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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

MEP Y9 Maths without a printer? {well, almost}

While it is possible to teach MEP maths without a printer, I must admit that, doing it completely without a printer is ever so slightly challenging. Technically however, it can be done. I'm going to show how we prefer to do it, with only a minimum of printing, and how we could almost do without.

What we do:
Though at first it seemed to me that I was skimping on MEP by only printing out SOME of the materials; I got over it. Quick. And now that I've adjusted, I have seen that MEP is none the worse for almost entirely electronic implementation. AND I'm SUPER glad that I've saved myself (and the environment!) over the years from using SO much ink & paper! For every MEP year, I print* the Student Practice Books. I look at my kindle* or computer screen for the Teacher's Lesson Plans & other files. {If I had been certain that I was going to use MEP with ALL my kids EVERY year, maybe I would have gone and printed them all...? Probably not. I AM skimpy with my printer ink and paper and I don't like having TONS of printed off materials to try and keep track of with lots of kids doing lots of years. AND it would have been REALLY expensive if I'd taken ALL those files to the printer.} 

If you do NOT have a printer, the practice book is really the ONLY thing you MUST print if you also own a kindle/iPad or computer. This could be sent to the print shoppe.
Obviously, if you LOVE paper and have unlimited ink and such, or hate electronics in general... you could print it ALL. 
In which case, you should STOP reading this post.

What you need for MEP - Year 9:
Note: The upper years of MEP, beginning in y7, are a little different than the lower years in that, the curriculum is arranged topically (seems a little more mastery-ish than the previous spiral-ish approach). It may seem like it is more printing, but if it is more, I think it's only slightly more.
Also, there are three tracks in the upper years, Standard, Academic and Express. Each track increases in the amount/difficulty of the student's work, which also translates to the amount of problems and pages finished per lesson/booklet.

1 Practice Book per student (PRINT!* technically, students could do this off of a kindle screen, writing out all of their work and answers in their exercise books, though imo, this would be rather difficult, and unnecessarily exasperating...) For us in y9, this turns out to be, one little mini-booklet over a week or two*, for a grand total of 18 books per year. When printing booklet style, each practice book is only about 6-8 double sided sheets of paper.
1 Exercise Book per student (purchase whichever size notebook, preferably with graph paper)

Teacher Lesson Plan/LP** (Kindle/iPad or Computer or PRINT!* - I print this & write planning notes, I ONLY print the Academic pages, as that's the track we're using)
Overhead Sheets/OS** (Kindle/iPad or Computer, IF you use these)
Activity Sheets/Answers/ACT1,2** (Kindle/iPad or Computer, IF you use these)
Practice Book Answers/PBA** (Kindle/iPad or Computer)
Mental Practice/MT** (Kindle/iPad or Computer)
Revision Test/REV** (you could have students copy down the questions, OR do them orally OR PRINT! - if you use them as traditional tests)
Extra Exercises/EX** (I don't use these, but you could do the same as above)
Teacher's Notes/TN** (I look this over at the beginning of a new math section, there'd be no reason to print, imo)
For the younger years: 
Copy Masters/CM** (Kindle/iPad or Computer or PRINT if you don't have a dry erase board, these work really well for working out the problems with the students.)

(**denotes the abbreviations used in actual .pdf file names downloaded from MEP website)

Here's how I do MEP maths EVER-SO-EASILY-Electronically!!
On our computer, I keep a file on the desktop called >> MEP. There I have >> Y2 – LP & CM files, >> Y3 LP & CM files and >> a folder for Y9 materials, which contains >> LP, OS, ACT, PBA**, etc. .pdf files for the Y9 book we're in. 
Note: That will make a LOT more sense to those of you who have already looked over the MEP materials or have previously worked through one of the upper years of MEP.

At math time, I open up the MEP folder on my computer, and open ALL the files in it. LPs & CMs for y2 & y3, and ALL those files in the y9 folder (listed above). If everyone does math, there are about 12 .pdfs open on my computer at the beginning of math time. I follow the lesson plan for the given child's year, and as I finish using each .pdf resource listed in the lesson, I close it. When everything is closed, we're done! :)

Previously, I kept a dry erase board handy or a notepad to work out the example problems. But we discovered something recently that we're having a LOT of fun with... We write right onto the screen of my laptop when using the overhead sheets and the activities!! :) We use fine tipped wet-erase markers that wipe right off with a wet tissue when we're finished! Saves even more paper! And it's fun. ;) The kindle fire screen is also glass, so the same could be done there! 

Computer/kindle screens made with permeable materials will STAIN!! 
Please check your device BEFORE writing on it!!

* MEP maths is a complete curriculum available online for free. It has been implemented in schools in Europe and many homeschoolers have successfully adapted it for use with their students.
* When printing materials, I find it WAY more economical - and only slightly if ever annoying to the student when doing measuring exercises - to print them booklet style as opposed to the full sheet size (which prints 2 pages per sheet of printer paper, in order to fold the pages that can be then opened/read as a booklet, not to be confused with multiple pages option which just prints 2 consecutive pages side by side, per sheet of paper).
* Transfer the .pdf files to your kindle via USB.  ** See above for the key to abbreviations of specific files.

Helpful Links:
MEP - Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching website
Queen of getting started with MEP for homeschool, imo: Jeanne @ A Peaceful Day!
MEP thread on the AmblesideOnline forum (must be a member to read & post)


Jeanne said...

I love the idea of writing directly onto the screen. Thank you so much!

blowe445 said...

Doing math tutorials electronically would help a lot. By the help of some electronic gadgets, the tutor can elaborate clearly some point in order for the listener to understand it easily.Thanks for posting.Keep it up.

Singapore Math Tutorials

Ham said...

Wowzers!  SO COOL!  I makes me want to try learning math again!

Are you finding you are picking things up again as you teach?

Penny Rogers said...

Who knew you could write directly on the screen!  A whole new world has opened up to me!  I agree as well that Jeanne is the Queen of Meps.

tricia said...

I'd like to use MEP for my 7 year old. I was reading what you wrote about it and checked out the site but I'm not seeing a teacher's key. Does it have one for the levels?

amyinperu said...

yes! the answers are given in the teacher's guide, which is called 'lesson plans' in the younger years.

i suggest always using the lesson plan for every child every day. i do not recommend doing ALL the problems in every lesson every day with every child. based on knowledge of your child's level of understanding, you'll know which areas still lack comprehension, do THOSE problems :)
i do a few practice problems for each lesson (usually those introducing a new concept + those that review basic skills or concepts), and then they do the page on their own. we check answers before moving on. on a problem that they get completely wrong, i go back to the 'lesson plan' review those ideas with them. if they just made a calculation error, that's pretty clear. we leave it. if they totally don't get it, we'll go over the entire thing.

most likely, it sounds more complicated than it works out to be... but i thought i'd try to be thorough with my answer in case anyone else wonders... ;)

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