How does Math-U-See work?

By Jasmine

Blocks, Manipulatives, Math U See

Here's how Math-U-See works

When asked, our parents, home educators, and teachers are likely to describe Maths Australia’s Math-U-See program as “the one with the blocks,” and we are fine with that! Our manipulatives are the heart of who we are; they are the most memorable part of our math program. However, we are much MORE than that. Here are four fun facts, beyond the “blocks,” that make us special.

Student-paced learning

This one is perhaps the most important factor when learning any subject, and is often missed. Kids are often categorised according to their age or grade level, not their actual understanding of maths. 

Why is that so important, you ask? If you don't know where your child is up to with their maths understanding, you might place them much further behind or ahead of where they are really at, increasing maths anxiety.

However, learning at your student's pace means they are engaged, they learn their topics in a timely manner and they begin to enjoy learning maths. Fantastic!

Focus on mastery

We focus on mastery of concepts because we understand that each new math concept builds on the previously learned concept. Instead of using grade levels to describe our elementary curriculum offerings, we use Greek letter names – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta. At each level, students are immersed in one primary topic. They start with addition and subtraction. Eventually, they work their way up to multiplication and division, and then on to decimals and fractions. Similarly, our upper level math curriculum begins with Pre-Algebra and follows a similar progression to other high school math programs.

You can read more about our mastery-based approach, and the difference to the conventional schools "spiral approach" to maths.

Read about our mastery-based approach to maths here.

Specific materials for parents and teachers

Our materials allow students to concentrate on both practicing and reviewing maths concepts, and our tests give students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned. Once students master a specific concept, they have the freedom to move on to the next lesson. We eliminate the busywork and focus on useful practice and review.

In the Complete Set for each level, the following are included:

  • Step-by-step instruction manual so you know what to teach and how to teach it
  • Online video instruction (like having your own personal tutor!)
  • Hands-on manipulatives to teach each concept
  • Student workbooks for practice for mastery
  • End-of-lesson tests to determine your student's progress

You can find out more about how the Math-U-See program works here.

Hands-on multisensory tools for tactile learning

All of our manipulatives, from the Integer Block Kit and Fraction Overlays to Algebra/Decimal Inserts are important to learning maths in a hands-on, tactile way.

Can you see the image above? The child is learning multiplication by using the Integer Blocks and can see that 9 x 5 is a rectangle of light green and can count all the scored marks on the blocks, They can also see that 5 up and 9 across makes that rectangle. It's not just 9 x 5 on a page in squiggly numbers. Maths begins to take shape, to be able to be seen, touched and felt. It's a great way to engage your child, and is especially important for those with dyslexia, dyscalculia and other learning differences. 

Instead of slogging through dense maths workbooks and struggling to understand abstract concepts, the Math-U-See program uses the blocks to show numbers and help your child understand what they're doing with maths. 

There's also a whole heap of recent research that shows that the importance of using hands-on tools to teach maths in a multisensory way - it's better for student engagement, maths understanding and getting better maths results!

A complete maths curriculum covering P-12

There's so many maths programs out there that just teach the younger years, and then when your child gets older and needs to know more, you're left in the lurch.

You have to go hunting again and research ANOTHER program that may or may not work for your child, one they might be bored with and don't like it anyways.

However, with the Math-U-See program, kids are hooked from day one! They use the blocks, watch the videos and are taught at their pace. They have maths games and activities to keep the fun in maths and are challenged in all the right ways according to their specific understanding. 

Plus, when you need the next level of maths for your kids, no need to research or spend any effort (and risk possible failure) of finding another maths program!

You'll just move onto the next level, and use the same blocks and hands-on tools that your kids already are familiar with and love to use .Sound easy? It is!

You can find out more about the Math-U-See levels here.

Student assessment and progress monitoring

Because of the end-of-lesson tests, the Math-U-See program gives you an easy way to dtermine your student's understanding of each concept and monitor their progress. 

By marking the tests once your child has completed them, you'll know which areas they struggled with and what you can focus on in the next maths lesson.

Important Note: These tests are also great as proof of your child's work if you are needing to report to homeschooling bodies or government authorities. 

We're here to help

We provide detailed videos and Instruction Manuals for each level to ensure you, as the parent and maths teacher, have a thorough grasp of the material so you are able to teach it effectively. 

If you don't know what you're doing, no need to worry! The explicit instruction in the Instruction Manual are so simple and easy to use, no prior experience is needed!

We're also here to help if you have any questions or get suck anywhere along the way. You can contact our friendly team here.  

The Math-U-See program is now a world-renowned, international program that helps hundreds of parents and families - as well as tutors, schools and teachers - use multisensory maths for effective instruction. 

If you have any further questions, we're here to help

Warmly,

The Team at Maths Australia

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