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    Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

    I'm looking more closely into Rod and Staff and I have some questions. How long does a lesson take each day and how teacher intensive is it? How many problems are completed each day. We would be coming over from CLE math which can be done fairly independently, but the lessons can feel very long.

    I don't know how I would place my children and am looking for some feedback.
    DD11 in 5th has completed 80% of CLE 5. Looking at samples online (there aren't many) it appears that she has already covered most of the material in R&S 6 and 7. She picks up concepts quickly and easily, but is sloppy in her computation and makes silly mistakes. I thought putting her in R&S 6 next year might be a review and solidify year before moving into Pre Algebra, although it might be better to put her in 7 next year.
    DS9 in 3rd is my main motivation for looking for new math. He is a dreamer and his CLE can take an hour or more on a distracted day. It's the consistent problem in our school. He has completed 50% of CLE 3. Looking at the 3rd final in the curriculum guide, he could easily pass it. He doesn't have his math facts memorized, and occasionally still struggles with place value. I think R&S might offer a more focused study vs CLE, which could benefit him.
    DS7 is in 1st. He is my most naturally math minded. He has finished CLE 1. He doesn't have his math facts memorized but understands place value, can mentally add two digit numbers including carrying, add three digit numbers on paper, tell time, and count money. I would love to be mostly on track with the curriculum guides, but I am not sure if R&S 2 would be just too slow paced for him. I also don't want to move him too far ahead.
    Any help figuring this out would be appreciated. Thanks,
    Rachel
    mamathompson
    Member
    Last edited by mamathompson; 01-24-2017, 11:41 AM.

    #2
    Re: Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

    Hello.

    You can go to milestonebooks.com and find samples of the Rod & Staff math books. That would give you a good idea of what a typical lesson looks like. When I taught 6th grade math, we generally spent an hour a day on math and did 4-5 lessons a week. This included the review exercises (which I generally assigned for homework) and a daily timed drill. R&S does a great job with the teacher manual. I am not a math person, so it was a difficult subject for me to teach, but I felt like I could be a good math teacher if I followed their teaching guidelines. I don't know how teacher-intensive this course would be at home. I taught at HLS, which is a traditional classroom setting, so I was up teaching the entire day. Our format would be teacher-intensive just due to the nature of our set-up.

    Cindy Davis, our math guru, recommends that if students haven't mastered R&S 6, they should complete R&S 7 before moving into pre-algebra. I'm thinking that you could start with 7 and see how it goes. The awesome thing about R&S math is that it always reviews all concepts previously taught before moving into new material, so that would give you the opportunity to ensure that your student has mastered the review material before moving to new concepts. But take a look at the samples of 6th and 7th math on Milestone's website, and you can get a good idea from there.

    Good luck!

    Tanya

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

      Originally posted by mamathompson View Post
      I'm looking more closely into Rod and Staff and I have some questions. How long does a lesson take each day and how teacher intensive is it? How many problems are completed each day. We would be coming over from CLE math which can be done fairly independently, but the lessons can feel very long.

      I don't know how I would place my children and am looking for some feedback.
      DD11 in 5th has completed 80% of CLE 5. Looking at samples online (there aren't many) it appears that she has already covered most of the material in R&S 6 and 7. She picks up concepts quickly and easily, but is sloppy in her computation and makes silly mistakes. I thought putting her in R&S 6 next year might be a review and solidify year before moving into Pre Algebra, although it might be better to put her in 7 next year.
      DS9 in 3rd is my main motivation for looking for new math. He is a dreamer and his CLE can take an hour or more on a distracted day. It's the consistent problem in our school. He has completed 50% of CLE 3. Looking at the 3rd final in the curriculum guide, he could easily pass it. He doesn't have his math facts memorized, and occasionally still struggles with place value. I think R&S might offer a more focused study vs CLE, which could benefit him.
      DS7 is in 1st. He is my most naturally math minded. He has finished CLE 1. He doesn't have his math facts memorized but understands place value, can mentally add two digit numbers including carrying, add three digit numbers on paper, tell time, and count money. I would love to be mostly on track with the curriculum guides, but I am not sure if R&S 2 would be just too slow paced for him. I also don't want to move him too far ahead.
      Any help figuring this out would be appreciated. Thanks,
      Rachel
      Hi Rachel,
      When I used R&S at home with my children, I spent 15-20 minutes going over the new lesson, guiding them through a few practice problems (class practice section) to be sure they understood, and doing oral drills (described in the TM) as needed. It is easy to teach, as Tanya said - just open and go. After the teaching time, my child spent about 30 additional minutes (in 5th/6th grade, less for 3rd grade and down) working out the homework problems. I usually assigned half the homework problems (choose some from each section) and only assigned additional problems if the child did not work accurately or needed more practice. If they had trouble "getting" the lesson, I might repeat the lesson the next day and assign the other half of problems, but this was rare. A good rule of thumb might be: work one extra problem for each missed problem. That is a natural consequence that gives motivation to work problems correctly the first time (which is the habit we want our children to form.)

      I would be inclined to start your dd11 in R&S6. If she completes it with mastery (aim for 90% or better), she can move to pre-algebra in 7th grade. I think it will provide good review and solidification of her skills and accuracy.

      I suggest R&S3 for your 3rd grader. It provides a solid foundation and consistent practice of addition and subtraction, and multi-digit multiplication. I actually started my 5th grader in R&S3 when I found R&S, because I wanted to make sure all his arithmetic skills were solid. We worked through summers and he was "caught up" by the end of 8th grade and able to start algebra in 9th grade.

      I think perhaps R&S2 for your rising 2nd grader. If it seems too slow, you can move through the lessons more quickly, answering problems orally, etc.

      As Tanya suggested, you can look at the samples online and make your best judgment about proper placement for your children.
      Cindy Davis
      Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
      ds-26 college graduate: independent young adult
      ds-24 college graduate: 3rd year med school
      dd-22 college graduate: working as a registered nurse

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

        Originally posted by Cindy in Indy View Post
        Hi Rachel,
        When I used R&S at home with my children, I spent 15-20 minutes going over the new lesson, guiding them through a few practice problems (class practice section) to be sure they understood, and doing oral drills (described in the TM) as needed. It is easy to teach, as Tanya said - just open and go. After the teaching time, my child spent about 30 additional minutes (in 5th/6th grade, less for 3rd grade and down) working out the homework problems. I usually assigned half the homework problems (choose some from each section) and only assigned additional problems if the child did not work accurately or needed more practice. If they had trouble "getting" the lesson, I might repeat the lesson the next day and assign the other half of problems, but this was rare. A good rule of thumb might be: work one extra problem for each missed problem. That is a natural consequence that gives motivation to work problems correctly the first time (which is the habit we want our children to form.)

        I would be inclined to start your dd11 in R&S6. If she completes it with mastery (aim for 90% or better), she can move to pre-algebra in 7th grade. I think it will provide good review and solidification of her skills and accuracy.

        I suggest R&S3 for your 3rd grader. It provides a solid foundation and consistent practice of addition and subtraction, and multi-digit multiplication. I actually started my 5th grader in R&S3 when I found R&S, because I wanted to make sure all his arithmetic skills were solid. We worked through summers and he was "caught up" by the end of 8th grade and able to start algebra in 9th grade.

        I think perhaps R&S2 for your rising 2nd grader. If it seems too slow, you can move through the lessons more quickly, answering problems orally, etc.

        As Tanya suggested, you can look at the samples online and make your best judgment about proper placement for your children.
        Cindy, Thanks for helping me out again! What would be your opinion about switching my dd11? Is it a good idea to move a student who seems to be doing well into a different program? I'm primarily concerned that she doesn't have her facts memorized and will hit a wall soon without that.
        Also, just as an aside since I hear you are a math guru, how do I get those facts memorized now? It seems as though once my kids start counting to do addition and subtraction they are set on counting and never move onto memorization. Do you find this to be true? We have tried flashcards, xtramath, etc. and it seems they still count in their heads. From looking at online samples it appears R & S really works on memorizing the families vs just answering addition and subtraction early on. I have found my children can easily add 2+3 at a young age, but always rely on counting either on fingers or in their heads forever after that. Would there be any benefit to backing way up with older kids to break this habit?
        Thanks again,
        Rachel

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

          Originally posted by mamathompson View Post
          Cindy, Thanks for helping me out again! What would be your opinion about switching my dd11? Is it a good idea to move a student who seems to be doing well into a different program? I'm primarily concerned that she doesn't have her facts memorized and will hit a wall soon without that.
          Also, just as an aside since I hear you are a math guru, how do I get those facts memorized now? It seems as though once my kids start counting to do addition and subtraction they are set on counting and never move onto memorization. Do you find this to be true? We have tried flashcards, xtramath, etc. and it seems they still count in their heads. From looking at online samples it appears R & S really works on memorizing the families vs just answering addition and subtraction early on. I have found my children can easily add 2+3 at a young age, but always rely on counting either on fingers or in their heads forever after that. Would there be any benefit to backing way up with older kids to break this habit?
          Thanks again,
          Rachel
          Haha, I don't feel like a math "guru". But I think your instincts are correct: not having facts down "cold" will cause problems later. I often see this in algebra2: when using rules of exponents or factoring polynomials, students who don't have their basic arithmetic facts down "cold" stumble and are hampered in solving higher-level math problems. This will continue on through all levels: calculus, statistics and beyond. It is one reason why some students will not advance beyond high school math.

          So, what did I do? I found an incentive that would motivate my child and required him/her to memorize the facts. First addition and subtraction. Then multiplication. They should know the fact instantly. We did not find computer programs to be helpful. The child studied a (homemade) chart that showed all the facts and then drilled using flashcards (all mixed up, not organized by families). Flashcards they know instantly go into the "know" pile. Flashcards they hesitate on go into the "review" pile. Test by using a speed drill: 100 addition facts, 100 subtraction facts, 100 multiplication facts. When they can complete the speed drill correctly in the required time, the facts are considered "mastered" and the reward is awarded. It is a day for celebration! (BTW, I only required facts up to 9x9. I figure the 10's and 11's are easy, and anything higher can be completed using pencil and paper.)

          You can practice the tricky facts (6's, 7's, 8's, 9's) at odd moments: waiting in grocery line, doctor's office, waiting at a restaurant, driving around. Call out the fact and student calls back the answer.

          Personal story: when I was entering 7th grade, we moved and I started a new school, where I was placed in Math 7. I told them, "I have done all of this before", but there was no room in the pre-algebra class, so I had to stay in Math 7. One of the requirements to "pass" Math 7 was to do speed drills (100 facts). We had a test every week. When you passed addition, you did subtraction, then multiplication, then division. I could not pass them at first, so I took blank copies home and practiced with a timer. Eventually I passed them all successfully. After the first unit test (when I scored 103%, no missed problems and got the extra credit correct), they found a seat for me in the pre-algebra class (I think they demoted a boy who failed the first pre-algebra test, and I got his seat). I didn't enjoy the waiting process, but I am thankful I learned quick recall of math facts. And I still have the sweet letter my dad wrote me about the lessons we learn from waiting, and what God wanted to teach me in that. Good life lesson. (Wise father!)

          If you are concerned that your 11 year old will balk at learning her facts, imagine how embarrassed 17-year olds are when they don't know their facts in algebra2. It won't happen without intentional effort!
          Cindy Davis
          Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
          ds-26 college graduate: independent young adult
          ds-24 college graduate: 3rd year med school
          dd-22 college graduate: working as a registered nurse

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

            Originally posted by mamathompson View Post
            What would be your opinion about switching my dd11? Is it a good idea to move a student who seems to be doing well into a different program? I'm primarily concerned that she doesn't have her facts memorized and will hit a wall soon without that.
            Rachel,
            Based on what you described, I would switch your dd11 into R&S 6, to make sure everything is solid before pre-algebra. Switching the math program at this point shouldn't cause any problems, and could prove beneficial as the emphasis on accuracy will hopefully prompt her to be more attentive. Seeing arithmetic from a different perspective may expand her mathematical thinking and intuition, which will also be helpful in the future.
            Cindy
            Cindy Davis
            Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
            ds-26 college graduate: independent young adult
            ds-24 college graduate: 3rd year med school
            dd-22 college graduate: working as a registered nurse

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Rod and Staff Questions and Placement

              Thank you. That is all very helpful.

              Comment

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