4/22/14

K-12 Online Math Program: CTC Math {Crew Review}

If you are a regular reader of my blog,then you may know that although I like math, I do not like teaching math.  Supergirl’s needs require that I present concepts over and over again in as many different ways possible so I am always looking for something new and different for her to try. Tailorbear and Turtlegirl both enjoy using the computer for as much school work as I will let them and Turtlegirl needs geometry. CTC Math is an online math program with lessons from Kindergarten through Calculus. We received the 12 Month Family Plan.

CTC Online Math Program review Circling Through This Life

What is CTC Math?

CTC Math is an online, interactive, video based math program. Each lesson begins with a video presentation by Australian math teacher Pat Murray. With CTC Math your student sets the pace. Your student will have access to all the levels and move backward and forward as needed. A little rusty with 4th grade skills? Complete those lessons and then move on to grade 5.  Grade 5 a little too easy in some areas? No problem, you can work through the six grade materials. Parents can have weekly reports sent via email or log in to the parent area to see summary reports and details including how often the student has logged into the program! 

List of Courses for CTC Math Online

Using CTC Math with Supergirl:

One of the great things about video presentations is the ability to watch it over and over.  If you didn’t quite catch what the teacher was saying you can rewind and watch again.  Sometimes watching it again will help solidify the concept in your mind.  Unfortunately for Supergirl, watching it again and again still only presents the material one way.

Because I know that Supergirl needs material to be presented in a variety of ways, I wanted to add CTC to my list of resources for her to practice math. I loved using the diagnostic tests with Supergirl to assess her strengths and weaknesses. We used CTC an average of three times per week. Some sessions we just did the comprehensive diagnostic tests. Some sessions we watched the video and she did the questions. She loved the program and would ask for it daily but I had to make modifications.  For example, because Supergirl requires more of a kinesthetic approach to learning, we used physical manipulatives when working through sections on addition.

opening screen for Supergirl

Using CTC Math with Turtlegirl:

Turtlegirl has been using CTC Math as her primary math program working through the Geometry lessons. She tends to do very well with video presentations and an online format. She worked on CTC Math for 45 minutes a day sometimes often completing two lessons though she would repeat lessons to make sure she truly knew the material. In addition to a computer with high speed internet, students working through geometry need to have a compass and a protractor to work through the problems.  Unlike her sister, Turtlegirl is someone that doesn’t require material to be presented in different ways. It was enough for her to be able to just rewatch the video presentation as needed. 

A Few Cons: 

  • Although this is the US Version the program still uses Australian spelling for example: colour for color.
  • Again although this is the US Version, the terminology isn’t always American.
  • Only metric measurements (or non-standard such as “how many pencils wide is this desk.”
  • Money is not taught.  There are two lessons in the K level that have money but they are comparing value of coins/bills and do not actually teach value of coin/bills or recognizing coins or bills.
  • Tailorbear found it frustrating and complicated to input answers to worksheets. The worksheets open in a separate window that cannot be enlarged.  The student must work out the answer and then look for the answer in the printed box to find the right the letter to input for the answer.  One solution would be to print each and every worksheet.  A preferred solution would be to do away with the answer box and let students input the actual answer instead of a letter and/or to add the ability to enlarge that screen.  Although Turtlegirl also found it annoying she did not find it as frustrating. Hunting for the letter code for the answer was not as problematic for her.
  • There is only one diagnostic test in the upper level (Geometry Positions) levels. In the elementary levels there are diagnostic tests for nearly every section. More diagnostic tests for upper level math would help gauge how well the student is retaining the concepts.
  • Material is only presented in one format.

CTC Math has customizable backgrounds!

Some things I loved:

  • My two high school students could use this program independently
  • I get an email each week with PDF attachments of the summary report for each student.
  • Students are encouraged to excel.  CTC Math provides award certificates based on how well the student completes a unit over all.
  • I love how the students working in the elementary levels can just input the answers to questions.  No worksheets!
  • For upper level Math I love that the solutions are not unlocked until the student has tried at least 3 times.
  • The background color is customizable.
  • The program remembers where you last worked

 

Thoughts From Turtlegirl:

I liked it. I like how short and concise the video lessons are. I liked the variety in the ‘Questions’ section. And as silly as this may sound, I liked the instructor’s accent. It worked very well for me because I am a visual person, and the videos helped with that. I don’t know that I would recommend this for an auditory person, but I would recommend it for a visual person.

Thoughts from Tailorbear:

Overall, I think this is an excellent math program. The videos are easy to understand. The only thing I didn't really like was how the worksheets were done. I found it tedious and frustrating, especially for the problems that were easy. For me solving the problem and then having to find a letter for it, was just hard.

My Thoughts: 

I think this is a great program for younger students (8th grade and under) who do not struggle with math or do not have learning disabilities. I do not feel that there is enough teaching of all math concepts for me to be comfortable using this as my only source for math instruction at any level. I think the lower levels, though material is presented logically, I think assumptions are made that the student has grasped or knows some foundational steps.

I think this program is particularly well suited for students who are advanced in math or who grasp concepts easily, and who do not need more than a visual presentation of concepts.  For these students, in the younger grades, this could be a complete math program and the diagnostic tests would help mom/teacher gauge if the student is retaining and mastering the concepts. 

The Details:

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about CTC Math.  

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

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your review! I like to read the opinions from those how used the upper level maths since they weren't anything we used.

    ReplyDelete