Jump Math is a unique math program that is run as a charity instead of as a for-profit business. The creator of the series is Canadian John Mighton – who not only holds a Ph.D in Mathematics from U of T, but also is well-known as a playwright and author. Fully believing that every child can succeed with mathematics, he set out to design a program to teach kids in a way that builds on their confidence, one step at a time! Enter JUMP math – a series of workbooks for Grades 1 to 8.
The goals of the Jump Math program are to help make math more interactive, fun, and learned through a guided discovery – a chance for kids to master one step at a time before moving on to the next. The program is completely aligned with all Canadian curriculum outcomes, (and also has a US edition), plus it is available in French!
For students, each grade level has 2 separate workbooks, breaking the year up into manageable and not overwhelming sizes. Each of these books covers a chunk of each section from the curriculum outlines:
- Patterns & Algebra
- Number Sense
- Probability & Data Management
These are divided into segments throughout the year – breaking it up just enough that it doesn’t get to the point of boring repetition.
Other than the brilliantly coloured photography on the covers of each book, the pages inside contain no colour – only shades of black and grey, with lots of white space. There are no little cartoon characters or distracting extras – only simple and straightforward math. Since the goal of JUMP is help kids learn by doing, with teacher guidance – there are typically examples and explanations on each new concept to show the child what they are supposed to be doing and how. Everything is broken down into easy parts, helping make concepts more graspable.
A great benefit of this program is that it is priced extremely reasonably – approximately $12/book (so about $25 a year!)
The best part is that you can access the teacher’s guides for free on their website. All you have to do is register a free account. These teacher ‘s guides are quite extensive (sometimes to the point of being overwhelming), but include detailed lesson plans, extra printable exercises, activities and games to do, and an explanation of the program’s philosophy and methodology. Jump is designed to be heavy on the activity side followed by the workbooks to review understanding of the concepts taught and practiced.
That being said, in our house, we have essentially only used the student books for the last 4+ years and they have been fantastic enough that we didn’t need to use the teacher’s guides. I personally love that, for the most part, I can send them off with their workbooks and they can work independently. It means a lot that I know they are learning these skills in chunks – forcing them to understand the sequence that things need to be done in, and building on each of those steps slowly.
If you want to know more about JUMP, you can take part in their online and in-person workshops. Download free samples of the program, check out their very detailed research and studies of the effectiveness of their program, and order resources through their website: jumpmath.org