I’m going to be honest, math is my least favorite subject to teach. There’s something about it that brings out the ugly in me. I get frustrated, short, and eventually have to just walk away before I say something mean. It’s not that the kids are terrible at math, I’m just a terrible math teacher! Because of this, I’ve always opted for student lead math in the upper grades. Most recently, we had the chance to use UnLock Math, specifically, their newest program- UnLock Geometry.
UnLock Geometry is an online creditworthy high school course that is taught by (certified teacher) Alesia Blackwood. The course is broken into 15 units with an average of 8 lessons per unit.
The units are:
- Prerequisite Skills
- Logic & Proofs
- Distance & Length
- Angles, Lines & Transversals
- Circles 2
- Geometry in the Coordinate Plane
- Triangles 2
- 3D Geometry & Volume
- 3D Geometry & Surface Area
When the student is ready to start their lessons, they are taken to a page that is broken into six sections.
The Warm Up section has 5 questions based on the previous lesson.
The Video lesson is the main component of each lesson. The teacher introduces new concepts and works out a few sample problems. The videos range from about seven to fifteen minutes apiece.
The Practice Problems section contains ten equations related to the lesson. The student can complete this section as many times as they need because each time they will get different problems. And here’s a bonus . . . only their highest score is saved! Another nice part of this is that if the kid gets the wrong answer, they can see it worked out, learn and keep moving forward.
Stay Sharp has ten problems that relate to previous lessons. It’s basically a review of already learned concepts. This component of the program is great for mastery. Review. Review. Review. Also, when your student gets one wrong, they are given a similar problem in order to practice the skill.
Challenge Yourself is a single question that makes your student think beyond the lesson. Unlike the practice problems, they are only given one opportunity to get this correct. However, if they get it wrong, they are given a detailed explanation as to how it was solved. So that’s nice. Also, it serves as a kind of extra credit. The score doesn’t negatively affect their grade, but correct answers can add up to 5% extra credit at the end of the course.
Reference Notes is nothing more than the lesson in printable form. It contains new vocabulary, notes, and worked out examples. I was pleased to find the notes colorful and visually stimulating. This is key for visual learners!
So, how did we use UnLock Geometry?
My original intent was to have my soon to be freshman work through the program. However, she quickly halted my plans. I was able to get her to sit down and work through a few of the lessons, but unfortunately, it ended there. She complained incessantly about the teacher. Basically, it boiled down to her not liking the teaching style. She felt it was too jazzed up and silly. Because the videos are the main component in teaching the material, she was very limited on how far she could go.
As much as I was hoping that this would be a perfect fit (and free!!) resource for our family, it just isn’t happening.
That being said, there are many, many families who have and are successfully using the different levels of UnLock Math. It truly is a wonderfully engaging program that works to mastery. Be sure to check out how the rest of the Crew enjoyed UnLock Math by clicking the banner below.
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