Author: Richard W. Fisher
Publisher: Math Essentials
Math is like playing a sport or playing a piano. In order to improve your skills, practice is required. Generally if a student is having difficulty in math or Algebra, the person usually has not mastered a few basic math skills from earlier grades. So, more practice is needed in those areas. Well, Richard W. Fisher provides this much needed practice in his books Mastering Essential Math Skills. Book One is for 4th and 5th grade, and Book Two is for grades 6th – 12th.
Each book covers major topics essential for future success. In the elementary book, practice pages cover whole numbers, fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions, percents, geometry, number theory and algebra, integers, charts and graphs, probability and statistics, and word problems. In the middle school/ high school book, the topics reviewed are whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, integers, charts and graphs, and word problems.
I like the layout of each page. He has designed each page to take about 20 minutes. You’ll find a speed drill, a few practice problems from the previous topic, some reminders / hints on how to do the next skill, more practice problems, and one word problem at the bottom.
Keep in mind, this book is for reinforcement. It does not go into in depth explanations. However, I think the author fits a lot of substance on one page. For example, on the subtraction page, numerated instructions are given and he explains that the word “difference” means to subtract as well as other words or phrases that mean subtract. In other words, Fisher exposes the reader to math vocabulary which is so important. Later, he’ll give a problem that asks to find the “difference” between two numbers. In the past, I’ve seen many students miss the previous mentioned problem because they didn’t know the meaning of a math word such as “difference.”
Students can start using Mastering Essential Math Skills from page one or they can choose to select the topics they need to practice. My daughter used it last year. I discovered this gem when her eighth grade math teacher used it in the classroom. It’s an excellent way to keep the skills sharp. Sometimes, students will learn a skill but as time passes, they may not retain the information. So, this book helps to increase retention. In fact, I used his smaller skill specific workbook over the summer to prepare my daughter for Geometry. Also, I find the smaller workbooks such Fractions perfect for guided and independent practice .Therefore, I recommend the Mastering Essential Math Skill series book for home or school use.
Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 Minutes a Day to Success, Book 2: Middle Grades/High School
Buy Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 Minutes a Day to Success, Book 2: Middle Grades/High School from Amazon
Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 minutes a Day to Success, Book 1: Grades 4 and 5
If you want to focus on one subject or one or two specific skills, you can purchase Fisher’s smaller workbook series. So far the available titles are Geometry, Pre-Algebra Concepts, Problem Solving, Fractions, Decimals and Percents, and Whole Numbers and Integers. Click Mastering Essential Math Skills to view them.