Beast Academy
Featured , Math / May 28, 2015

Beast Academy Content: Math Grade(s): 2nd – 5th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Solutions Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: 100+ each Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: beastacademy.com Common Core Aligned: Yes Updated Review: May 26, 2015 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. Let every math-loving family delight! The mathematicians behind the Art of Problem Solving are in the process of developing an elementary math curriculum. And, boy, are they on to something good! First, Beast Academy is primarily taught through a bright, colorful, comic-book style Guide Book. And being a comic book about math, it’s full of smarty-pants type humor. Even though you’ll be giggling, the math is no laughing matter. You get thoughtful dialogue that really delivers age-appropriate instruction in advanced math topics. Topics Covered 3A Shapes Skip Counting Perimeter & Area 3B Multiplication Perfect Squares Distributive Property 3C Variables Division Measurement 3D Fractions Estimation Area 4A Shapes Multiplication Exponents 4B Counting Division Logic 4C Factors Fractions Integers 4D Fractions Decimals Probability On the surface, the topics look like a typical elementary math progression using a mastery approach, but don’t be fooled. The Practice workbooks are full of thoughtful and well developed problems and puzzles that…

Art of Problem Solving: The Basics and Beyond
Math / February 7, 2011

Art of Problem Solving Content: Math Grade(s): 7th – 10th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: No Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 272 Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: Mandelbrot. The first year of the competition didn’t go so well, so the trio decided to write their own math book to help students think deeper in math. That book is what we now call Volume 1 in the Art of Problem Solving series. The Art of Problem Solving is the classic problem solving textbook used by many successful MATHCOUNTS programs. It is not designed to be a curriculum that you can say, “Hey, let me substitute this out for 7th grade math.” Instead, AoPS Volumes 1 & 2: The Basics and Beyond are in-depth workbooks for students in grades 7 – 10 who are preparing to compete in math contests. Volume 1 is great for those just beginning to the competition adventure and Volume 2 is geared for high school kids ready for more of a challenge. On the surface, it might seem like the books are just a collection of math tricks. But, once you get into reading them and doing the problems, you realize the emphasis…

Art of Problem Solving, High School
Math / February 7, 2011

Art of Problem Solving Content: Math Grade(s): 9th and up Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Solutions Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: Varies Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: www.artofproblemsolving.com Updated Review: May 26, 2015 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. Looking for other Art of Problem Solving reviews? Find them here: Beast Academy for grade 3-4 Art of Problem Solving Basics and Beyond for grades 7-10 AoPS Pre-Algebra and Algebra for grades 7-9 We’re just going to say it like it is: Art of Problem Solving is a math curriculum designed for kids who LOVE math and are really, really good at it. We’re talking about the kiddos who may be starting Algebra 1 at the age of 10. That’s not to say that other students would not benefit from AoPS. But, if your teen enjoys math textbooks with the visual appeal of lots of bright pictures and sideboxes filled full of random fun facts and real world applications of math skills, then AoPS will probably not be a good fit. AoPS textbooks are highly regarded for their rigor and depth, but they are dense and intense – which is not a bad thing, if you love math….

Art of Problem Solving, Pre-Algebra and Algebra
Math / February 7, 2011

Art of Problem Solving Content: Math Grade(s): 7th – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Solutions Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$$ || ? Pages: 600+ Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: www.artofproblemsolving.com Updated Review: May 26, 2015 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. Looking for other Art of Problem Solving reviews? Find them here: Beast Academy for grade 3-4 Art of Problem Solving Basics and Beyond for grades 7-10 AoPS for High School and Beyond, include Number Theory and more If your student has completed a 6th grade math program and you’re looking for something more rigorous, the Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra and Introduction to Algebra could be a good fit. Be warned, though. AoPS unapologetically states: The text is written to challenge students at a much deeper level than a traditional middle school prealgebra course. Developed by the mathematicians who created the placement tests for each textbook. If you’re still stuck, you can contact AoPS staff and they’ll help you decide. About the Authors: Richard Rusczyk is the founder of the Art of Problem Solving website. He was a national MATHCOUNTS participant in 1985, a three-time participant in the Math Olympiad Summer Program, a perfect AIME scorer in 1989,…