My son is only a year away from Pre-Algebra, so I was excited to find Mr. D Math’s Pre-Algebra course and check out his teaching approach. As I’ve stated many times before on this blog, math is in no way my strong suit. With Mr. D Math, you and your student have three options to make the Pre-Algebra program work best for your family.
Affordable and Comprehensive Pre-Algebra
Mr. D Math offers 3 main options for your student to take Pre-Algebra online–making this program flexible and customizable for your family.
Option 1 – Online Curriculum plus Online Instruction – (10 Months)
This popular option provides students with LIVE instruction via weekly Zoom teaching sessions in a Virtual Classroom, as well as additional help sessions throughout the week. For less than $500 a year, students receive 10 months of weekly math instruction through live videos and help sessions. The course is split in to two semesters with 6 chapters each. The pacing is steady and thorough–perfect for that student who wants time to process and practice new concepts.
Option 2 – Online Curriculum plus Online Instruction – (One Semester)
If you and your student want a speedier option, Mr. D Math offers a 1-semester course with two Virtual Classroom meetings each week instead of one. Both options (10 months or 5 months) are available at the same affordable price.
Option 3 – Online Curriculum Only
With this option–for less than $200!!–your student can access self-paced online content as well as video-based instruction, just with no live classes in the Virtual Classroom. You still have access to the Mr. D Math teaching staff via email, as well as tests, semester exams, and an online gradebook.
So how does the Pre-Algebra Virtual Classroom work?
I wanted to see what Option 1 (Online plus Online Instruction) looked like in practice, so I sat it on a live class several weeks ago and got to observe Mr. D (Dennis DiNoia) in action. I left the hour-long class thoroughly impressed and here are a few reasons why.
Dennis DiNoia creates a welcoming learning environment
When I logged on to observe the Pre-Algebra “Virtual Classroom” using the Zoom app, Dennis greeted me cheerily and continued chatting with the other students who had already arrived. Because the “Virtual Classroom” is a Zoom meeting room, I had the option to have my audio and video toggled on or off and could see exactly who else was in the “classroom” with me–either their live video, a still image, or a black screen with just their name.
Dennis used this Virtual Classroom to its full potential with great ease. While we waited for the other students to arrive, he chatted and asked questions which any of us could answer via a chat box which all of us could see. He asked us what the weather was like where each of us lived, and he received a fun variety of answers since Dennis was in Madrid and the students who answered lived in many different time zones around the world. The tone was friendly and fun, and I immediately felt at ease. It was also clear the students were comfortable with him and this format as well.
Dennis presents new concepts with patience
When it was time for class to start, Mr. D switched the chat to a private one-on-one chat with him so students could send him questions and answers directly. He also switched the view so that his computer screen became the dominant part of the classroom.
And then he dove right in to the material. This session in Chapter 6 (see a full breakdown of the Pre-Algebra chapters here) on Percentages. He led the students through the meaning of the word “per-cent” and then moved on to how to write percents as a fraction reduced down to their simplest terms.
As Dennis taught, he wrote on the “white board” of his computer screen and paused often to ask questions. Students quickly answered via the private chat with low-risk for them if they got the answer wrong!
Dennis also showed them how to perform some of these functions by hand and on their advanced calculators if they had them. A few students were having trouble, but he assured them he would help them after the lesson. His manner was just so warm and inviting and friendly!
I actually learned a new percentages trick!
Mr. D wrapped up the lesson by showing the kids the 10% Game as a way to learn how to figure percents in your head. He explained the concept clearly and led them through the steps, asking for “help” from the students along the way.
Starting with 100% on the left, you simply work your way to the right and it’s suprisingly easy to get the right answer quickly. Love this new trick! (That apparently my husband has known for awhile…but like I said, math is NOT my strong suit). Mr. D suggested the students ask their parents if they could order pizza for dinner just to practice their percentages—win/win!
Overall, I was so impressed with Dennis DeNoia’s teaching style and the quality content of the Pre-Algebra lesson. Having access to him through the Virtual Classroom and throughout the week makes the Mr. D Math Pre-Algebra class one I can’t wait for my son to attend.
Now I’m off to calculate some percentages in my head!