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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Math 911

What actually fits the criteria for declaring a math emergency?

Honestly, I have no idea.

But, there is this clever product out there called, Math 911, that is at the ready, just in case you declare an emergency.

Here is what their website says this is for:

Math911 is for students who believe that Algebra must be a struggle, difficult and complicated. Math911 is the easiest and most economical solution for Algebra students. The Math911 approach is what learning Algebra should be: quick, fun, and easy. Math911 will let you absorb Algebra effortlessly.

Did you catch that?  ....absorb Algebra effortlessly.

I should have tried this product myself.  I am a big fan of effortless

But, instead, I had D-man our resident Algebra learning person try it out.

If you remember, last year, instead of buying a "real" curriculum, we got a College Algebra book at a used book store and sort of just worked our way through that.  But, underneath, I was worried that we were missing some things or glossing over others.

That is why I am so happy when we get a real advanced math product to try out....calms my nerves....assures me that I am NOT screwing up my a mathematical way at least....there are many other ways I am probably screwing him up....but that is for another post.

So, anyway, I got D-man all set up (we just downloaded our version straight onto the computer - you could also get the whole program on a flash drive) and let him have at it.

I happened to walk by one day and saw all 100% next to his name.  So, I asked him, if this program was too easy for him.

His response, "No, I am just that good."

Ha!  Such a funny kid.

Actually he had 100% by his name because Math 911 uses a mastery approach.  Which means they aren't graded for wrong answers, because they work at the problems until they "get it".  The program just keeps giving him similar problems until.....he masters it.

Although, D-man...."You are good, my friend."  (just not that good!)

We are sticking to Algebra now, but the beauty of Math 911 is that it covers the sorts of math that usually freak us, well meaning moms, out.  Stuff like; Introductory Algebra (not too freaky), Intermediate Algebra (getting a little scarier), Statistics (okay....feeling a little weak in the knees here), Trigonometry (trig---ah---what----a----tree?), College Algebra (who are we kidding here), Pre-Calculus (I honestly have no idea what Calculus even is).

They even throw in some bonus materials for your random math emergency, that covers:

The Normal Curve
The Central Limit Theorem
The Bonomial Experiment
Confidence Intervals
Hypothesis Testing

Will you think any less of me if I admit the only thing on that list I sort of understand is hypothesis testing?

This program was created by Dr. Martin Weissman a long time mathematics teacher who has been on staff at Essex County College since the last 1960's.

I like that.  Good, old fashioned math.  Explained by a good, old fashioned math professor.

How funny is this disclaimer statement?

Sorry.  I just think it is really funny.

Really funny.

Like I said....good, old fashioned math.

There really are no fancy graphics.  No music.  No multiple choice, even.  Just math.

D-man is working through the Intermediate Algebra right now, but it is basically a review of what he already covered last year.  (You calm my nerves....) 

D-man did say that the program is very picky about where you put your  markings and spaces for answers....but I think details like that are important....especially in math. 

Learning to use this program just took him a few minutes of talking outloud to himself.  "Now what?  Oh, wait....let's see what this does....oh, that makes sense.  Okay, I got it now."  That kind of stuff.

When he would get a problem, he would either solve it and get a "Correct!" on the screen or he wouldn't.  If he got it correct...he just clicked "New Problem" along the side....if he had gotten it wrong, he would just keep on trying, if he still didn't know where he went wrong, there is a button that says "Show Steps".

Like I said, pretty straight forward....good, old fashioned math.  No bells and whistles that plays victory music and brings you to the next problem.  You actually have to do a little work yourself and create your own victory celebration......if that is important to you!  :)

He will be moving on to the College Algebra and Trigonometry next.

That is the beauty of this product.  You pay once for the download/flash drive and that gives you access to all the upgrades and it covers all the "big" math you are going to need for the next few years.....for all your students. 

So, let me fill you in on the cost of this program.

The Standard Version of Math 911 covers Algebra One.  It is.....wait for


The basic Algebra course is free.

But, I will tell you that you won't want to just stop there.  You will want all those fancy schmancy harder sounding other math thingies I listed above.

So, for access to all of those, you can update to the Premier version, which is normally $49.95. 

With the Premier Version, users will have free lifetime updates, free technical support (which I have heard GREAT things about), as well as access to additional Mathematics Courses with separate grade reports for all family members. 

Yes, I will be able to use this for my other kids.

But wait!  There's more!

(I feel like an infomercial for Ginsu knives now....)

Professor Weissmann is running a homeschool special right now that will get you the Premier version for just $9.95!

No, that is not a typo....all of that advanced math stuff for a little under $10.00.

Just type in the code "homeschool" at check out.

So, bottom line for me?

This is a great math product.  No bells.  No whistles.  Just math.  Hard math.  Given in a very teachable way.

Who could ask for anything more?

Some of the TOS reviewers have raved about the customer service that Math 911 provided, directly through Professor Weissman.  Go and see what they thought of Math 911.

Disclaimer:  We received a free download of the Premier Version of Math 911 in exchange for an honest review.