Beast Academy is a full math curriculum for grades 2‑5. You can use it as a supplement or as your main math curriculum. Each grade is split into units A‑D, and each unit consists of a Guide book and a Practice book. The Guide is a textbook for teachers and students alike; the Practice books are student workbooks. Together, the Beast Academy books teach math content, model problem-solving strategies, and challenge students to work through the material and learn it deeply.
In the full-color, comic-book-style Guides, four monsters attend classes at Beast Academy, where they grapple with math concepts and work together to solve problems. Meanwhile, the black-and-white Practice books provide hundreds of problems for students to practice computation and develop reasoning and problem-solving skills. These problems appeal to a wide range of students, encompassing everything from simple calculations to multi-step puzzles. Challenging and outright difficult problems are marked specially (and are keyed to hints at the back of each practice book)—we include these to encourage students to deepen their mastery of the material.
The books for third, fourth, and fifth grade are available in our bookstore, and we are hard at work on the second-grade books. The tentative production schedule is:
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Beast Academy currently includes complete materials for grades 3, 4, and 5, with the completion of the 2nd grade curriculum expected in early 2019. Try our pre-assessments to help determine which level to start with.
Because Beast Academy is such a challenging curriculum, we generally recommend that students start up to a year "behind" their current grade level in a standard curriculum, even if they have already learned those topics in school. This will give students a chance to adjust to the difficulty level found in Beast Academy, while deepening their understanding of these topics.
We were inspired to write math comic books by the kinds of visual representations that help so many students understand abstract mathematical concepts. Beast Academy’s cartoon monsters can point, draw, write, color, and create whatever is needed to help communicate explanations.
The format also allows the characters to model the attitudes and skills that students need to become strong problem solvers. Readers learn from the characters that using multiple strategies and making mistakes are all part of the process. We aim to help students develop a positive attitude towards math by watching Beast Academy’s characters have fun solving problems.
We built Beast Academy to challenge and excite mathematically talented students and to help all students experience the joy and beauty of math. Beast Academy teaches approaches and insights that will draw in some students who haven’t found their mathematical spark yet and can be used to help struggling students truly understand how numbers work.
Take a look at our recommendations for where to start when you begin BA.
While the first couple times students tackle problems without easy or obvious answers can be difficult, these occasions are an important part of the learning process. Here are some ways you can help:
Each Practice chapter recommends a sequence you can use with the Guide as you work through its exercises. If you teach 180 days of math and want to finish a grade level per year, aiming for about 12‑15 instructional days per chapter should work well. You may find that another sequence works better for you—Beast Academy is flexible and easy to adapt for different needs.
Because the Practice problems vary widely in difficulty, students might complete three or four pages of easier problems in one session, but spend another session absorbed in a single harder problem. As a result, many parents and teachers who use Beast Academy find it better to have students work for a set amount of time rather than a set number of pages.
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