Math Mammoth is a math curriculum that is available in either topical form (eg. addition, subtraction, etc.) or as a grade level curriculum (grade 1 through algebra). You can simply download your order or buy a CD from the Math Mammoth website (printed materials can be found at Rainbow Resource or Lulu). This is a mastery-oriented approach with some light spiraling over several grade levels.
For this review I received the Light Blue Grade 1 series.
The beginning chapter of the grade 1-A curriculum offers a quick review of kindergarten math topics, including how to write numbers, patterns, counting, and positional words. This is followed by chapters on addition and subtraction within 0 to 10. In the 1-B worktext there are chapters on place value (numbers up to 100), reading a clock, shapes and measuring, adding and subtracting numbers within 0-100, and working with coins.
Math Mammoth appears to be fairly open and go with little preparation needed on the part of the teacher. There is very little in the way of scripted lessons and even my daughter only needed a bit of explanation before she could go off and complete a day’s lesson on her own. Every now and then there are a few text boxes to read that help to further explain a concept and this is followed by quite a bit of practice problems.
My daughter is a worksheet kind of girl and was very happy filling in all of the blanks. There is quite a bit of repetition built in and the author suggests that you save some questions for later review or use them as test questions. The only part of this program that I did not love was the fact that it is rather light on geometric topics. I really do want to incorporate geometry from the very beginning so that my daughter feels more comfortable with spatial relationships than I did. However, most math curricula tend to treat geometry as its own special subset and its treatment is not exclusive to Math Mammoth.
Suggested manipulatives for grade 1 include a 100 bead abacus, an analog clock, and a ruler that can be read in inches and centimeters. Although there are not a lot of manipulatives used in this curriculum, the author does suggest several games and online resources to help cement the math facts that first graders are learning.
Placement tests can be found on her website and she encourages you to send an email if you have questions about anything. You may also want to read about how the author feels her curriculum compares to some other popular math curricula, such as Singapore, Saxon, Rightstart, Math-U-See, and a few more.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the first grade curriculum and I would definitely recommend using Math Mammoth as your primary or supplementary program. I will caution that it is a writing intensive program unless you modify it. With that said, I think that we will continue to use the practice problems whenever my daughter needs some more time working on a concept.
Price: varies, depending on the format that you prefer – the downloadable version of what I received is $34 for the entire grade 1 worktext
I received a free download of Math Mammoth Light Blue Grade 1 complete worktext for the purpose of this review; no further compensation was received for my honest opinion.