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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Professor B Math

Can you bee-leive that you could accomplish 3 years of math in 1?  Is it un-bee-leivable that you could eliminate expensive math tutoring? 

Alright, I will bee-have now.

But, that is what Professor B Math,  an on-line curriculum, offers.  Although it is not a typical  "accelerated" math program. 

We tried out a subscription to this on-line program with A-man and S-girl....even though it could have been used with all the kids (Preschool through 8th grade).  Since it is summer, A-man and S-girl were my most cooperative students!

I know this is sort of long.....but read this excerpt from their philosophy page.  In the statement, they start by talking about how the typical approach to teaching math was been very disconnected and fragmented and then goes on to say this.....

The prefix "anti" has such meanings as "against", "the opposite of", "preventing" or "counteracting". So in order to eliminate the confusion caused by giving the same name to something and its opposite, I hope the time has finally arrived to accurately rename that disconnected, fragmented content as "anti-math." Anti-math deactivates learners' natural gift for perceiving and receiving the structures within mathematics, the very academic area that studies structures (by placing large intervals of time between connected math concepts and skills). It is an absolute nuisance to mathematics education. So what was it that you "hated" or were not "good at"? It was not math; it was anti-math!

(I wonder if people will understand me when I tell them that I wasn't very good at "anti-math" from now on?!?)
If two people tell the same story, their words are different (and also different from the original version) but the events are the same and are recalled in the same sequence. Hence there is no intentional and laborious memorization of words, as in the learning of a poem. What children effortlessly (naturally) perceive, receive and retain from a story, therefore, is the structured connection and flow of its events: its internal contextual dynamics of relationships. If I say the words "woods", "wolf", "grandma", they are likely to immediately reactivate, after all these years, a structured dynamics of relationships entitled "Little Red Riding Hood". This is the genius in virtually all children for learning mathematics. Our methodology activates this universal genius for mastery learning of math by ensuring that children experience it the same way they experience stories: as connected and flowing.

If math were a story, I think I would be really good at it.

You should know by now, I am not totally in love with on-line schooling.  Partly because I don't like kids just sitting in front of a screen all day....but, also a big part of the reason is that when they do school at the computer, I am very removed from the process and don't really know what...or if....they are learning.

One of my problems is taken away with Professor B.  So, let's start with the basics. 

Professor a bee.

He "talks" through the little cartoon bubble thingies.  The program is designed for you to sit with your child and read aloud what Professor B has to say.  So, you see exactly what they are learning and if they are having trouble with anything. 

One  point of interest, is that there is no sound at all on their pages.  None.  No music.  No voices.  No catchy little songs that drive you crazy.  Some people may find it boring, but I found it soothing and it felt more "school-like".

Their website shows smiling parents with children perched on their laps working on their math together.

At our house, it was more like this.... smiles....hands and heads trying to peer over their heads and see what I am supposed to be saying for Professor B....

A-man is getting too big to sit on my lap, S-girl is wiggly and has a boney rear, we don't have a lot of room at our, I couldn't really see the mouse....or the monitor easily.  Our desk is a little desk sort of shoved into a corner.  So, honestly, that part of using Professor B was uncomfortable.  

I liked that I was involved and knew what they were working was just physically uncomfortable the way our area is set up.  It would probably work better with a laptop at the dining room table or something where you can spread out a little bit.  Then maybe I would be one of those smiling parents in the pictures.....

We started in Level 1.  Here is how the different levels breakdown.

Level IPreschool - 2nd grade Introduction to Addition/Subtraction Facts – Counting to One Hundred – Lower Addition and Subtraction – Higher Addition and Subtraction – Place Value Fractional Parts & Order – Time – Money
LevelII                3rd grade - 5th grade  
               Multiplication/Division Facts and Problem Solving – Introduction to Fractions –               Fractional Equivalence – Addition and Subtraction Fractions
Level  III           6th - 8th grades 
           Multiplication/Division of Fractions – Decimals – Percents

You could plug your student in at any level if they are younger and more advanced, they can just keep on moving....or if they are having a little trouble, you can have them start at a lower level to gain some confidence before moving on.

Not sure which level to start in? There is a free placement test to help you out.

The lesson content really starts out super basic.  Let me emphasize that again.....super basic. 

How many fingers is this?.... kind of stuff.  But, it adds the slightly harder part for little hands to have them imitate what is on the screen.  Like, if you are working on the number 5 and identifying it.....they would have you hold up the various combinations of fingers you can hold up to get 5. 

This definitely slows down the lesson as you wait for the kids to make their fingers cooperate....but, I think it is an important step for them to get the physical reminder of all the different ways you can make numbers. is all part of the story....

This program really is a math curriculum and not just a drill program to shove the math facts into their tiny, little heads.....although I think that is important, too.

This has the on-line lesson component, but then it also has workbook pages, or as they call them, facility exercises, to help solidify the concepts.  This is where you can let your students work on stuff by themselves because they have the answers (for you to use) included at the end of the manual. 

I am looking forward to using Professor B to help get away from "anti-math" and into storybook math when we are officially back to school in a few weeks.  I will keep you posted.

You can try out Professor B On-Line E Learning for free for 30 days.

Or try some sample lessons.

Once you are sold on Professor B, you can get a pay as you go option for  $20 per month for access to one level....or a yearly subscription.  There is a discounted rate if you need to access more than one level for your different students. 

See what other the TOS Review Crew thought of Professor B.

Disclaimer:  I received a subscription to Professos B's online E learning for free in exchange for an honest review.