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Every child has his or her own academic strengths and weaknesses, and there are programs to fill in gaps for every subject, but the most common problem-subject we encounter at Exodus Books is definitely math. Parents are constantly looking for supplements to make sure their kids are up to speed, and while we have plenty of materials to offer, none are quite as helpful or comprehensive as those offered by the folks at Evan-Moor.
Designed to help students understand core concepts and prepare them for standardized testing, each of these series is notable for its ease-of-use both for parents and kids. It's important to remember that these are not full curriculum options in their own right, but are intended to be used alongside a more complete program. However, if your child is struggling to keep up generally, having a hard time with a particular concept, or just needs some drill and review, you need look no further than these books.
The most comprehensive of the Evan-Moor math series is Basic Math Skills for grades 1-6. Each reproducible worktext features around 200-250 one-page lessons reinforcing important concepts, including basic arithmetic functions, algebra, geometry, probability, and more. Reproducible flashcards, timed tests, and drills in the back of each volume provide supplemental resources for reinforcing key content; complete answer keys are also included.
For a more focused approach, Building Math Fluency zeroes in on the essentials. Four books (one each for grades 1-3, and one for grades 4-6) provide a number of addition and subtraction strategies, multiple practice pages, number facts tests, flashcards, and transparencies, as well as complete answer keys presented in the back of each text on reduced student pages. A glossary of mathematics terms appears at the beginning of each book to help students retain terminology.
These are more teacher-intensive worktexts than many offered by Evan-Moor. Students need to be guided through each drill, and teachers will need to use the flashcards, strategies, and transparencies to ensure kids internalize what they're supposed to learn. In many of the exercises, students are instructed to determine which operational strategy works/fits best, reinforcing their ability to adapt according to circumstances.
If you're simply looking for solid drill and review, the Daily Math Practice books for grades 1-6 presents daily half-page lessons to be completed five days a week in a normal 36-week school year. Each book includes a skills list and answer key, weekly progress records, and a variety of math problems ranging from computation, word problems, and patterns, to geometry, graphing, measurement, and understanding numbers. Each text is fully reproducible and meant to support a more complete program.
By far the most specific of the Evan-Moor math series is Daily Word Problems Math for grades 1-6. There is one half-page lesson for Monday-Thursday, with a full-page lesson for Friday; each lesson consists of a single challenging word problem. Each text includes enough daily lessons for a normal 36-week school year, as well as a complete answer key. Problems range from 1- to multiple-step, and all of them are designed to increase logic and problem-solving skills.
Together, these books provide all the resources you'll need to make sure your kids are working at grade level and understanding all the concepts they need to succeed in math. Pages are free of clutter, teacher support is complete to each text, and exercises are intuitive and understandable for both teachers and students. Once again, Evan-Moor publishers have produced a number of supplemental series to help you and your children along the road toward academic confidence and success.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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