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# Straight Math Advice cont. RS and other

Tagged: basics of math, counting, fraction manipulatives, Joanna, math, right start help, saxon

- This topic has 55 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 3 months ago by Betty Dickerson.

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- Sara B.Participant
I started using our Melissa & Doug abacus with my 6yo this week. Wow….. That’s all I have to say. She is suddenly starting to recognize 10 and how many are left if, say, 8 are on the left, and 2 are on the right. Cool! I can definitely see how having it split into 5s on each 10 row will help her immensely!

Now I am on the fence between RS and MUS…. LOL But I am liking RS better and better the more I read these threads.

joannarammellParticipantsara b

i took an old abacus that i had from ikea…and painted dots on half of the large wooden beads mimicking the rs abacus…i did this so that my two year old could be “doing” math too …but at least while he played with it …it was visually more correct.

the pattern was the following…x=painted o=not painted

oooooxxxxx

oooooxxxxx

oooooxxxxx

oooooxxxxx

oooooxxxxx

xxxxxooooo

xxxxxooooo

xxxxxooooo

xxxxxooooo

xxxxxooooo

hth

jo

kerbyParticipantWOW! Debbie and Jo! WOW!

(Is this the same “Debbie” that has been answering my questions on the RS yahoo group?)

I am looking at transitioning into RS, but am still somewhat debating. You said it took you a long time to finally do it. Well, I don’t have that time w/ my olders and don’t want to do that to my youngers. Cost is an issue, but I am there w/ you in the long-term aspect. This is just hard to do/swallow when there are so many areas that we are needing to do this in ‘right now’ along w/ purchasing materials for HS.

Bit of my picture for you – I will be hsing 6 dc next yr. 10th, 8th (x2), 4th, 3rd, + 2nd. 4 are mine, 2 are not. Most of mine seem to do well w/ math – it is my strength and dh does well w/ it. We hit some attitudes this yr though w/ the youngest ones (2nd + 4th) and they are dreading math. They do very well and it comes easily, they just don’t want to do it. They clearly placed into Levels B + C respectively.

The 3rd grader, friend’s ds, used ABeka at private school, came to me in March. I’ve noticed he seems to struggle w/ the grasping of some things. One thing, he can do his facts as long as it’s the answer that’s missing. i.e. He struggles w/ the missing addend. Another, he can carry, but to add 34 + 8 mentally is a struggle. He just takes a looooong time to grasp it and then I am thinking it’s just the rote thing he’s doing. He is also still counting on his fingers. Which, after reading all this info isn’t bad, but to continue the traditional route would just tie him down. (I hope I worded this right.) For my dc, we would just keep going and I know they would get it. But, I have been wondering about him. He placed into B, but could probably do C – place value was the unknown piece.

My ds in 8th did well w/ R+S, a very typical mastery approach. The ps last yr did him NO service. I feel we’ve lost some ground even. While he “gets” math, it’s very much the process. My oldest in 10th, does well w/ math and it comes easily to him, he gets frustrated w/ having to follow the steps and write them out. I have been looking at, and had decided to use, VT for him. So when I saw that RS has that as part of their program/the next step, I was definitely looking at RS more. (I don’t know much about the other 8th grader’s math skills. She has done well at the private school, but I haven’t worked directly w/ her yet. She did PreAlgebra this yr so I was going to have her use VT, too.)

OK. Anyway. My ds in 8th understood fractions and how to work w/ them in 6th, but it wasn’t totally solid. Getting there, and a fairly good grasp, but needed to work a bit more for complete mastery. I was eyeing the INT level for him from RS, but was even contemplating Level E. I don’t want to “back track” or make him feel any worse/less because of it, though. I am thinking of having the older ones help w/ lessons for the youngers (maybe), or at least having all of us play the games. It might be fun to use the games as review and learning a bit more even w/ the olders. I can use the premise of needing to know how to play to teach the youngers. LOL

why am I sharing all this and not seeming to have any specific questions? LOL I don’t think I really am sure. LOL I’m trying to process this all and make some final decisions. I will admit that the cost and the time factor are really coming into play. As I shared in my intro, going from a more traditional approach and thought process at a point where there would be a fair amount of independence to a more hands-on/involved, very non-traditional way of doing things is *very hard! And, I’m still not entirely sure of the older ones and IF. (But, that’s not so much a math issue, and this is a math topic. LOL)

Debbie, can you tell me more about your transition? Particularly w/ your older children? Would doing the whole transition book work to fill in anything for ds in 8th before doing the Int Level?

Also, someone was talking about gaps and filling in. I’m not so worried about that, but was considering LOF as an add-on for “fun” reading. As Jo pointed out, adding in stories is good. But, I don’t want to confuse either. I was just thinking it would be a good way to take a step away at times and allow them to see math in another way. (A friend has several of the books.) Jo, could you start a thread maybe, and give us a few books that would be good for reading? The few you mentioned in here were helpful. Maybe some more and possibly correlating it somehow by age or RS Level? (just a thought).

Oh, and where’s the thread about those who have started RS and stopped or those areas of struggle for people coming in later?

Goodness, I’ve rambled. Funny how that happens when you can’t sleep and all these “school” things are floating around in your head. <sigh>

K

suzukimomParticipantI wanted to bump this great discussion up because of all the recent math questions…

suzukimomParticipantAlso bumping this up again because of the recent math questions.

venusmomParticipantI have been reading as many of the comments in this thread as possible. This is just what I needed tonight. I use MFW & have followed their recommends pretty religiously – out of a weak math background myself. I have been doing just as you said, learning it along with them. I used Singapore – which is good – but has sometimes been rough to teach. However – I think it is getting easier. My son – entering 7th next year – has struggled with math from the moment I began with him. I pulled him out of public school after 3rd & started him in Singapore 2A – as he didn’t seem to be where he should have been. I have worked slowly with him & we are getting through 5B now. He is grasping much better. We did venture off Singapore to do Life of Fred Fractions for awhile as fractions seem to give him more trouble than anything. He is getting stronger. I have Saxon 87 now as they recommend – after laboring through tons of reviews for MUS, Teaching Textbooks, Chalkdust, etc. Price was an issue – and Teaching Textbooks seemed a perfect fit – but I was concerned about so many reviews that it lagged too far behind.

My daughter is much different mathematically. She is soaring through Singapore. She started 1A this year in 2nd grade – which I wanted to have her do to make sure I’d covered all I should last year because I used The Complete Book of Math & a self made type curriculum. She is almost through 2B and is really good at math. She grasps the mental math concepts so much easier, and seemingly naturally, whereas that wasn’t the case with my son. I wish I had checked RightStart more thoroughly – however I think a few years ago I checked it and price was a factor. Still yet – your very first comment gave me a boost. I also think I will check out the Key books you mentioned. So many other great ideas have been posted on this thread. I appreciate all of them. I will keep learning this as I go with them – and hopefully it will work out.

I also hope that Saxon will not be a bad choice for him. I am concerned – but now I broke down & bought it at the convention out of feeling like I could never be sure which was right. I think that Singapore has laid a decent foundation – although I had to find practice drill type sheets sometimes because it did not have enough of that on some things that a few problems was not enough practice. For instance, larger multiplication problems (like 3, 4 or more digits in both factors), and long division, was really just not worked on. I found that some free practice sheets I found online really helped him with this. Anyways – I am getting WAY more long-winded than I meant to. I really just meant to say thanks for the valuable advice. I guess I still worry that I am truly preparing them well and it nags at me!!

suzukimomParticipantBumping again

Betty DickersonParticipantReally need some guidance in this area. I have 3 older children who have been through a few math programs, but we have used Teaching Textbooks with them for the past few years and they are doing fine. My 9 yo, on the other hand, struggles with ADHD, and has been through TT3 twice and still can’t tell me her math facts off the top of her head (addition or subtraction). She still counts. I think she learned to get to the answers somehow without understanding how to do it. TT really and thoroughly explains the math concepts and there is lots of repitition year after year so I had thought this would be a really good fit for her. She loves doing math on the computer and likes better to learn on her own.

Several friends have recommended taking a year off of TT and doing Life of Fred. That has been my plan until I started hearing that the student needs to love reading in order to do LOF. Is this true? She can read but struggles with reading even more than with math.

We started with MUS a long time ago but at one point found that she would tune out during the videos and just want to do the problems. Then we went to Math Mammoth and Rod & Staff. But with my rough pregnancy and rough delivery/recuperation, I found that I was not getting to math on a daily basis so I went to TT so that she would get math whether or not I got to it! She loved that independence.

So, now I’m not sure what to do. I think we need to change things up this year to reinforce basic math facts. I’m not sure the best way to do that. I think eventually we can return to TT, but need something that is very teacher friendly, not too involved, but will help her learn her math facts. Does this exist?? Thanks for any guidance!

suzukimomParticipantHey anabetica….

If you just want work on the math facts, there are a couple of possibilities.

1st, I would look at buying the RightStart Card Games Kit (and possibly their tutoring program – Activities for the Al Abacus.) The games kit has lots of different games to practice the math facts, and they are fun. They are also organized in increasing difficulty. If you think she needs more work on how the math works, the tutoring program would help you work with her on that.

Other possibilites….

xtramath.org

Times Tales

jmac17ParticipantLoF does require a lot of reading, although you could always read together. I wouldnt pick Fred as a way to drill facts though. We love Fred and we are using it as our spine for math, but I think it is a bit weak in facts drill, so we have been supplementing with games, both with cards and on computer.

On the other hand, going through the LoF books would give you a chance to pause for a while as you take the time to master those facts. Your DD would get lots of opportunity to think about math concepts in new ways while practicing facts in whatever way you choose.

Joanne

Betty DickersonParticipantWe have just started using flash cards and the Teach Me Third Grade Math app (tho she’s going into 4th) and the Time Tales app. I think as long as she does some time with these things, that can be our drill. But, Joanne, what you described about learning the concepts, is exactly what I’m looking for. Maybe this can even be part of our reading practice?

I will look into the card games too. Thanks for that!

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