7/9/12

Crew Review: Professor B Math E-learning

Though I had heard of Professor B math before, I had never really looked into the program.  When the Schoolhouse Review Crew announced that Professor B would be an upcoming vendor, I explored the website.  I read through the FAQ page and the philosophy page and decided that indeed I was interested in reviewing Professor B E-Learning.

I read "Well, mathematics is the academic area that studies structures for their own sake, and to build a structure, whether it be physical (like a building) or mental (like a story you know) you must connect the pieces (fragments) in a specific way.” I was intrigued by the idea of using connections to teach math.

Through the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a 1 year subscription to all three levels of the E-Learning program.  Each level of Professor B is equal to “3 years of Math”.   In other words, Level 1 covers Prek- 2nd Graders, Level 2 covers 3rd –5th and Level 3 covers 6th-8th.  All levels can be used for remediation of older students. According to the website one level should take about 10 months to complete.  

Using the Program with Supergirl (learning disabilities, developmentally delayed and works at a first grade level in most areas):
I started her at the beginning of LEVEL 1 with the very first concept.   Here you can see the table of contents for the first level. 

Table Of Contents Level 1

Some of those concepts are further divided into Lessons:

Lessons for Introduction to Addition and Subtraction

I thought I could skip over “Understanding ‘one’ through ‘ten’” but when I tried “complements of ten”,  I found that Supergirl needed more work with the foundational idea of number sense. For the understanding numbers concepts Professor B uses 5 stages to teach the number.  You are instructed to go through all 5 stages in each lesson for 2 to 3 lessons.  In theory then you would take 3 to 4 school weeks and have a solid foundation with number sense.  Supergirl still struggles with associating a group of objects (like balls) with a number.   With Professor B, though, I can go back and review this concept. 

We have now reached “Counting backwards from ten with fingers.”   This is an introduction to subtraction.  We have mastered “counting to ten using plus without fingers” which lays the foundation for addition.  This is the connection aspect mentioned in the philosophy.  Prior to starting Professor B, Supergirl could not make the connection that adding one is the same idea as counting the next number.  She is capable of memorizing her “plus 1 facts” but really didn’t understand the concept.  Now with Professor B she is making the connection that when she adds one to a number, it’s just like counting to the next number.  I am very pleased with how this is working for her.

Professor B Opening Screen

Using the Program with Tailorbear (age 13):
While Supergirl has focused on building number sense and grasping the relationship between counting and adding, Tailorbear has been solidifying her understanding of the relationship between decimals and fractions.

I primarily wanted o use the program with Supergirl but since Tailorbear was finishing 7th grade, I decided to try the program with her as well.  I let her use the program independently and we used this as a supplement rather than as the principal or spine math program. I looked at the topics covered in Level 3 and I mistakenly thought she wouldn’t get that much out of this program.  These were all concepts we had covered with our regular math program.  I was wrong.  Though we had covered fractions and decimals she had never really understood them.  Professor B helped her to make those connections that she needed so that she now understands the relationship between decimals and fractions.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 13): “It taught me some things that I kind of needed to know. I think it would teach kids how to do some things. The worksheets can be tough. I would suggest a parent sit with them or help them.  It helped me finally understand fractions to decimals.”

Transforming a fraction to a decimal

Some Things to Keep in Mind:

  • This is not intended as an independent program.  Though I let Tailorbear use the program independently, I made sure I was available.  From the website: “The decision to not have the Bee speak was intentional. We did not want parents leaving the student at the computer by themselves. If the child answers incorrectly, you would not know unless you are there. This is not a game. This is a teaching program.”
  • There is no sound in the program.  See the quote above.  This is intentional.
  • There are no student log ins.  Though multiple people in the family can use the program, only one log in is provided and only one computer can be logged in at a time.  Tailorbear and Supergirl could not use Professor B at the same time. 
  • No way to track progress within the program.  Parent/Teacher or student must make a note of which lesson is finished or which lesson to start with as this is not tracked at all.

At the time of this review, monthly prices are $20 a month.  Discounts are offered for purchasing more than one level at the same time.  They also offer a 1 year contract.   Professor B also offers an Algebra program and a few other items.  Check out their products page!

************************************Breaking News************************************

This post is edited on July 12 to add the following update on prices: (This information was provided by Professor B through the Schoolhouse Review Crew)

“We also have a new price change on our yearly subscription.  Our program can now be purchase for $100 for 3 years access to each level. Our IT department is working on changing the site.  However, if the customers call 678-765-6655 we will be able take their order and honor the new price.”

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Click on the banner below to read what other Crew Members had to say about Professor B Math (E-learning)

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. I am required to write a review but I am not required to write a positive review. This review contains my and/or my daughters’ honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I/ we liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

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