I consider myself an accomplished Math person. I "get" Math. I like Math. I don't mind teaching Math. I'm not afraid of Math.
But we can all use a little help sometimes. When my oldest arrived at Algebra I age, I found myself unable to teach her Algebra I. There was a combination of things going on to shipwreck my efforts. It wasn't enough that I had a two year old boy, at the time, who seemed bent upon preventing my efforts to homeschool. There was also this issue that my daughter was trying to understand what I was trying to teach her. I mean, what's up with that?
Lest you think I jest, let me explain a little further. To me, Math is like a challenge, a puzzle. You figure out how to do it. memorize what method or formula to use in various equation problems, and then you just do it. You don't ask questions; you just look for the next challenge. When multiplying sides of an equation with fractions, it's enough for me to know that you multiply both sides of the equation by the reciprocal if you need to move the fraction from one side of the equation to the other to isolate the variable. That wasn't enough for my daughter. She wanted to know why you multiply by the reciprocal. Two hours later, I had adequately explained why, but I knew I could never walk her through Algebra I on my own. We hired outside help.
That said, when daughter #2 hit Algebra age, she had a Learning Disability that was especially apparent in the area of Mathematics. I wasn't equipped to deal with it, and once again we got help from outside sources.
That "2-year-old boy" is now fast approaching Algebra I age, and this time I am actually going to teach it on my own. There are no preschoolers to distract us; he doesn't have a Learning Disability. As a matter of fact, he seems to be a bit of a Math whiz. So I'm starting to work on getting my ducks in a row so that I will be ready to instruct him in higher Mathematics.
This summer, the Schoolhouse Review Crew was offered the opportunity to review a Math program called Math911. I jumped at the opportunity, because it looked like a really good program.Math911 was created by Professor Weissman of Staten Island, New York.
I was selected to review Math911, and I was very pleased. I was given Math911 as a download. There is a version available for sale on the website in the form of a Flash Drive with 2 mg of storage, enough to store all the student's additional school work! The Flash Drive normally sells for $49.95 but is currently available at the amazing price of $9.95!
I downloaded the program in mid-summer. I received an error message upon downloading, which seemed strange, so I wrote the message down and called the phone number given for Technical help. Professor Weissman quickly called me back, walked me through the set-up, and made sure I had the program up and running on my computer before he hung up. Points for fast and effective customer service.
Initially I started doing the Math911 program that is available to YOU for FREE. It is so good I didn't even realize there was more for me to download. It took me three weeks or more before I realized it and downloaded the rest of the program. I started the program on my own so that I could be familiar with it before I introduced it to my son. After working it awhile I realized that the program starts at Algebra level, not pre-Algebra, so my son really isn't ready for it yet. So I would work on it on my own.
As I opened up the program, it didn't seem to have any instructions. A problem was presented, and I answered it. "Correct!!!" flashed on the screen. Now what do I do? I sat looking at the screen, trying to figure it out. There is a series of buttons down the right side of the Math work space. One button said, "New Problem". Well that looked promising. I pressed it and along we went, it asking questions, me answering, it saying "Correct!!!", me pressing "New Problem". There don't seem to be step-by-step instructions, but it is pretty easy to figure out how to use the program.
As I worked my way through the problems presented to me, I was surprised when I got some answers wrong. What's up with that? (Okay, I finished Algebra in 1973... How could I forget absolute variables?)
Frustrated, I sat staring at the screen trying to figure out what to do next, not to mention why was my answer wrong. Looking again at the buttons down the right side, there is a green button there that says, "See All Steps". Well, that looks promising! I clicked on it, and my error was explained. Voila! I had forgotten how to do absolute values.
Working longer I again started getting answers wrong. I stared and stared. I clicked on the button that would explain, and I still didn't get it.
Well, l-4l is supposed to mean what is the absolute value of -4, which is 4. When I clicked the button asking for steps to show the answer, it showed this:
- l-4l = -4
But my starting screen was missing that first negative sign. Frustrated, I emailed Professor Weissman, who patiently directed my eyes to a line below the problem, which made the problem as a whole say:
What is the opposite of this number?
That certainly explained why I was getting it wrong...
Math911 is ingenious! Deep, yet simple, it lures the student through learning painlessly, while easing new concepts into the brain almost unnoticed. I will be continuing to work my way through this program to sharpen my math skills and prepare myself for teaching Algebra and additional higher math subjects to my son. When he is old enough, I will introduce this program to him as well.
The Math 911 Website includes, on its sidebar, free lesson downloads for educational packets of instruction on "Introduction to Whole Numbers", "Addition and Subtraction", "Multiplication Factors," "Division of Wholes," "Intro to the Integers", "Combine Integers", "Multiply/Divide Integers", and "Combine Like Terms". There is also a link to "Laugh With Math", which takes you to a web page where you can order a funny book of Math humor. If you click on the links, you can actually read your way through the book! Or if you prefer, you can click on the link to learn how to order a paper copy of the book. Looks pretty funny to me!
So, to concisely sum up some features of this program, Professor Weissman offers:
- FREE: The math911 Standard Version, which contains a complete Introductory Algebra Course (Algebra 1) and can be downloaded from Math911.com. No credit card or rebate required.
- The Premier / Premier Password/ Network Password version, which comes as a bundle for $49.95 for all three (not $49.95 each), which also includes free upgrades and technical support, which you also get when you download the Introductory Algebra course:
- Intermediate Algebra Course (Algebra 2)
- PreCalculus topics
- Trigonometry topics
- Introductory Statistics Course
- Math911 has amazing customer service, even for the free program. Professor Weissman seems sincerely to be a genius of a man whose desire is to make himself available to do whatever he can to create future generations who succeed at higher-level mathematics.
- RE: Activation Codes for Premier, Premier Password, Network Password
Upon purchase ($49.95) you should
1. Click on Register button and email us the Registration Codes
2. Identify yourself as a home schooler.
3. You will receive a reply email with ALL Activation Codes for all versions
a) Premier Version (one user no password)
b) Premier Password (Multiusers with Passwords)
c) Network Version (Multiusers with passwords)
4. Users can switch between versions by clicking the REGISTER button and
entering the codes for the desired version.
4. Passwords are generated by the software.
- If you sign up now for a low cost annual site license, I'll include free use with summer homework programs, free use with after school programs, free student home privileges, free keying to your textbook, and free bonus modules for Pre-calculus and Statistics. Call me now and enjoy the savings later. Professor Martin Weissman 1-347-528-7837
My personal experiences:
- Fabulous math program. Sadly, it proved my Mathematics skills sadly inadequate, much to my chagrin. I had thought I was pretty good.
- Sometimes my answers would be marked "Wrong" if I spaced the answer differently than the program wanted. As an adult I could look at the explanation and understand, "Oh, my answer was right, I just put a space here", but a child might not see that and might get frustrated at times.
- This program does not have any bells and whistles. It is a basic program, no games. It will teach, but it might not easily hold the attention of a child with ADHD.
- The Algebra I program is FREE! How can you lose? Download it and try it out. If it works for you, plan to invest in the rest of the levels, and you will be all set to home school your higher level math courses and get your students prepared for college mathematics. To me this seems like a no-brainer! Go to the site. Download the free program. Try it out.
This has been a Schoolhouse Crew Review.
To see more Schoolhouse Crew Reviews of Math911, go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog page for this product.