AIMS Education Foundation began with a series of activity books that combined science with math activities in hands-on projects for experiencing science in action. We used a number of these in our own home schooling. More recently, AIMS has created separate lines of books for math.
The Essential Math Series includes eight books, each designed for a three-grade-level span within grades 4 through 8. Each book addresses a geometry and/or measurement topics pertinent to those grade levels. For example, Circumference & Area of Circles is for grades 5 through 7 and Pythagorean Relationships is for grades 6 through 8. Students begin with hands-on investigations. AIMS’ books expect that children will be working in cooperative groups and can discuss and compare their work. However, most of the time two students working through the activities is usually sufficient to provide the necessary interaction.
Comics (reproducible pages from the book or shown with a computer or projector from the CD-ROM that comes with the book) are used to affirm and explain what students have learned in their investigation. Instructional video clips and animations from the CD may also be used to help students comprehend the concepts. Problem-solving activities allow students to apply what they have learned. At the end of each book is a creative assessment tool.
In addition to the Essential Math Series, there are now quite a few other math activity books that are very much along the same lines as the science books I mentioned above. Marvelous Multiplication and Dazzling Division for grades 4 and 5 is fantastic for teaching conceptual understanding of multiplication and division. Among methods it uses is the rectangle building strategy employed by Math-U-See and some other programs. Actions with Fractions for grades 4 through 6 is another activity book that targets concepts that are often difficult for students to understand.
You will need to gather some resources for lessons for all the AIMS books, and it is probably a good idea to try activities out yourself before presenting the lessons. The little extra time it takes to prepare and use lessons from these books can make a very positive difference in your children's attitude toward and success with math.