JumpMath is a fairly new program, developed in Canada, with the goal of helping all children work through the underlaying concepts of mathematics so that real comprehension is encouraged, not jus the ability to get the questions right. The name stands for Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies. The course is published in a workbook format, available in two editions: one is the complete program including geometry, measurement, patterns and algebra, numbers sense; the other is a shorter version that focuses just on the arithmetic components of the program. The short version is available at Chapters or Costco, the full program can be ordered from the University of Toronto bookstore.
We chose JumpMath because of it’s excellent step-by-step approach to math concepts. The lessons work slowly through each step to ensure solid understanding. Teacher’s guides are available on-line at no cost, and have extra activities and explanations.
Antoehr very positive thing for us is the Canadian content of the course. Money is shown as loonies and toonies, word problems are about driving across Canada, and measurement is based on the metric system. This alone would not be the deciding factor for me, but it is a definite bonus.
We have found that Hannah is truly getting math now. It can be hard to tell whether the concept is clear to a child or if they have just learned the tricks that get a right answer, and we discovered that the previous program she used was not giving her a real understanding. Switching to JumpMath has stepped up her true comprehension.
For more about the program, I recommend the book The Myth of Ability that explains the development of the program. I found John Mighton’s approach to math, and his conviction that every child can learn math to be very inspiring.
If the program sounds intriguing to you, the fractions unit is available to down load. It is a useful test-drive of the method and style of the lessons. It’s also a great way to start up with a sense of achievement since everyone knows that fractions are really hard.
More about JumpMath is on-line at www.jumpmath.org.