Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Help! I Don't Know This Math?? - A New TOS Review!!

In most families there is at least one subject that makes the main teaching parent cringe or at least be a little unnerved.  And I think that a majority of families would say that math is the subject for them.  What if I told you that there was an online product that could help your 3rd - 12th grade students, and in turn your family, by 'teaching' math for you?  Would you believe such a product existed?  Well it does!  Say hello to ALEKS.

The Product:
What is ALEKS?  It is an acronym for Assessment LEarning in Knowledge Spaces - a web based mathematics program which has both artificial intelligence and learning abilities.  It adapts to your specific child's needs by quickly identifying what they do and do not already know in a specific course of study.  The next step is to help teach the child in the areas they have not already mastered.  Then while the student is progressing through the program the system assesses and reevaluates what the child has learned and retained by giving periodic assessments.

Once mastery has been reached in an area their "pie" will be completed.  Their courses are very complete and steer clear of multiple choice questions so your student won't be 'guessing' at the correct answer.

There are many courses to choose from that range from third grade all the way to twelfth.  These courses include your basic elementary and middle school math, algebra, trigonometry, as well as specialized topics such as SAT prep, AP Statistics (quantitative).  They even have college level chemistry and business math.  I encourage you to check out all their courses - there may even be one for you!

You have many choices of products and also for your subscriptions including discounts for families with multiple students.  You can purchase ALEKS monthly for just $19.99, $99.95 for six months access, or $179.95 for 12 months access.

Our Experience:
We started Arianna off with the basic 3rd grade elementary math.  She first had to do an assessment which told the computer what she did and did not know.  Then she was given a visual to look at called "My Pie" which told her exactly where she stood.  Here is a copy of her pie now. (The original picture I took has disappeared. :( )
Sorry that it isn't that clear.  When you click on a piece of the pie that isn't complete (like the orange) you get a little pop up window which shows you what is left for the student to learn in that area.  That looks like this.

I know those were hard to see - so I'm including some "stock" photos.  I wanted to show you up close and personal what my daughter was actually doing, but those pictures weren't that great.

So as you can see you really get a sense of where you are.  Then there are the questions.  Here's a shot of one of the questions and the response that you receive once it has been answered.  This one Ari got correct. ;)

I also received an email which had a student report of what had transpired over the last week or so.  As a parent I found this aspect of the program wonderful.

My Thoughts:
I think this is a very solid program and would highly recommend it.  I have even been using it to teach myself some statistics.  (Some of you may know that my husband is working on getting his PhD in math and that he took some courses and received a statistics certificate last summer.  I was hoping to expand my stats knowledge by working through the course. It's slow going for me, but I have learned a lot.)

It has a solid base and adapts quickly and accurately to the students own knowledge level.  I have even noticed that Arianna enjoys doing her math a little better.  I think one of the reasons is that if she gets a problem right she only has to do a few problems.  This allows her to really grasp a subject, but then not be mentally tied down for an entire lesson once she's learned the material.  The periodic assessments will catch if an area needs more work or if the material has really been retained.

You can try out ALEKS for yourself (or for your student) for a FREE trial.  So don't delay - try it out today!!

I encourage you to go and read how other Crew member families used their 2 month trial. The company are very accessible so be sure and contact ALEKS with any questions, concerns, or comments through email,  phone (714-245-7191) or directly from  their website.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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