I had my elementary children in a classical charter school for 4 years where they did Singapore Math. This year we are doing MODG and using Math Mammoth which is similar to Singapore. We will be switching over to MP next year and I see that they use Rod and Staff.
Should I switch? What are the advantages of using Rod and Staff? Has anyone used both, and if so, can you please help me to decide which to go with? Pros? Cons?
Thanks!
Sarah
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Rod and Staff vs Math Mammoth
Collapse
X

The math debate has been the topic of many a discussion here at MP, only because a couple times a year someone asks which math program is best. Once I questioned Cheryl Lowe because one of my student's parents, who happened to be a high school math teacher using a new math program, asked why we don't use a program that puts focus on "understanding why" with math. He was concerned his kindergartener couldn't explain why 1+1=2. It seemed to make some sense to me that a child should understand why. But Cheryl said that students don't need to understand why, they just need to know 1+1=2 and the understanding will come later. She is right. Rod & Staff puts focus on written practice and oral drill so students can say with confidence that 1+1=2. Later they will be able to explain why but the focus is not on the explanation but rather the fact. Therefore my two cents, taken directly from Cheryl, is to focus on the fact not the why. The math student who can answer 100 written facts in two minutes is better off than the one who can explain why yet must count to add or multiply. Now, it would be best if your child had both the accurate speed and the understanding and they can. This is achieved the same way. Memorize first, then understanding comes with practice and usage. If you tie progression to understanding, students may never get those facts memorized. MP has always said, if you are happy with your math program keep it.
Wish I knew how to link the past threads on this subject here!
Blessings,Last edited by Michelle T; 05212019, 07:13 AM.

I used a lot of different maths before starting with MP and finding Rod and Staff. For me, it was a lifesaver and has been so good for my kids. But with my current duo of little ones, I have had to adjust a bit. My youngest schooler needed more to do this spring, and I was trying to boost the confidence of my secondyoungest by not having little sis doing all the exact same work. So I ordered some MM. At the same time, I ordered a MM review booklet for the older one because it was color and looked like fun.
And I have been so pleasantly surprised by the combination of the two  MM and Rod and Staff. I never felt like Rod and Staff was really lacking in any way at all, and all my kids have done very very well with it. But I do like the extra thinkingtype problems in the MM that give them a bit of that side of using math. They have been having just a bit more fun with math than the kids who just used R&S alone.
So, if you still want to work with that “why” side of math (which children do develop in R&S through their mastery of the material but can be fun in the types of problems MM writes) it can be possible to combine the two, as long as your child can handle it. (ETA: I am only thinking of this in the same way as you might get a storybook in Latin to reinforce and add some fun to your kids' main schoolwork  not as a replacement for it.)
For some children, just completing one math program well is enough of a challenge  in which case my vote is for R&S. When you use the teaching manual as intended, it is everything that you NEED in a math program. But if you want that little bit of extra, and your children are happy to do a bit more math, then having the MM workbooks on hand for reinforcement and a bit of fun can be good too. I can’t speak to whether you could combine with Singapore Math because I have never used it). But this is for kids who will be using second grade math next year; I don’t know if it would be too much for older children or not.
AMDG,
SarahLast edited by KF2000; 05172019, 08:39 AM.
Leave a comment:

Not a dumb question! By drill, I do mean fact mastery but this can include mental math of larger numbers like 63+57 as they master smaller numbers.
I haven’t seen Math Mammoth so i can’t comment on the amount of problems. In Singapore there are first problems to work with the teacher during class then the workbook for independent work and then after every few lessons there are practice pages to work tons of the types of problems they did the last few lessons and then every so many units there are multi page review sections where they review concepts all the way from level 1 up to current level. These occur in both the text and workbook. I actually find that for my students there are too many problems so we only do some of the classroom work, all of the workbook, some of the practice sections and usually all review.
Leave a comment:

Originally posted by momgineer View PostI’m not familiar with Math Mammouth, only with Primary Mathematics (Singapore). With PM, it is the intention of the authors that math is done twice a day once for fact mastery and once for concept introduction and practice. The text and workbook are for concepts. Drill in the Singapore class room takes place in many ways flash cards, computer drills, speed sheets, mental math drills, races with other students etc. There are speed drill sheets for Singapore, but the intent is to meet the students needs. Some master facts quickly and others need lots of drill. It concerns me when I see posts on fb saying Singapore doesn’t have enough drill built in. That’s because if you only use the text and workbook you are only doing the concept practice and missing the other half which is fact drill. If you want a workbook part of the program to ensure fact mastery, get the Singapore speed drills books, but if you recognize that your child masters better with flash cards or computer/handheld drills or another way then use those. The number bonds are in the concepts workbook, the rapid recall comes from fact practice.
So if you say MM doesn’t have enough fact practice even when you follow the teacher guide suggestions for fact drilling (I don’t even know if the MM TG requires drill) then maybe it isn’t working for you and you need a different program like R&S. If you are HAPPY with your math program then stick with it. R&S isn’t a requirement for classical education. But if you are not happy, then confidently switch to R&S which MP says is tried and true to meet their goals.
I really love the way MM and Singapore focus on a solid understanding of the "why" in mathematics. But sometimes I feel that there are not enough practice problems for my kids . They seem to lack a bit of confidence in that area.
Thanks!
Sarah
Leave a comment:

I’m not familiar with Math Mammouth, only with Primary Mathematics (Singapore). With PM, it is the intention of the authors that math is done twice a day once for fact mastery and once for concept introduction and practice. The text and workbook are for concepts. Drill in the Singapore class room takes place in many ways flash cards, computer drills, speed sheets, mental math drills, races with other students etc. There are speed drill sheets for Singapore, but the intent is to meet the students needs. Some master facts quickly and others need lots of drill. It concerns me when I see posts on fb saying Singapore doesn’t have enough drill built in. That’s because if you only use the text and workbook you are only doing the concept practice and missing the other half which is fact drill. If you want a workbook part of the program to ensure fact mastery, get the Singapore speed drills books, but if you recognize that your child masters better with flash cards or computer/handheld drills or another way then use those. The number bonds are in the concepts workbook, the rapid recall comes from fact practice.
So if you say MM doesn’t have enough fact practice even when you follow the teacher guide suggestions for fact drilling (I don’t even know if the MM TG requires drill) then maybe it isn’t working for you and you need a different program like R&S. If you are HAPPY with your math program then stick with it. R&S isn’t a requirement for classical education. But if you are not happy, then confidently switch to R&S which MP says is tried and true to meet their goals.
Leave a comment:

My 2nd/3rd grader started Singapore this summer. I asked my engineer husband to pick out math and that’s what he decided. That being said I also bought R & S third grade for my daughter to do with Singapore. I think it will be good to do the drills and work pages to solidify facts. It may be an epic failure but I already had most he R&S components so it wasn’t overly expensive. Now my 5th grader is another story. He did R&S third grade and then MUS this past year and next year for 5th I’m still undecided. I feel it’s too late to have him grasp Singapore and he did fine in R&S. He is also very literal and I think will do better with the straight “boring” mastery. He is my strong reader and decent in math where as his sister goes to bed doing math facts in her head. This all may be a terrible plan but it’s what I’m toying with right now.
Leave a comment:

I've done Shiller, a Montessori style math for 1.5 years, then switched to Saxon, which we liked in general but hated the spiral format. We intermixed these with Singapore Math word problems at the start of each lesson. Then, I bought Horizons 2 for 2nd grade and wound up making the full switch to R&S 2. I am so happy we did it, and it's been one of the best programs for my eldest. Talk about sleeper candidate! But if I were at 6th grade, I don't think I'd change any older kids. Perhaps you can start any younger kids on R&S since you've only just come to MM a year or so ago. Your choice.
Leave a comment:

I switched to R&S, but I defer to momgineer here. She's right that the switch is probably easier in the early grades (My oldest is in 2nd). She's been doing this a lot longer. One thing you could do  and it's super cheap  is purchase the "black lines" from R&S. Those are reproducible and basically use 10 different ways to reinforce material. Many of them are drills. Some are "fact forms". That could take up the slack if more practice is needed.
Leave a comment:

Thanks! I really like the fact that MM really explains the concepts well, but there really is not enough drill. Maybe I can find a way to make work sheets for extra practice.
Sarah
Leave a comment:

If your kids have been doing Singapore/Math Mammoth all along and it is working i would stick with it. A great grade to switch to MP math is 7th grade prealgebra. That is a whole new program and not R&S. It would be frustrating to try to switch and figure out what level R&S to get as most likely MM is ahead of R&S. My kids do Singapore PM and I looked at the final math test in my curriculum manual one year (4th I think) and my son would have breezed through it. So if your kids have actually mastered their Math Mammoth you might find you would have to jump a grade ahead in R&S.
with younger kids it would be easier to switch if you desire. R&S is great for ensuring fact mastery and drilling algorithms till they are second nature. If your children struggle with fact mastery or how to actually do the calculations you might find you prefer R&S. Otherwise, if MM is working keep going. Math isn’t tied to anything else and is very easy to sub if you have a math programs that works for you.
Leave a comment:
Leave a comment: