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Monday, May 23, 2011

enVisionMath 1st Grade, a review

The enVisionMath 2011 1st grade book from Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley is a colorful, oversized workbook with a twist:  the oversized pages will fit neatly into your child’s portfolio!  Each lesson is designed to be  removed from the book (it’s constructed like a huge notepad), and folded in half into a booklet, making them a standard 8-1/2” x 11” size.  If you’ve ever dealt with big workbook pages, you know this is a blessing. 

At a whopping 647 pages (this includes a short math glossary in the back), there’s definitely enough math work here to keep your little one busy all year round, summer included (we try to do some math all year to help prevent fall amnesia, if you know what I mean).  The content on the pages is fairly similar to other 1st grade workbooks that I’ve seen and used. 

enVisionMath 1st grade is divided into 20 topics:

  1. Numbers 1 to 12
  2. Comparing and Ordering Numbers
  3. Understanding Addition
  4. Understanding Subtraction
  5. Five and Ten Relationships
  6. Addition Facts to 12
  7. Subtraction Facts to 12
  8. Geometry
  9. Patterns
  10. Counting and Number Patterns to 100
  11. Tens and Ones
  12. Comparing and Ordering Numbers to 100
  13. Counting Money
  14. Measurement
  15. Time
  16. Addition Facts to 18
  17. Subtraction Facts to 18
  18. Data and Graphs
  19. Fractional Parts
  20. Adding and Subtracting with Tens and Ones

Each topic includes a Home-School Connection page (basically a page designed to be sent home to explain what will be covered in the topic), a game, several lessons pages (number of pages varies by topic), a problem-solving component, a digital component (requires using e-tools which you receive access to with book purchase), a topic test, and re-teaching (for going over problem areas identified on the test). 

You’ll probably find that the first couple of topics are mainly review, not uncommon for a school curriculum (they’re fighting that fall amnesia I mentioned) and that there are way more pages than you’ll ever get to in a year.  When my oldest went to school for 1st grade, I know they skipped around in the workbook and actually sent home any unused pages for summer review, so the teacher didn’t expect to complete the entire book.

enVisionMath is designed to be a multi-media wonder curriculum, with emphasis on hands-on activities, digital tools, and so on.  There are a number of teacher support products available, including the Teacher’s Edition and Resource Package, manipulative sets, an Interactive Homework Workbook, Digital Access and so on.  As I only received the workbook for review, I will be focusing on how this book works as a stand-alone without any teacher support.

What did we think?

I used the enVisionMath 1 grade book for a few weeks in our homeschool with 5-year-old Peter, who is just finishing up Kindergarten work.  As the first part of the book is mainly review, he found the work to be definitely within his capability.  In fact, he found it to be a little too easy.  There’s plenty of encouragement for using manipulatives and you can, of course use the e-tools.  We did not receive access to the digital component of this program, but were able to try it here.

The workbook is not what you would call a “worktext” and it’s not designed to be a stand-alone resource.  There is no direction given for introducing a topic, in fact it’s clear from the appearance of first page of each lesson that some sort of hands-on teaching is supposed to be going on, but that info must be in the Teacher’s Edition.   You can, of course, make up something that fits with the page design and teach the concepts any way you choose.



I do like the easy-tear-out and being able to fold the pages to pop them in a notebook once they are completed.  This makes larger 2-page spread games boards possible.


And it saves us from the dreaded crumpled/torn page edges or having to trim pages to make them fit.  Brilliant, really.


Just tear out…


…and fold.

This book requires a higher reading ability than many 1st graders will have, so don’t expect to give the pages to your child and have them work independently unless they can read the samples you see here.

Overall, the enVisionMath 1st grade workbook, without the support resources, is not really much different from the plethora of other math workbooks on the market.  If you are confident in your ability to teach 1st grade math (not that difficult, really), or are looking for a supplemental workbook for another program, this workbook could work on its own. 

Otherwise, consider looking at the support materials for your co-op.  From what I can see on their website, the support materials are designed for the classroom and require a significant financial investment, so this program might be better suited to a co-op situation, than to an individual homeschool.

The enVisionMath 1st grade student edition, with digital access is available for $34.47 from Pearson Education.

Additional support materials are also available, see Pearson for a complete list.

For more reviews of this and other products, including elementary social studies and reading, from Pearson Education, please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to review it. I received no compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own and I was in no way required to write a positive review. My thoughts cannot be “pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.” They are my own.

Credit: The quote in my disclosure comes from the 1960’s TV series The Prisoner.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! Last year, my daughter attended public kindergarten and they used enVision. I am so grateful to you for posting what is covered in the first grade. As it was last year when I was trying to make sense of it all in kindergarten, this year's review of the enVision website has been no less frustrating. Glad I found your post which cuts to the chase about what is covered. :)


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