Jump to content

What's with the ads?


Photo

Reviews for Math in Focus


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 A home for their hearts

A home for their hearts

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2733 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:11 AM

Has anyone used this? I like the looks of it but it's so expensive. We've tried Primary Mathematics and it's just to hard for me to teach. The HIG are not a lot of help. It looks like MiF might be easier to use. So, tell me more about it.
thanks!
  • Chelli likes this

#2 alisoncooks

alisoncooks

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2383 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

I've been looking at MIF, too, but I can't justify the cost! About 2x as pricey as SM and about 4x as much as Math Mammoth bought printed! Unreal.

But it looks great. :p

#3 sbgrace

sbgrace

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4152 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

I'm using it. I finally feel like I found a math "home" for us so worth the cost. I haven't yet bought, or needed, a teacher's guide though so it's actually cheaper than what we were using (RightStart) by quite a lot. So far I've used 1B-2b and we're in 3A right now. Grade 2, at Rainbow, cost me 69.46 for one child (workbooks a and b 9.73 each, textbooks a and b at 25.00 each). I just needed workbooks for the other child. Because you are purchasing two full color, hardback textbooks and workbooks that seem to be "more" as well obviously you can't compare SM or MM in terms of cost of production. That said, they are obviously pricing for school systems and if either of those would work as well here I'd do it. I own a lot of Singapore and all of MM.

I like that it's conceptual math from an Asian math perspective that's so easy to implement for me. I like seeing where we're going and why clearly so the sequence and organization appeals to me. One child really loves the appearance. He's not overwhelmed by the amount of problems--either on the pages or assigned. He likes the color in the text too. It's very incremental which, for myself and one child particularly, we needed. I don't want any missing steps or conceptual leaps!

Basically I feel we're getting strong conceptual math in a form that's been easy and enjoyable for teacher and students here compared to other things we've used so I'm happy!
  • Annie Laurie likes this

#4 alisoncooks

alisoncooks

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2383 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

So you've not needed the teacher's guides? I've wondered if they were necessary since that's the bulk of the price....

#5 sbgrace

sbgrace

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4152 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

So you've not needed the teacher's guides? I've wondered if they were necessary since that's the bulk of the price....


You don't need the TM for grade 1 or 2. I'm not done with the level but I can't see needing it for grade 3 either.

The text explains everything. You'll have a chapter with a short "big idea" introduction page, a recall prior knowledge page with examples worked, and a quick check page to make sure the child has the prior knowledge. Then each chapter is divided into 3-4 sections. I'll give an example from third grade:
Chapter 4-Subtraction up to 10,000
Recall Prior Knowledge (in this case subtraction with regrouping in 1's and 10's)
Quick Check ?'s about prior knowledge
Lesson 4.1--Subtraction without Regrouping
Lesson 4.2-Subtraction with Regrouping in Hundreds and Thousands
Lesson 4.3--Subtraction with Regrouping in Ones, Tens, Hundreds, and Thousands
Lesson 4.4-Subtraction Across Zeros

Every chapter will also include a couple of games (some interesting, some not), a hands on activity idea of some sort, Math Journal, and a Critical Thinking/Challenge type section.

Word problems are integrated into all the chapters and sometimes chapters will focus exclusively on word problems and word problem strategies (bar models like Singapore).

The chapter tests/assessments were in the 1st and 2nd grade workbooks and they are in the textbook in 3rd grade. There are cumulative reviews as well.

Anyway, within each section (say 4.1 above) you will have a teaching section which introduces the topic and shows the thinking/concepts behind solving the specific kind of problem. Then you will have a guided practice section (with problems to work through together) followed by an individual practice section. At the end of the individual practice section it will tell you to do specific workbook pages. Those workbook pages are paged to the section (say workbook 4.1).

That's too much detail I know. But my point is, so far anyway, as long as you can work the problems yourself I can't see the need for the teacher's manuals. The order of presentation is very clear and I just go at the pace we need. For example, in one section I might go through the text and workbook in one day. In another I might go through the text one day and the workbook the next. Or, if I feel we need extra work, I can do the text and guided practice, then the individual practice the next day, then even split the workbook pages up. There is plenty of room for adjustment within the set up. I like, though, how it is so incremental. It just leads the child through to the next step. I also find the explanations to be very concept focused and presented clearly.

I did want to say I'm glad I did RightStart though. Math in Focus is very much like Singapore. I actually think RightStart is stronger in focusing on mental math (they do it first and to mastery; MIF and Singpore also do mental math obviously but approach it differently). I also really like the abacus! I think Singapore's Challenging Word Problems can't be beat for word problems compared to any program I know of. But it's just as easy to add CWP to Math in Focus (if wanted/it's not necessary and MIF does cover word problems well) as it is to Singapore because the sequence matches in terms of topics introduced in particular grade levels.
  • A home for their hearts and soror like this

#6 alisoncooks

alisoncooks

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2383 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

[...] That's too much detail I know. [...]

Ah, one can never have too much detail. :p
Thank you, that was very helpful!

#7 A home for their hearts

A home for their hearts

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2733 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

sbgrace

Thank you so much! You have helped a lot.!

#8 Chelli

Chelli

    Latin Name: Procrastinus Perfectionista

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2683 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Ask and you shall receive!

I just reviewed Math in Focus on my blog last week.

Also, besides not buying the TM (although you can get them used on Amazon for 1/4 of the price if you really want them), I also buy the textbooks used from Amazon for about 1/2 or less than 1/2 of what they cost new.

For example, I bought both MIF textbooks and workbooks for third grade for around $50 by purchasing the books used and the workbooks new.

#9 A home for their hearts

A home for their hearts

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2733 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

Ask and you shall receive!

I just reviewed Math in Focus on my blog last week.

Also, besides not buying the TM (although you can get them used on Amazon for 1/4 of the price if you really want them), I also buy the textbooks used from Amazon for about 1/2 or less than 1/2 of what they cost new.

For example, I bought both MIF textbooks and workbooks for third grade for around $50 by purchasing the books used and the workbooks new.


Your review was very helpful. Thanks for the tip on buying on amazon!

#10 alisoncooks

alisoncooks

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2383 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

This thread has been very helpful (or not...since I'm now reconsidering math for next year. :p)

Anyway, I'd like to get the opinion of some MiF users:
Since the program is being labeled as Singapore Math for US public schools... does that mean it's SM watered-down? Or is it equally rigorous in content and scope & sequence? (I know it's kind of the "new kid on the block" but I'm sure someone else has look into this & done the research for me. :D :D)

What do you think? Will it bring you to the same place in the end? As equally prepared for middle school maths?

#11 Chelli

Chelli

    Latin Name: Procrastinus Perfectionista

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2683 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

I don't think I'd call it watered down. I use it alongside Challenging Word Problems from Singapore Math (like sbgrace), and I find that the scope and sequence of what is covered is almost identical between the two programs. What I've heard, but don't know for sure since I've not used Singapore, is that MIF breaks the steps into smaller pieces so that some of those "big leaps" that occur in regular Singapore math are not present in MIF. I definitely think that you would end up at the same place although MIF goes through 8th grade and I believe that both Singapore Standards and Singapore U.S. both stop at 6th grade.

#12 jer2911mom

jer2911mom

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 688 posts

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:16 PM

Also, besides not buying the TM (although you can get them used on Amazon for 1/4 of the price if you really want them), I also buy the textbooks used from Amazon for about 1/2 or less than 1/2 of what they cost new.


I agree. I just bought the 2A TM used on Amazon for $29 + shipping. I calculated it would have been about $88 if I had bought it on Rainbow Resource as part of the homeschool pack. It is listed as much higher on the MIF website. I would definitely look at Amazon if you are wanting the TM but don't want to pay full price.

HTH,
Kathy

#13 alisoncooks

alisoncooks

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2383 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

I have to say, I ordered a few levels of MiF (used -- there's NO WAY I'd pay new prices).... but I'm quite impressed. I particularly like the looks of the workbooks and textbooks. I'll probably merge those with SM Standards. I've been able to sit down and compare Singapore 1A and Math in Focus 1A and they're pretty comparable.

Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there. Big thanks to the posters in this thread!!!

#14 Annie Laurie

Annie Laurie

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3076 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:33 PM

I've been so tempted to try MIF, it looks like it would be a perfect fit. I like Righstart a lot, but sometimes the way things are explained is too vague or doesn't click for me, and it can feel a little convoluted in its implementation. I really like orderly, sequential programs, I liked CLE for that reason. But I prefer the mental math emphasis in RS, so that's what we use, and my kids like it. I don't think they'd want to switch, and they're old enough that I don't think we should. But I do think they'd end up liking MIF, since it also has games and a similar approach. And it would be easier for me to implement. I'm afraid to take a chance at this stage though, not to mention the expense when I've already invested in all the RS levels.

Maybe I'll try MIF someday when my toddler is school age.

#15 MamaChristina

MamaChristina

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 392 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

I bought 2 or 3 of the MIF student textbooks off Amazon for 99 cents. They were brand new. We use CLE, but are using MIF for enrichment and for summertime math. :drool:

#16 SweetandSimple

SweetandSimple

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 233 posts

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:56 PM

My kindergartener just started MIF a few weeks ago. We're using 1A. So far, I really like it. I bought the TG and texts used, so the price was reasonable. I really like having the teacher's guides... I like having the explanations of how to teach things, and I like having all of the answers right there!


What's with the ads?