Yep, you read that right….Why not have Algebra for Breakfast? Recently I received the Grades 5/6 Lessons from Algebra for Breakfast to use as math enrichment! I really wasn’t sure what to think going into it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use.
Algebra for Breakfast was created by teacher Bob Hazen and it is an online math enrichment program that basically introduces and teaches algebra concepts for 3rd-6th graders.
It contains three main ways of teaching the concepts: Manipulative tools/audios, video lessons, and downloadable/printable worksheets. You do need to have the math manipulatives (blocks) which can be purchased as part of your bundle or separately (or you might have something similar enough to use at home). You’ll also need a couple 12-sided dice and three regular 6-sided ones for the math games. If multiplication is still being learned, then you’ll probably get a lot of use out of the Skip Counting CD as well.
I already had blocks like the ones required and also had the dice, so I just received a 6 month subscription to the 5/6th level course for the review.
Algebra for Breakfast is not meant to be a full stand-alone math curriculum. According to the site, it is a supplement and is best utilized by doing at least 2 lessons a week. The idea isn’t to rush through it so you can say it’s done, but rather to have fun with the concepts and really learn.
I used this with two students grades 5 and 6 and although due to some crazy schedule changes we didn’t use it as much as we want, I am SO excited that I still have some months left on my subscription! I can totally see this as a great SUMMER enrichment for my daughter! My son, who is going into 11th grade, struggled with some basic algebraic concepts for a long time. I wish I had this for him when he was my daughter’s age!
How it Works
It’s super easy….basically you go into your level and click the lesson. There’s a short video of Bob teaching to a group of kids. I will say that the videos are not always the best quality…and just like being in a real classroom you sometimes have to wait on answers or kids to get out blocks….but the videos are still worth watching! After the intro video there is a downloadable worksheet that you can print off and have your child do. The worksheets are not long and don’t require a lot of computation. Most of the time they are tying in the manipulatives that were shown. This is where I need to say that you should use the blocks/dice! It’s tempting to say you don’t need them, but they really do help hammer in the concepts.
I hope to finish working through the course with my daughter over the summer to really prepare her for pre-algebra next year! I’m so excited to have something so simple and easy that uses all kinds of learning style approaches. Since my daughter is 12, it’s something she can even do basically on her own. The only negative I can say is that the navigation on the site is a little confusing. Sometimes it says you can click to go back, but you really have to just close the window. The “Parent Corner” is also not always easy to find. But these things are small compared to the overall benefit.
At the time of this review, the monthly price is $22 and if you have manipulatives and dice you can order just that. If you need everything then it will be $122 for the first month then $22/month after that.