For those of you who have been waiting for grade 7 to arrive, you will not be disappointed. I admit though, I was a little intimidating at first glance when I was flipping through it.
The teacher manual consists of an introduction, a 61 question readiness evaluation (which I would highly recommend), steps on preparing for a lesson, scope & sequence, a section called where to use worksheets, a detailed list of appearance and concepts for all lessons, and then the actual lessons for the teacher.
The readiness evaluation has questions ranging from 4-digit addition, multiplication and division with decimals, estimation, factors, prime numbers, fractions, and geometry to some equations. Answer key is included, of course.
Each lesson in the teacher manual consists of; concepts learned, learning objectives, materials needed, assignment, and teaching tips section. The student pages are shrunk down and appear with answers in the lesson for the teacher.
The student book has worksheets with color, which makes it flow nicely without looking overwhelming. Each lesson is broken down into sections which weave in review and build on concepts already learned. There are interviews and pictures of people called “math minutes”, which relate math to real life and shows the student that you really do use math concepts you learn throughout your lifetime.
Each lesson in the student book has a small boxed area with instructions, an example, and definitions of new concepts. There is also an area called classwork, where you work together with your student on any new concept(s) introduced to make sure they understand before proceeding with the assignment. One lesson is typically a front and back of one page.
In the beginning concepts such as basic math operations and computations, whole numbers, percents, fractions, decimals, roots, and exponents are reviewed through lesson 18. Lesson 19 introduces writing expressions with one variable and moves on to teaching geometry and trigonometry concepts like absolute value, transformations and nets, compound interest, permutations, combinations, and two variable equations.
I have been asked the following question often throughout this review: When does it start getting hard? Well, honestly, that depends on your definition of hard along with your student’s abilities. In my opinion, Horizons Math is for students who can move at a faster pace and at a more advanced level. If you have been using Horizons for math through 6th grade, then this should be great for you to do for 7th grade. If you are moving to Horizons from another math program, I would definitely recommend taking a placement test and the readiness evaluation before jumping into this curriculum. All in all, I think this is a wonderful math curriculum. AOP really did a great job moving from upper elementary into middle school math.