# I don't understand MM

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I downloaded Math Mammoth 5A last night. I am totally confused as to how it works. It doesn't seem like there is very much instruction at all. I don't see any examples or anything? What am I doing wrong?

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The instruction is usually in a box at the start of each titled lesson (i.e., the lessons named in the table of contents). Sometimes there is additional instruction in the middle of a lesson, usually surrounded by a box.

Note that a lot of the first chapter is review, so the instruction is fairly brief.

If you have a question about instruction for a specific lesson, don't be afraid to ask :)

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In my experience, MM does presume an instructor with a working understanding of all the topics covered. Though it boasts it is "written to the student", it is not a stand-alone program and even bright students will still require instruction beyond what is written on the page. I do think there is enough instruction there for a mathematically competent adult to interpret and translate, but not necessarily enough for a student to grab and go.

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Though it boasts it is "written to the student", it is not a stand-alone program and even bright students will still require instruction beyond what is written on the page.

My kids are able to do MM independently. They are a little older than your kids, so maybe that makes a difference? I very rarely have to explain anything to them. I find the instructions to be perfectly adequate in explaining new concepts, with many examples of new problems.

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There are examples for each thing. The instruction is all right there.

Let's go to page 9 - Warm Up: Mental Math (which is a review topic, so probably less examples)... The very first blue box shows examples of addition and subtraction done mentally. The top left section of the box describes how you break down 57 + 34 into parts, adding 50 + 30 = 80 and 7 + 4 = 11, then 80 + 11 = 91. The top right section shows a method where you would round to the nearest 10 and adjust for the error, so 29 + 18 = 30 + 20 - 3 = 50 - 3 = 47.

Now remember, this is all review for a child entering grade 5 if they've been using MM for a while, so it doesn't discuss it at length. There would be a bit more discussion of these topics in earlier grades (2, 3, 4).

Now let's go to a new topic for 5th grade... page 85 - More Decimals: Thousandths. Most of the page is explanation about what a thousandth is. It shows a picture using a block of squares, then shows it on a number line, all the while discussing how you read the numbers, what the fraction equivalent is, etc. Then it has a place value grid so you can see where all the numbers line up in their place. The problem sets then incrementally lead you into working with thousandths.

Sometimes the teaching is interspersed through the section. It might give one big piece to get you started, then work with that piece, then give you another piece and some exercises to work with that piece, and finally the final piece with exercises to work with that piece.

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My kids are able to do MM independently. They are a little older than your kids, so maybe that makes a difference? I very rarely have to explain anything to them. I find the instructions to be perfectly adequate in explaining new concepts, with many examples of new problems.

Same here. Dd was fairly independent in MM 5 (which is not to say I never taught anything; much or most of the time, I didn't need to do more than simply checking in and answering a question here or there). She would not have been independent in 3rd grade - I would have had to walk through the lesson with her. (disclaimer, we have not used the lower levels of MM)

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We are currently doing MM 5A and they are also fairly independent with it. It does take a bit of getting used to if you are just moving over. I remember starting with 4A last year and it taking a few months for dd to really get how it worked.

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My kids are able to do MM independently. They are a little older than your kids, so maybe that makes a difference? I very rarely have to explain anything to them. I find the instructions to be perfectly adequate in explaining new concepts, with many examples of new problems.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

MM blue is totally "open-and-go" in our home. Very different from Singapore, which requires a lot of prep work on my part with the HIG.

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In my experience, MM does presume an instructor with a working understanding of all the topics covered. Though it boasts it is "written to the student", it is not a stand-alone program and even bright students will still require instruction beyond what is written on the page. I do think there is enough instruction there for a mathematically competent adult to interpret and translate, but not necessarily enough for a student to grab and go.

I've used MM grades 1-4, and almost all of the topics, I've just read what's in the box and gone over the material present on the page. I haven't had to add anything to the instruction in MM.

Now my son isn't working independently, but I don't expect that of any 7 year old in math. He's still at the stage where even though he can read the instructions just as well as I can, I still need to read them to him. But seriously, that's all I have to do... read what's there on the page. He then runs with it. :)

I also think you're misusing the term "stand-alone program". That usually refers to a program where you don't need to supplement with another curriculum. MM is a stand-alone program. It includes ample instruction of all topics that students typically require in the appropriate grades 1-6. A student can use just MM as their math program, without supplementing anything else, and easily move into prealgebra (or even algebra) after 6B. A program that isn't "stand-alone" would be one missing topics or that doesn't flesh out topics, such as the early LOF books, where some interesting topics are explored, but it's not a complete curriculum. "Stand-alone" is not usually interchangeable with "independent", which is what I think you're meaning to say. I would agree that MM is not really independent, though it can be used that way by some kids (usually older kids that are ready for independent study). I would never hand MM1 to a first grader and expect them to just figure it out. ;)

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We struggled a little bit when I printed off various reviews from the level below for their summer review. That was the first time using MM. I think it goes fairly sequential so that if you have been plodding along, it makes sense (usually). Starting out new could be problematic - especially if the scope and sequence of your last program was very different.

My children rarely need much help now that we are in a good groove and they are doing 2nd and 3rd grade levels.

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In my experience, MM does presume an instructor with a working understanding of all the topics covered. Though it boasts it is "written to the student", it is not a stand-alone program and even bright students will still require instruction beyond what is written on the page. I do think there is enough instruction there for a mathematically competent adult to interpret and translate, but not necessarily enough for a student to grab and go.

what?? say it isn't so!!:001_huh:

my ds is now asking to do mm as his main curriculum. i am...cough....not, i repeat, NOT a mathematically competent adult. after attending 10 different schools k-12, i was just happy to not have to take a college math other than one offered for math-phobic students.;):blush:

now i have ds who is finally starting to like math and is in "catch-up mode." so maybe mm isn't something i should try? i will not switch him like i did with my dd. no way. maybe i should just stick with r&s.....

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what?? say it isn't so!!:001_huh:

my ds is now asking to do mm as his main curriculum. i am...cough....not, i repeat, NOT a mathematically competent adult. after attending 10 different schools k-12, i was just happy to not have to take a college math other than one offered for math-phobic students.;):blush:

now i have ds who is finally starting to like math and is in "catch-up mode." so maybe mm isn't something i should try? i will not switch him like i did with my dd. no way. maybe i should just stick with r&s.....

I am mathemetically competent, but am not very good at explaining it to my kids. So if there is anything they don't understand after the first go around with the MM instructions (which hasn't yet happend in 2A and only once or twice in 5A), I find the appropriate video on Khan Academy and have him watch that.

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