Monday, July 27, 2015

UnLock Pre-Algebra #review

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I struggle with teaching math.  Yep I said it!  I frankly just don't remember the higher maths from high school and I find it easier to buy a program that will teach it for me (with me just helping here and and there.) I feel more confident when I have a complete program that can do most of the teaching work.  Plus it is a nice break in our day for my older children to have a course that is done entirely on the computer.

I was very excited to be part of the  UnLock Math review for this very reason.  We were given UnLock Pre-Algebra for this review. That is the math level my new 8th grader needed for the upcoming year so we were excited to try out the course and see if it is a good fit!

UnLock Math currently offers Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and has Algebra II coming soon.   

Unlock Math Review

About the Course:

To get started you click a rocket ship icon to 'launch the course'.  Then lesson flows in the following order:

  • warm-up exercises (usually covers previous lessons)
  • Video featuring the founder Alesia Blackwood - who is on screen teaching the lesson
  • Practice Problems (which go with the lesson)
  • Stay Sharp ( additional problems which can include previous lessons)
  • Challenge Yourself (which is a challenging riddle type problem)
  • Reference Notes (printable notes for the lesson - optional)
Alesia Blackwood

How we used it:

My son was able to navigate this course pretty much on his own.  The onscreen prompts follow an easy order that he could manage by himself. I was pretty hands off for the most part because he is old enough to log on and do the lesson.

The course has a pacing guide that parents can print - which will show you what lessons are covered and you can see where your child is across the course.  There is an automatice grade book accessible from the student's pages.  This is pretty complete in showing each area individually  (practice problems, warm up exercises, stay sharp and challenges) and your child's scoring.  

Unlock Math Review
Our Thoughts:

My son liked this course.  He enjoys doing work on the computer and the pace of different activities switched up really appealed to him. He never complained about the work and overall he was done math for the day in no more than 30 minutes - which is perfect to him.  

I liked how the course was entirely online.  It is set up nice.  Alesia Blackwood is pleasant to watch on the screen and easy to understand.  I liked that it was a real person we were seeing and not just graphics. I do wish that the parents section and grade book were a little more abundant. I would like to see a break down on how the grades are calculated on screen in the grade book.  I would also have loved a weekly email telling me how my student was doing and what they completed each week.  This way I wouldn't have to check online to get that.     

Overall we enjoyed the approach to math and the course layout. Xander has really enjoyed this math and would like to continue it for the school year.  

Want to learn more about UnLock Math?  Click on the banner below to see what other reviewers are saying!

UnLock Math Review

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