SRA Number Worlds
by Christine Chalmers
(Orinda, CA, USA)
As a former teacher preparing to homeschool my kids through preschool, I wanted to be sure we used curricula that had been proven to develop strong cognitive skills, not just academic knowledge.
Number Worlds was designed by math professors to develop "number sense"--the core ability research suggests underlies all later math achievement. In studies, students who were taught from Number Worlds in K-2 did not develop the math disabilities expected in the general population. Now that the program includes the software program, "Building Blocks," non-disabled students make faster math progress than control group peers. A large-scale trial is under way in Kentucky.
Level A is approximately pre-school level, Level B is Kindergarten, and Level C is first grade. Part of what I like about the program at these levels is that each lesson is delivered through games, so it's easy to keep kids engaged. As an intervention program, it's also targeted to small groups, so it's easier to adapt to the home setting. Each game is outlined on an "Activity Card" that make it very simple to follow the directions for teaching. While buying all components of the program can be very expensive, the teacher's guide shows the full text of each activity card, worksheet, and assessment so you don't HAVE to buy those components if you're willing to use a magnifying overlay to read them.
The teacher's guides also regularly show up used on Amazon for $20-$50. You can make most of the manipulatives and worksheets yourself with things you have around the house. The Building Blocks software is available as a one-year subscription for $6.99 per student. There's also a Building Blocks paper curriculum for preschool with a more affordable Teacher's Edition if you can't find the Number Worlds ones. More info at: www.sranumberworlds.com
Order workbooks and software at: www.mheonline.com You'll need to set up a homeschool account, but it's worth it as it'll give you access to purchase virtually all McGraw-Hill materials, and they have some of the best!