help the kids to really engage with the topics and love math.
This part of the lesson really is the meat of the topic she is presenting. These are pre-recorded videos of her teaching an online class with several kids. You never see the kids or mostly never her, just the slideshow with all the audio. As she goes through the slideshow the kids get to see, through all the pictures she includes, what she is talking about. They loved being able to count the number of slides so they would know when one of their questions on the worksheets was time to be answered. We worked through this course together (with my 4th grader and 6th grader) by hooking our laptop up to our tv. This allowed us to watch the videos together and I could pause them whenever it was time to answer one of the worksheet questions. This also allowed us time for discussing what was being taught and answer any questions the kids might have had.
After the main lesson slideshow video there is typically a video or two she has found from around the web that relate to what she is teaching. The kids really loved these. They helped to give the kids a different perspective on the topic and also help to reinforce what she has already taught them. Some of the videos are Ted talks, some are cartoons. Either way they help to engage the kids and see that this isn’t just a topic I am presenting to them through an online class. There are people all over that want to teach this same material.
In these sections of the lessons she has found some very engaging websites that relate to the topic she has presented. Instead of sending your kids off onto another site through a link, she has embedded that site’s topic page onto the lesson section page. The kids can explore without opening new tabs. An example the kids really liked was a mini adventure to explore one of the pyramids in Egypt. The adventure took them into a tomb where they got to see and interact with whatever they saw. When they were done exploring they could click the complete button and move onto the next section of the lesson. In other lessons there are short stories to read or math problems to interact with. Either way these kept the kids on their toes with new material that really got them engaged.
After all these sections it was time for the kids to start applying what they were learning. For each lesson she has a webpage set up with lots of different choices for activities to tackle. Some are super easy, others are pretty time-consuming. Either way the kids really had fun with these. Right out of the gate on lesson one the kids were super excited to see they could pick an activity that involved watching Donald Duck.
In other lessons they worked on building a paper pyramid and put together some lapbook pages.
With all these activities they really got to spend some time thinking about the topic they were presented in that lesson. When they were done with this section they really felt like they fully understood the material.
By this section the kids really were understanding the material and it was time to review what they had learned. To do this you could take a test but instead there is a game embedded on her lesson page. This is a matching flash card game. The kids need to match up a question and it’s answer to clear the screen, all the while they are being timed. The kids would play these games several times over without me having to ask. They always wanted to see if they could clear the screen faster than they did before. Since both my boys were working on this course together they would race to see who could get the best time. I was actually watching my kids smile while doing math!
I was actually watching my kids smile while doing math!
Beyond What I have Shared
Besides all the information above, this course has so much more to offer. There are printable quizzes you can take advantage of. There are activity rubrics so your kids know what will be expected of them from the hands-on activities, which also helps you as the teacher grade their work easily. There are journal pages for your kids to reflect on what they have learned in each lesson. How does digital rewards to show their progress through the course sound? Yup, there are those too. There are printable certificates to show they have completed a course. There are of course also answer keys for you as the teacher to know what they should be writing down for answers on all the worksheets. So, no matter if you are looking for a complete, fully loaded, challenging math course, or a fun unit study like what we used it for, this course and all her other courses have got you covered! Not only are your kids going to be learning about math but they are going to be learning about history, science, art, music, and literature as these subjects are all tied into these courses.
Is there a Down Side?
Honestly this course is very well put together. The only thing my kids kept asking me to change or see if could be changed was that the main video slideshow lessons are recorded during one of her live classes. Because of this she had the kids present for her live class engaged by circling things on the slides or tracing certain lines. While helpful to the kids in her live class, wasn’t helpful to us. All of that engagement with the other students took time. Time we could have used on the other elements she offers in her lessons. It would have been nice to have seen her put together separate videos of her going through the slideshows just for her post-live class course offerings, that way the interaction with students, who my own kids couldn’t interact with, are not present. Even though this is our opinion it might be a benefit to your kids, since each child learns differently.
The next course we are going to tackle is MathArt in Ancient Cultures as this will tie in with our history studies of the ancient time period. With all that these courses offer, you will be able to finally answer the question your kids keep asking about why they need math. Not only that but your kids will be engaged and smiling. Yes! That can be your reality with this program! I know because that is exactly what has happened with my two kids.
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