Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Demme Learning Math-U-See Digital Pack Review

If you have ever used Demme Learning Math-U-See in the past, the little green blocks have become an old friend to you. We all know them well. However, they now have a product that brings those green blocks to a whole new level in their digital packs, which I was given the opportunity to review. 

Demme Learning Math U See Review
We used Demme Learning Math-U-See Beta Level Digital Pack for our son. Their concept is one I think is very interesting and different. They are a multi-sensory mastery based math program that covers every level of mathematics from primer (think pre-K, early Kindergarten) to pre-calculus. Mastery programs, unlike spiral, means your child will grasp and understand the concepts before being taught a new big concept. 
So, what's a digital pack? Well, I am so glad you asked me that. A digital pack still provides the textbook for kids. You also still get the wonderful teaching help that we have all come to know and love. But your manipulatives and videos are digital. This means no more tiny green blocks making you cry as you walk over them in the middle of the night. No more pink blocks going click, click around the kitchen because your cat found them and just happens to love how they scoot across the floor. Also, if you are like us, there's no concern with dropping them or losing them on the floor in the SUV. Roadschooling's friend. 
In the Beta Digital Pack, you receive:
  • 12-month access to Beta streaming instruction videos
  • Instruction manual PDF
  • Lesson solutions
  • Skip Count Sons MP3 and Songbook PDFs
  • 12-month access to digital manipulatives - using Chrome or Safari browsers

Demme Learning Math U See Review
On Demme Learning Math-U-See's website you have the ability to have all purchased levels at your fingertips. Once you log in, you have a drop down menu that will show every level so you can have a one-stop location for your kids. You won't have to have multiple log-ins for each level. 

Once there, you have everything you need on the screen to begin your lesson. It all starts with the videos, right? When you choose your lesson for the day ...
The video, manipulatives, and all other resources pop up ready to use. 
My son liked having the videos online, but he loved the digital manipulatives. He is a kid who enjoys working on the computer or iPad, so this gave him that freedom. He also liked how easy it was to use and he could move around the house for math. He loves to move, so he might start on the table and end on the floor or sofa. This moves right along with him. Portability is one of the best features of the digital packs
So, about those manipulatives. I bet you are quite curious what they look like. Well, let me show you.
Let me stop and give you a quick tip. You will notice, on the right side of the screen in each lesson, that the different resources all fall under a nice heading to group them together. You have "Lesson Summary", "Lesson Solutions", "Test Solutions", etc. The only part I found confusing, but just mildly so, was where to find the manipulatives. You actually click the bolded words, "Digital Manipulatives" which I thought was the heading for that item. Other than that, this is all such a breeze. 
The manipulatives board is wonderful. With one click you have every block from units to 100s. You have a field to work with those blocks and, well, manipulate them for your math lesson. An ADDED bonus is that you can write on the field itself. So, if your child has a hard time moving from book to screen, you (or he) can actually write what you are working on at the moment on the screen. It can also be used as scratch paper for the problems. 

Our Thoughts:

My son took to this quickly. He was able to work the manipultives with ease, liked being able to use the screen as his work surface for quick figuring, and had no problems moving from his experiences with the physical blocks to the digital manipulatives. 

We used this daily and worked through the lessons. I will admit, and I am sure there are a few of you that will know what I mean, he likes to watch the videos himself. He loves Mr. Demme's style and just his personality on-screen. Honestly, I let him watch the videos meant to teach me how to present the lesson because he just enjoys them and picks it up quickly. I watch with him and then am there to help him as he moves into the lesson if he has any questions. 

I like that this is incredibly simple on the iPad. Oh, it's easy on our laptop, but the iPad brings a touch screen quality to the manipulatives that really make it fun for the kids. If you have internet access on a tablet, you can take this with you and the kids can be done with their math lesson by the time you get to the store. OK, OK, by the time WE get to the store. We do live a bit further away than most with us being in the country. 

Many times companies come out with new additions or tweaks to their products like this and they dump resources or some of the quality during that transition. Not Demme Learning Math-U-See. Not only did they keep everything we love about the traditional physical pack, they added items to enhance the learning experience. That's what makes them top notch in my book. 

Words won't do this product justice. So, my suggestion is to visit their website, look around, and make the leap into being a Demme Learning Math-U-See Digital Pack family. 
Demme Learning's Math-U-See Review


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