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Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

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    Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

    When we switched to MP, I placed my then 10 year old in 4th for New Users because he wasn't ready for MP5. We used our own math that year but decided to switch to R&S this past year when he did MP5. I placed him in RS5 but we realized that he didn't have his multiplication facts memorized and couldn't understand/remember the process for long division -- no matter how many times/ways I explained it to him. Because of all this, we're only on Lesson 17 of RS5. I looked at a friend's copy of RS4 and didn't see that they taught the concepts any differently than what I was already doing remedially, so I've just had him pause for long stretches to work on weak spots.

    We started our summer session today with Lesson 17...and found that he has an extremely hard time figuring out what operations to use in two-step word problems.

    I'm really not sure how to help him through this. What hurts my heart is that he has always loved robotics and engineering and is always building/inventing; but if he feels called to that sphere in the future, he won't be able to answer that call if his math challenges persist.

    Here's the catch: he makes great grades in everything and has an amazing memory. But math throws him for a loop.

    Anyone else experienced this?
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    2021-2022
    DS18: Almost done!
    DS17: MP, MPOA
    DS15: MP, MPOA
    DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
    DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD9: SC3
    DD6: MPK

    #2
    Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

    Why yes I do.

    Your son has memorized the algorithm of how to solve the problem, while not understanding the arithmetic behind it. That is why he cannot solve the two step word problems. There is no pattern to memorize, and he is in free fall.

    The only solution to this, that I know of, is to take him back to the place where he is comfortable, then walk forward again, one lesson at a time. It makes no difference what the number on the front of the textbook is. He needs to *understand* where he is so he can add more on top (Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_o...al_development).

    The good news about the R&S math sequence, how it is utilized in the MP math sequence, is that once your son "gets it", he can jump from M&S 6 to pre-algebra. So, depending on his progress, he will be taking algebra in a reasonable time frame. The issue is that he cannot proceed any faster than HE understands. Simply memorizing *how* to solve the problems isn't enough: he has to understand the numeric operations in place in his arithmetic studies so he can proceed to upper level mathematics.




    Jen
    DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

    DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

    DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

    DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

    All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

    Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

      I don’t think he’s completely comfortable in anything except addition and basic subtraction. Everything else is “instructional” or “frustration” level for him.

      I see what you mean about the process over the application/reason for applying: I asked him what operation to use in a word problem and he gave me the answer to the problem instead of the operation. He knew the answer but couldn’t tell me how he reached it!
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      2021-2022
      DS18: Almost done!
      DS17: MP, MPOA
      DS15: MP, MPOA
      DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
      DD9: SC3
      DD6: MPK

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

        Jennifer,

        Are you willing to try a different program over the summer? I agree with Jen that you need to go back to where he is comfortable, but if the rod and staff explanations aren't getting through then I would suggest that a different approach might be in order. I may be the only one here who uses it, but right start does have a reputation for laying the groundwork for good number sense and understanding. It is most certainly not a memorize the formula type program. It is teacher intensive, but I like math so that doesn't bother me. You do need to be aware of that especially with the size of your family. It does have a different order to its scope and sequence so you might have to do a bit of work to figure out where he would need to start. If you have any interest send me a PM or an email. I think we can work out a loan to see if you think it might work.
        Dorinda

        Plans for 2021-2022
        15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
        DD College Freshman
        DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
        DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
        DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

          I make sure they have the facts down (we use color tiles to visually manipulate the simple multiplication/division problems so they can see what is happening with the numbers and we use the triangle math fact flash cards). Even if they have to have a ‘security blanket’ math facts sheet, I place it in a slightly inconvenient place to encourage them to get it memorized (or get a lot of exercise).

          I think they panic a bit when they get to the 2&3 digit multiplication/division problems. I try to get the problems broken down into smaller steps. I take the second number of a multiplication problem and write it in expanded form (123=100+20+3) and then do 3 more manageable multiplication problems and add their products. (This is from Math-U-See). Once they understand this process, we can do it as a single step, drawing lines to show how the units/ones number multiplies with each of the top numbers, the tens number multiplies, etc. Neatness is huge.

          For word problems, we approach as a comprehension problem. After reading through, we start with asking ’what are they asking me to do/find?’ We look for math ‘code words’ like total, sum, how many groups, etc and ‘translate’ that into a math operation. Once that is determined, we verbally discuss what data we might need to answer that question. Ex: total animals = #cats + #dogs. We go back through the problem to write down all the data given..number and label (they hate doing this step but it is a great habit for future math and science). We might not need it all but it is good to be able to organize it.
          Now we see, do we have the data to solve the problem? #cats, #dogs. Great, proceed, including labels in the work.
          If we don’t, we look to see if there is a way to get to the data. # dogs and 2 litters of 5 cats each. So how can we translate the cat information? ‘Of’ means multiply so 2 x 5 cats = #cats.

          The ‘what is missing’ word problems have really helped them to analyze as well so do those (we do verbally). Rainbow Resources has ‘key to...’ books on specific topics so that might be a way to get more practice in as well (I’m not sure how they explain the process, if it is any different).

          Regards,
          Hollie

          Do small things with great love.
          Regards, Hollie Hoped for 2021/22: DD 2003 - 12; MPOA Austen Lit, Henle I, Senior Thesis DS 2004 - 12; MPOA Tolkien Lit, Christian Latin DS 2006- 9; VideoText Algebra, MPOA: 4FL, HS Comp I DD 2007 - 9, MPOA Common Topic; CTC Math DD 2008- 8A/9; MPOA Henle 1, Common Topic; CTC Math DD 2011 - Core 5 DS 2015- cruising through K over summer, 1st grade in Fall DS 2020 - learning and teaching every day! Using MP complete since 2016-17; bits and pieces for many years previous

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

            I made up a simple test this morning so I could gauge where the gaps start. I did four of each type of problem, beginning with simple, one-digit operations, progressing row by row to carrying, borrowing, remainders, etc.

            He doesn’t understand borrowing; instead, he uses the larger bottom number to subtract the smaller top number. All four of those problems were wrong.

            On problems like 46x5, where carrying was needed, he got two right and two wrong.

            He got two single-divisor/double-digit dividend/no remainder problems wrong but that was due to multiplication error.

            Another of the same type of problem, just with a remainder, was wrong because he forgot to write down the remainder.

            Then we reached problems with single-digit divisors/triple-digit dividends; there were five problems: one was wrong because of multiplication, one because of subtraction with borrowing, one he forgot to write down the remainder, and one because he brought down two digits instead of one when working the second step of the problem.

            Dorinda, I remembered you mentioning Right Start before but you’re right that it would be too Teacher-intensive for where we are in life right now. Thank you for your kind offer though!

            I looked at the Keys program but I’m only seeing Algebra, Geometry, etc. Nothing for basic operations

            Hollie, thank you for walking me through the word problem approach. I’ve tried to do that, but I don’t think it was as structured and clear as what you do. I’ll switch that up for sure!

            So the big question is: how do I remediate the subtraction with borrowing, the multiplication and the triple-digit dividend division? I thought about pulling out my Montessori albums but I don’t have the materials anymore and, again, the presentations would be teacher intensive. I tried Khan academy for the divsion at one point but it didn’t seem to help much.

            I need something straightforward and inexpensive (we’re already pushing the limits on our school budget for fall).
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            2021-2022
            DS18: Almost done!
            DS17: MP, MPOA
            DS15: MP, MPOA
            DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
            DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
            DD9: SC3
            DD6: MPK

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

              Jen,
              The description of what he needs to learn from scratch would place him in the third grade R&S book. I am sure that is farther back than what you want to hear, but truthfully, that sounds like what he needs to go back to in order to learn and master those concepts.

              Being new to R&S, I would give that a stab and try approaching it fresh with the steps the third grade book gives you. You could still skip lessons that are things he knows, just make sure to have him do all the problems for the concepts he needs practice on. It’s still only going to run you about $40 for the set, which hopefully won’t break the bank.

              And a heads up...the TM explains concepts several lessons ahead of when they show up in the daily assignment...so when it has problems listed for chalkboard work, those are usually introducing a new concept and are what you should use for teaching. (The TM helps a lot, but it’s not fully scripted, so it takes a little bit to realize what they are wanting you to explain. But once you catch on, it’s great because it is really straightforward). There is a lot of understanding that comes simply from working the problems over and over.

              I would find it hard to accept going back that far, especially for how he might think about it. Tough pill to swallow. But for the troubles he is having, that is what I would do, and just let him know he’s gotta have that foundation to build on, otherwise you can’t move on. He still has a lot of time to catch up to grade level.

              AMDG,
              Sarah
              Last edited by KF2000; 06-12-2018, 10:51 AM.
              2020-2021
              16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
              DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
              DS, 17
              DD, 15
              DD, 13
              DD, 11
              DD, 9
              DD, 7
              +DS+
              DS, 2

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

                Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                Jen,
                The description of what he needs to learn from scratch would place him in the third grade R&S book. I am sure that is farther back than what you want to hear, but truthfully, that sounds like what he needs to go back to in order to learn and master those concepts.

                Being new to R&S, I would give that a stab and try approaching it fresh with the steps the third grade book gives you. You could still skip lessons that are things he knows, just make sure to have him do all the problems for the concepts he needs practice on. It’s still only going to run you about $40 for the set, which hopefully won’t break the bank.

                And a heads up...the TM explains concepts several lessons ahead of when they show up in the daily assignment...so when it has problems listed for chalkboard work, those are usually introducing a new concept and are what you should use for teaching. (The TM helps a lot, but it’s not fully scripted, so it takes a little bit to realize what they are wanting you to explain. But once you catch on, it’s great because it is really straightforward). There is a lot of understanding that comes simply from working the problems over and over.

                I would find it hard to accept going back that far, especially for how he might think about it. Tough pill to swallow. But for the troubles he is having, that is what I would do, and just let him know he’s gotta have that foundation to build on, otherwise you can’t move on. He still has a lot of time to catch up to grade level.

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                I had to do something similar with his older brother (years ago and in a different curriculum) so if that’s the best option, I’m okay with it. If there are other options, I’m open to hearing those, too.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                2021-2022
                DS18: Almost done!
                DS17: MP, MPOA
                DS15: MP, MPOA
                DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                DD9: SC3
                DD6: MPK

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

                  I have the Math-u-see blocks so they can visually build a number and work out a subtraction problem. It really helps to get a feel for the process and what is happening with the numbers.

                  I script the problem like: if I have 2 apples, can I give you 3? So where can I regroup to get more? Place value has to to be understood too.

                  I can loan the blocks/explain the process when I get back if you’d like...but it will be a bit of a delay.

                  I’d guess you have to start with fixing the subtraction issues and progress from there.
                  Regards, Hollie Hoped for 2021/22: DD 2003 - 12; MPOA Austen Lit, Henle I, Senior Thesis DS 2004 - 12; MPOA Tolkien Lit, Christian Latin DS 2006- 9; VideoText Algebra, MPOA: 4FL, HS Comp I DD 2007 - 9, MPOA Common Topic; CTC Math DD 2008- 8A/9; MPOA Henle 1, Common Topic; CTC Math DD 2011 - Core 5 DS 2015- cruising through K over summer, 1st grade in Fall DS 2020 - learning and teaching every day! Using MP complete since 2016-17; bits and pieces for many years previous

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

                    We had to go all the way back to 2nd grade math this year with my 13yo. He's been doing 2 lesson a day so far and it's been really good for him. We are using Christian Light Education. It's not teacher intensive at all. In fact, it's mostly hands off. I like that it's completely workbook based. It is thorough and well done.

                    I like Rod and Staff, but two of my kids have low muscle tone in their hands and transposing math problems would be too hard for them, so having them all in the same program makes it easier for me to handle. Also, it's very inexpensive.

                    HTH!
                    Lisa in Jax
                    Mom to:
                    Allison (28 graduated from homeschool)
                    Jonathan (26 graduated from homeschool)
                    Genevieve (18 graduated from homeschool)
                    Isaac (15 using MP 7)
                    Sophia (13 using MP 5th grade)
                    David (10 using MP 3rd grade)
                    Charlotte (8 might be using MP1 or SC2)
                    Layla (6yo granddaughter using MP 1)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

                      Originally posted by Hahcook View Post
                      I have the Math-u-see blocks so they can visually build a number and work out a subtraction problem. It really helps to get a feel for the process and what is happening with the numbers.

                      I script the problem like: if I have 2 apples, can I give you 3? So where can I regroup to get more? Place value has to to be understood too.

                      I can loan the blocks/explain the process when I get back if you’d like...but it will be a bit of a delay.

                      I’d guess you have to start with fixing the subtraction issues and progress from there.
                      We still have the MUS blocks also, and I use them to illustrate new concepts. When the "get it," then the blocks usually hang out in the cupboard until we need to work on another new concept (so they don't become play food upstairs in the toy room!).

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      2020-2021
                      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                      DS, 17
                      DD, 15
                      DD, 13
                      DD, 11
                      DD, 9
                      DD, 7
                      +DS+
                      DS, 2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

                        Jennifer,

                        Even if you dont use right start you might consider buying their abacus. The back side is really wonderful for teaching regrouping in addition and subtraction. I am attaching a blog post that has a picture of the backside.
                        http://kateshomeschoolmath.com/al-ab...-manipulative/

                        Also I have had good luck wirh having my kids focus on performing all the trading first before they start any subtraction.

                        For division I would use short division instead of long division for single digit divisors.

                        Have you looked at kumon workbooks for some summer practice? Their books are very incremental.
                        Dorinda

                        Plans for 2021-2022
                        15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
                        DD College Freshman
                        DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
                        DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
                        DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Cross-Posted in SC: Difficulty with Math

                          The Rod & Staff Placement Test provides a sample on each major topic covered in each grade. If you decide to stay with R&S it may help you target the level you should (re)start.

                          Comment

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