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    R&S 3: write in student text or not?

    I am confused by the Rod and Staff instructions. The instructor guide very clearly states that students are NOT to write in their textbooks. The MP syllabus seems ambivalent? I know that eventually, students need to copy out work and make the textbook reusable; I'm just not convinced that third grade is the time to do that. At this point, lesson 16 (we are taking it slow to memorize the triplets we didn't with our last curriculum), my daughter could do a lot more "math" if she didn't need to copy out all the problems first. We are getting to the point where it is harder to just do it quickly orally (67-28 = ?? type math). Guidance please! I was going to call MP directly and ask but my phone has decided to stop working as a phone, so I am submitting my question here :-)
    Emily…a hunter who prefers coffee to chocolate and dreams of the mountains

    Beech Tree Boarding School, 2021-2022
    DD (age 10): MP 5
    DD (age 8): MP 2
    DS (age 5): MP K
    "Maybe stalking the woods is as vital to the human condition as making music or putting words to paper. Maybe hunting has as much of a claim on our civilized selves as anything else.” Steven Rinella

    #2
    I have my daughter write in her books--they are so inexpensive, and the extra copywork on the kids of writing on separate paper is very tedious. I had her copy onto separate paper in 3rd grade but switched to letting her write in books starting in 4th and that was so much better--she went from dreading math to kind of enjoying it! The instructions are written so that you can save money with multiple kids by reusing the books...and maybe some kids do better with writing out the whole problem.
    Michaela
    Daughter: Age 11 MP 6A (MPOA for TFL, 6th grade math, and composition)
    Son: Age 6 1st Grade MP Traditional Spelling, Literature, Math, and Handwriting
    for 2019/2020 school year

    Comment


      #3
      I think most families do write in the book, especially in 3rd. I believe at HLS they write in the book also, but I know that HLS Indy (we live near there) mentioned that they have students write in the text at the beginning of the year and then switch to notebook mid-year.

      I think it is a personal preference. I am probably the odd duck and actually decided to have my child NOT write in the book. The first 40 lessons are total review. It seemed prudent to do the copying when the math was easy. It was, in fact, a challenge to copy the problems alone! My child struggles with organizational skills (executive function) and I felt this was just a skill she needed. She also needs to do tedious activities because I know, and remember how hard long division/higher math is. This seemingly meaningless activity I felt, will benefit the child with executive function issues later, in higher math I did use graph paper and I copied two - three rows at first myself, gradually weaning her down to copying the whole thing. This ended up being a great decision for us. It may not be for you (and most people are going to reply to not even give it another thought about just writing in the book!)

      Additionally, I had my child doing 1 fact form, every.single.day. At first, she could barely finish one page (even review) in less than 20 minutes. About 12 weeks into this, she finished her first fact form, in 5 min. The look on her face was so worth any struggle we had the previous 12 weeks. She actually said "I never thought I would be able to do that". (and this is why I insisted it be done, because I knew that is how she felt staring the page down.) Now, she has tangible results that sometimes something looks/feels unachieveable, but with lots of hard work, it IS possible. (We often struggle just looking at something and getting overwhelmed at just the looks - this lesson was really a catalyst to so many other things in her behavior, that I can not even begin to describe!)

      Christine

      (2021/2022)
      DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
      DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
      DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the replies! I was able to call MP (my phone decided to grace with me its presence) and they said they let the students write in the book except for long division; they have the students do those on separate paper. I think when long division gets introduced that will be a good chance for us to slowly switch over. The MP representative said that at HLS they write in a notebook exclusively starting in fourth grade. I can absolutely see how it could be helpful for some kids to start writing it out in third grade, but being new to MP this year, it seems like A LOT of writing for her anyway. Adding math copywork isn't helping us right now. I am a fan of the drill sheets. I laminated them and have her do them with a wet erase marker; I will assign them more frequently now that she's not needing to copy out problems!
        Emily…a hunter who prefers coffee to chocolate and dreams of the mountains

        Beech Tree Boarding School, 2021-2022
        DD (age 10): MP 5
        DD (age 8): MP 2
        DS (age 5): MP K
        "Maybe stalking the woods is as vital to the human condition as making music or putting words to paper. Maybe hunting has as much of a claim on our civilized selves as anything else.” Steven Rinella

        Comment


          #5
          I think you're making the right choice for your family.

          We decided to not write in the book. I hear R&S3 is in the rework phase, so I doubt by the time my little guy reaches it he'll be reusing the student text. With that said, I wanted my MP3er to have as much exposure to copying as possible. I don't make her do them all. That first week, she copied the first 3 problems of the first 5 numbered rows (out of 7 rows), and she did the rest orally. She actually REALLY appreciated that. Now that we're rolling into week 4, she's doing all problems across a row, but only the first 5 out of 7. I'm trying to get her to work on her spacing and lining up of a problem. It's surprisingly difficult for her, and so much time and attention goes into double checking her work that I'm proud when she does it error-free.

          I actually agree with Christine that it's nice to have her copy when the problems are easy and the stakes are low. She hasn't memorized any multiplication facts outside of the 0s, 1s, and 10s. Everything else is still skip counted. I may run off a few blacklines until she knows the facts cold and then move into copying multiplication. I like that it works on planning, organization, lining up columns, the importance of looking carefully at your signs, and the subtle reinforcement of the math facts for the visual/kinesthetic learner.

          I still think you should trust your gut for your family and learners.
          Mama to 2

          Spring start MP1
          Summer start 5A

          Completed MPK, MP1 Math & Enrichment, MP2, 3A, 4A, SC B, SC C,
          SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by enbateau View Post
            I think you're making the right choice for your family.

            We decided to not write in the book. I hear R&S3 is in the rework phase, so I doubt by the time my little guy reaches it he'll be reusing the student text. With that said, I wanted my MP3er to have as much exposure to copying as possible. I don't make her do them all. That first week, she copied the first 3 problems of the first 5 numbered rows (out of 7 rows), and she did the rest orally. She actually REALLY appreciated that. Now that we're rolling into week 4, she's doing all problems across a row, but only the first 5 out of 7. I'm trying to get her to work on her spacing and lining up of a problem. It's surprisingly difficult for her, and so much time and attention goes into double checking her work that I'm proud when she does it error-free.

            I actually agree with Christine that it's nice to have her copy when the problems are easy and the stakes are low. She hasn't memorized any multiplication facts outside of the 0s, 1s, and 10s. Everything else is still skip counted. I may run off a few blacklines until she knows the facts cold and then move into copying multiplication. I like that it works on planning, organization, lining up columns, the importance of looking carefully at your signs, and the subtle reinforcement of the math facts for the visual/kinesthetic learner.

            I still think you should trust your gut for your family and learners.
            Yes! I will say once we got past the first 40 lessons we switched to oral for the left side and written only on the right side. I used the fact form in lieu of copying the simple multiplication problems.
            Christine

            (2021/2022)
            DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
            DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
            DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

            Previous Years
            DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
            DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
            DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

            Comment


              #7
              Just to add another thought.

              I know that is what the instructions state - write in the book. However, I had an experience that is making me do a small modification.

              I decided to do the same standardized testing (ITBS) that the HLS school does this past school year. My 2nd and 1st grader hit a major roadblock when it came to math that I wasn't expecting. When they were given a blank sheet of paper (either copy paper or lined notebook paper), they really struggled to create the equations quickly. Often, they did a very poor job of "lining up" the problem. In other words, the ones place and the tens place did not always line up correctly. All of a sudden, they were missing problems that ordinarily they could do in 1 second. Fortunately I caught this during the practice tests. It really surprised me because they were so accustomed to writing out the problems in the R&S 2 books (both boys did R&S2). Nearly every lesson requires them to do this, so I couldn't for the life of me understand why they couldn't do the same thing on a separate sheet of paper.

              The only thing I could come up with was that the R&S created a specific space for these equations (usually a rectangle) and that space limited the amount of blank canvas to copy a problem and answer it correctly. When I looked back in their books, I realized that they did not line these up very well either. They correctly answered them, but only because they had practiced it over and over (as triplet practice) so they didn't need the equations to line up well to answer it since it was being answered from memory.

              I ended up having to get graphing paper and the grid lines seemed to help them keep their numbers in line so they could do the math problems. The instructions specifically state that the student isn't allowed to write in the testing booklet. It was one of those weird skills that we had to shore up fast in order to do the test at all. I never saw it coming.

              This year, I think I am going to have them do at least 10% of the problems on notebook paper just to get into the practice and I'm going to be paying close attention to how they set up the problem. I want that to be second nature to them by the end of the year.

              Good luck guys!

              Melissa

              DS (MP4M) - 10
              DS (MP3A) - 8
              DS (1) - 7
              DD (Adorable distraction) 4

              Comment


                #8
                Hello.

                At HLS, we do use the 3rd grade math book as a consumable. It means we can get more math done, and all the student work fits nicely in the book. In 4th grade, we transition to students having to copy the problems onto a graph paper notebook since they are doing longer multiplication and division. The book no longer has the room needed. And graph paper helps them keep things in line anyway. So 4th grade is a transition year for us. Sometimes we have students who struggle with copying the problems, but we don't have a choice at this point. I did ask R&S if we could create a workbook for students to work from, but they wouldn't give me permission.

                Tanya

                Comment


                  #9
                  Graph paper notebook. I think you are right on there. I'll use that instead of notebook paper so they are perfectly ready for 4th.
                  Melissa

                  DS (MP4M) - 10
                  DS (MP3A) - 8
                  DS (1) - 7
                  DD (Adorable distraction) 4

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I found some notebooks that have every other line colored in blue...so the paper has light blue stripes down the page. We turn it sideways and voila all of the numbers stayed all lined up, nice and pretty like. The one we have is Norcom NoteTaker with shaded ruling. Looks like this without the vertical columns...although those could be really useful too. https://www.amazon.com/Ampad-Heavywe...y&sr=8-1-fkmr1

                    If you go with graph paper, just make sure you get some with larger boxes. The whole idea is to use the lines to keep things vertically lined up in columns. If your students writing doesn't fit inside the box, graph paper wont be very useful.
                    DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
                    DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
                    DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

                    We've completed:
                    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
                    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Colomama

                      I like that a lot. What about this one?
                      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000093KX4..._hN0vDbX9N8SVV
                      Melissa

                      DS (MP4M) - 10
                      DS (MP3A) - 8
                      DS (1) - 7
                      DD (Adorable distraction) 4

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I am a big fan of graph paper! I found a few spiral bound graph paper notebooks and she was using those but writing in the book will be better this year. I will save the notebooks for next year. On the plus side, since we started with her copying, she now thinks it’s a great relief to “only” have to do all those math problems!
                        Emily…a hunter who prefers coffee to chocolate and dreams of the mountains

                        Beech Tree Boarding School, 2021-2022
                        DD (age 10): MP 5
                        DD (age 8): MP 2
                        DS (age 5): MP K
                        "Maybe stalking the woods is as vital to the human condition as making music or putting words to paper. Maybe hunting has as much of a claim on our civilized selves as anything else.” Steven Rinella

                        Comment


                          #13
                          ^^^^^ Am I so crazy that for $7.50 for 50 sheets I would draw those lines with a ruler and red pen or colored pencil myself? For Prima Latina, I drew 3 lines (to make 4 columns) on the 1/2" Rod & Staff tablet paper so my eldest could fill out a drill form that had dashed lines. I could not figure out for the life of me why the PL drill form was open line, yet the NAC2 had not transitioned the students to it yet. My eldest's handwriting instantly improved from illegible to legible.
                          Mama to 2

                          Spring start MP1
                          Summer start 5A

                          Completed MPK, MP1 Math & Enrichment, MP2, 3A, 4A, SC B, SC C,
                          SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just chiming back in to say it doesn't have to be so official one way or the other. Since 4th grade I've let my daughter have control over how and where she works out the problems--she didn't have to be told to pull out paper. It's already written in the book and kind of obvious that certain problems have to be worked on paper. She has used regular notebook paper and graph paper. I've found that for her, I get better quality and quantity of math work this way. She did the entire 5th grade math book this way--we didn't skip any problems. This would not have happened if I had micromanaged her. But, that's 5th grade--I wouldn't suggest that for 3rd grade, but would have it as goal to reach as appropriate for each child's learning style and maturity allows. That is one of my big goals in homeschooling: to develop independent learners who take ownership of their own education. It's already well-established for my 11-year-old over-achiever; I imagine it will be quite a long and patient road for me in developing this in my 6-year-old energetic monkey!

                            Michaela
                            Daughter: Age 11 MP 6A (MPOA for TFL, 6th grade math, and composition)
                            Son: Age 6 1st Grade MP Traditional Spelling, Literature, Math, and Handwriting
                            for 2019/2020 school year

                            Comment

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