## Algebra 1 Online Lessons – Math-U-See ~ A Review

We have been familiar with Demme Learning’s Math-U-See  for the past 12 years and have used their products for Pre Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry the last 4 years. The components for the system have stayed the same, Book, DVD, Workbook, Manipulatives, and Test Book, until now . . . . .!

What I’d like to share with you – is not an overview of Math-U-See Algebra 1,
but the new addition to the family – Digital Packs! !

My review will be based on the Algebra 1 Digital Pack.

The Digital Pack now comes with the full Math-U-See package as shown below.

Access is found on the Math-U-See website, by going to the store, clicking My Digital Packs, and then selecting your level. Once you are into this screen, there are many resources which are easy to access on the right hand side.

• A Digital Manipulative Demo
• Lesson Summary
• Lesson Solutions
• Honors Solutions
• Test Solutions
• Unit Tests 1-3 Solutions,
• Record Keeping Sheets.

One of the reasons we were excited to have access to the digital library of instructional videos is that we have one tv with a blue ray player to watch the math lessons on DVD.  Usually, on Monday, we watch the lesson and then work through the workbook, using the lesson book throughout the week. My DVD player will not let us rewind the DVD. We can stop and pause, but if we mess with it at all, we start over. This gets frustrating.  We are also a family on the go – so we can’t start another lesson, until we have time to watch the instructional video at home, in the living room.

We were on lesson 13 or 14 in the midst of graphing, slope intercept formula, and solving simultaneous equations. Mr. Demme was talking faster than we could both keep up with our pencils. (Yes, I am trying to learn Alg 1 alongside Jon. Nathan did his math on his own, I only did the grading and helping if he got stuck.) One thing I’ve learned with Math-U-See, is that if you can’t figure out the worksheets after the videos – then you’ve missed a building block somewhere.

The photo above shows me on my phone – going through the lesson. I went back to lesson 7 and watched them all up to 14 following along with my pencil and paper.  I looked to the side and saw the resources and found printable graph paper. I had been using regular graph paper – but Demme Learning has the 6 block paper! So much easier! When I finally had my ah-ha moment a couple of days later, I talked with Jon about what I had been up to. He agreed that he’d benefit from doing the past 7 lessons over as well.

Engage with the Lesson – We like Demme Learning – because we like Mr. Demme,  or Grandpa Demme as he called himself one time, and it stuck with us. Ha. We like his jokes. Well, most of them get at least a pity giggle.

I like that he shows us 2-3 ways to solve a problem, and then sometimes comes up with another way – “But my mind works a bit differently so this is how I do it . . .”

He has students in front of him and is asking them questions. You get to hear some of their answers. He lets us, the at home students, know when to pause the video so we can work the problem and see if we understand and can do it without him, the resume play and he shows us how it is done. We can follow along with our graph paper and notebook paper.

On the computer – you can also build with the manipulative app and follow Mr. Demme in class. I didn’t get a good screen shot of the manipulative app – showing how simple it is to drag an drop the bars. You can click on a bar to make it negative, right click to flip it.

After the online instructional video  – you can either use your book, or print out the Lesson Summary PDF. I like having the lesson in front of me while I watch the video. Jon says he can’t pay attention to both, he’ll miss what Mr. Demme  says. Each example in the streaming video is given in the text, along with a few extra.  For this Lesson 20 corresponding resources pop up:

• Digital Manipulatives
• Lesson 20 – Addition And Multiplication Of Polynomials Summary
• Lesson Solutions
• Lesson 20 – Addition And Multiplication Of Polynomials Solutions
• Algebra 1 Honors Solutions

I told Jon that it was time to share our experience with you and asked him what he thought of the Digital Pack, and if he thought it had been worth it to back track. He VERY quickly and enthusiastically said yes to both counts. He really likes being able to watch the videos on the go and to be able to control the rewind. He says he now has a full comprehension of the lessons, and we have done well on lessons 15-18 now. The ease of being able to watch the lessons anywhere, on the phone, Kindle Fire, Laptop or computer has made it so we are always on track.

Considerations: If, like us, you already have the Math-U-See package, you can purchase the digital pack separately.  The main part that does not come with the Digital Package is the Student Workbook. There are no student worksheets available online, other than the extra practice sheet.  I will still need to purchase the Student Workbook moving forward. The Digital Package has a 12 month access.  The Manipulative App works best on Chrome and Safari.

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