Calvert Math, Courses for Grades 1  4
Publisher: Calvert School Review last updated: 2009 
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Calvert Math, Courses for Grades 1  4
Calvert's math program is available both for students enrolled in complete grade level programs or to those who want to use only the math courses. Students enrolling in grade level programs may also be placed in the appropriate course depending upon their ability in math rather than their overall grade level. Books have hidden symbols to show grade level that prevent there being any stigma from using a "younger" book. As with other Calvert courses, the Advisory Teacher Service (ATS) for additional assistance is available at extra cost.
These math courses follow the NCTM math standards and are quite advanced. Each course includes a Lesson Manual, text, Practice and Enrichment Workbook, and manipulatives. The text and workbook are consumable, while the Lesson Manual must be returned to Calvert.
The Lesson Manual provides detailed lesson plans that coordinate use of the other two books through lessons presented by the parent. Manipulatives are frequently used in lesson presentation. Many of these are provided in the form of heavy cardstock sheets with "pokeout" manipulatives bound into the back of the text. Others (linking cubes, Cuisenaire Rods, flash cards, and other items) used to be available in an optional manipulatives kit, but it appears they now come with each course. The manipulatives are essential if you wish to present lessons as explained in the Lesson Manual.
Each course includes tests. Although answer keys to text and workbook problems are provided in the Lesson Manual, answers to tests are not. They are available only through the ATS. Still, parents can give the tests to their students and figure the answers themselves if they so choose.
The program generally teaches concepts in a consecutive fashion rather than spiral—it concentrates on one concept almost exclusively for a number of lessons, then moves on to the next concept. There are chapter reviews and cumulative tests, but otherwise there is little review in the first two levels. The Practice and Enrichment book provides more problem solving practice on the same concepts covered in corresponding lessons.
Lessons require some preparation time for you to gather the necessary materials and review what is being taught to ensure that you understand how to present the concept to your child. Children complete much of the workbook and practice pages independently.
[Note when I reviewed Calvert Math they had only grades 1 through 4 available. The program now includes courses for grades K through 8.]
Calvert Math 1 Course
$125; $105 for optional Advisory Teacher Service
The first grade program reviews readiness concepts (e.g., identifying similar objects) and counting, then moves on to addition and subtraction up through regrouping for addition with 2digit numbers. Lessons also concentrate on geometric shapes, fraction introduction, time, money, and measurement, with lesser attention given to graphing, set theory, and skip counting. An abundance of illustrations coupled with use of manipulatives should make it easier for children to grasp many of these concepts that might be too difficult if presented in more abstract fashion. Problem solving skills are also stressed.
As I understand Calvert's present policy, even without the ATS, you can get help if there is something you don't understand in a lesson presentation or have a particular problem with your child. Those who need even more assistance should sign up for the ATS.
Calvert Math 2 Course
$125; $105 for optional Advisory Teacher Service
Grade 2 continues with the advanced scope and sequence evident in the first grade program. It covers addition and subtraction, geometry (e.g., symmetry), fraction recognition, measurement, time and money, moving on to multiplication with single digits up to "5." Roman numerals, graphs, and probability also get some attention. While it continues to focus on only one topic at a time, reviews, tests, and problems with mathematical applications help keep students from forgetting previously learned concepts.
Calvert Math 3 Course
$125; $105 for optional Advisory Teacher Service
Grade 3 continues with the advanced scope and sequence with more complex addition and subtraction, money, measurement, time, geometry (e.g., beginning area and volume), beginning fractions, an introduction of decimals, multiplication with singledigit multipliers, and simple division.
Basic computation skills are not really ahead of schedule at this point, but many other concepts are taught that stretch children in other directions. For example, statistics, probability and graphing have an entire unit of coverage. Other topics that get lesser coverage are Roman numerals, the abacus, patterns, palindromes, Venn diagrams graphs, arrays, and number coordinates and grids.
Since there is lots and lots of problemsolving practice and skillbuilding between the Lesson Manual, the text, and the Practice and Enrichment Workbook, students are likely to master their computation skills fairly well with this program. While I'm not enthusiastic about covering all the other concepts at this grade level, this course does a good job of presenting them in age appropriate fashion.
Calvert Math 4 Course
$125; $115 for optional Advisory Teacher Service
The format changes significantly at this level. The student text is now a hardcover book, so students will need to copy problems and solve them on other paper. They can still work directly in the Practice and Enrichment Workbook.
Instead of the pokeout manipulatives in student books for earlier levels, the Lesson Manual has a section of blackandwhite pages which, apparently should be reproduced and used as you teach the lessons. Pages feature pictures of coins, placevalue charts, cube patterns to cut and paste, and other such learning aids. This might be sufficient for student who need minimal handson work at this level.
While daily lesson plans are provided, students might well be able to work independently through many of the lessons since instruction and examples are included within the textbook.
While this course teaches a single concept for a while before going on to the next, it also features "mixed review," "problem solving," "try these," "mind builder," and "solve" sections within lessons that stretch students into more challenging thinking while drawing on a range of math concepts.
As with the third grade program, basic concepts are not advanced, but the range of concepts covered is quite broad. Multiplication goes up through 2digit multipliers, while division is taught through only singledigit divisors. Students learn to add and subtract both fractions and decimals, but they do not get into fraction multiplication and division which is very often taught in fourth grade. Other concepts covered include addition and subtraction, place value, mental math, problem solving strategies, data interpretation, measurement, geometry, exponents, points on a grid, Venn diagrams, graphs, and an introduction of line graphs on grids.
Instant Key
 Learning Styles: all
Suitable for: oneonone plus independent work
Audience: grades 14, although Calvert Math is now available for K8
Need for parent/teacher instruction: moderate
Prep time needed: moderate
Educational Philosophy: traditional
Religious perspective: secular
Publisher's Info

Calvert Education Services
10713 Gilroy Road Suite B
Hunt Valley, MD 21031
888 4874652
410 7853400
4107853418 FAX
email for general information on Calvert's Home Instruction Program: inquiry@calvertservices.orgQuestions regarding curriculum, specific courses, lessons, or placement of a student: edcounselors@calvertservices.org
www.calvertschool.org
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