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Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

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    Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

    Hi All,

    So we are plugging along in our MP 1 core curriculum for my special needs son. I would say things are continuing to go quite well and I still believe this was the right placement for him, in spite of his language processing challenges. He does very well with the spelling, phonics, printing, cursive lessons. So far all is fine with the reading comp (SB Treasures.) AND, the R&S math is going fairly well EXCEPT for one area. We decided that we'd start at the beginning of R&S 1 since my son is coming from the first level of RightStart Math and it's all so different. I didn't want any conceptual gaps so we just began with Lesson 1 and have continued through (not following the MP 1 lessons plans since they have the first 8 weeks doing a quick review of Lessons 1-85 and we aren't doing that.) We are doing one lesson after another (AND all the supporting worksheets that go with each lesson.) Tonight we finished lesson 31 and all the worksheets.

    Here's our challenge I'm hoping y'all can help me with:

    My son is really struggling with the exercises that have 3 numbers and you have to circle the "less". Sometimes the worksheet has the student circle the "more." I've spent the past few days really trying to dig in on my son's weaknesses with this. For years he has known his numbers, can count (actually) up to 1,000. I can pick any number (say 271) and ask him to count backward, and he can. So he has the number recognition and order thing down. He has no problems with the "before" and "after" worksheets. Or the ones that require the student to put the missing number in the middle between 2 numbers. The challenge is in understanding less/more. I've identified that sometimes it's an attention thing.....he'll say a number is "less" and then correct himself (or I'll need to ask again) and he'll indeed correct. Sometimes (often times!) he's truly appearing unsure of himself. I think these worksheets that are tripping him up are contributing to the confusion because they'll have 3 numbers in a random order and he'll have to identify the smallest (less) or the biggest (more.) I've pulled out all kinds of manipulatives, tried various interventions.....and I'm not sure I'm making an impact. At lesson 31 he's just as unsure as he was the first time he saw these worksheets pop up with 3 numbers in random order.

    Thanks for any help and sorry if I've confused anyone in how I've described my son's math challenge.

    SusanP

    #2
    Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

    Hi, Susan.

    Rote counting or knowing the order of numbers will be different than knowing how to compare the quantities represented by those numbers. This could be conceptual, or it could be linguistic, or it could simply be the presentation.

    Conceptual --
    When you use manipulatives, can he tell you which group has fewer objects and which has more? If not, work on the concepts of quantity and comparisons with manipulatives.

    Linguistic --
    When you use synonyms, does this help? For example, is fifteen a "bigger amount" than three? And if I have three apples, is this a "smaller group of apples" than if I had fifteen of them? If not, create a list of comparison words to cue "greater than." Do the same for "less than." Draw pictures to illustrate each column of words, such as seven pumpkins for "greater than" and two pumpkins for "less than."

    Presentation --
    If you're thinking, "But he can do all of those things with no problem; he just can't transfer his conceptual and linguistic knowledge to that particular worksheet," then omit the worksheet. Just teach the skill differently whenever it comes up. With sidewalk chalk, draw a 6 and a 23 on the sidewalk. Have him toss a rock to -- or jump to -- the number that shows "more." As soon as this is too easy, draw three different numbers in order: 7, 34, 63. Have him toss a rock to -- or jump to -- the number that shows "less." When this is easy, mix two of those numbers. Eventually mix three. If he gets these correct, re-introduce the worksheet, if you want.


    Other possible areas to consider:
    -- Vision
    Are the numbers "jumbly" or "wiggly" to him when mixed up? Rule out any vision issues.

    -- Place value
    Is he confused when the first digit is smaller, but the second digit is larger, as in 18 vs 21? Rule out any place value confusion. We have a place value read-aloud in the SC arithmetic pkg that can help.



    If none if this applies, maybe some of our in-the-trenches R&S 1 mom-teachers can help.

    Congratulations on your slow-and-steady approach. It sounds as if he is doing well overall!

    Thanks-
    Cheryl

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

      Hi Susan,

      The only thing I have to add to Cheryl's excellent advice is a sense of hope. My son had exactly the same problem. I explained and demonstrated the concepts of more and less as many ways as I could and he just didn't get it... until one day he did. I don't know what finally made it click for him. As stressful as it can be when nothing seems to work, just know that eventually he will understand.
      Drew-- MP 1st
      Augustine-- Using consumables from SC B as prep for Jr. K
      Margot-- 2 years old
      Gregory-- 7 months old

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

        Susan,

        Both Cheryl and Jessica have excellent points. In my classroom, when explaining these exercises I would add a motion (big, open arms and hands for greater or bigger numbers then tightly scrunched arms and hands for smaller or less).

        Michelle T

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

          Adding to the above (excellent advice):

          My daughter struggled with the exact same thing. "More" (or greater) was never really hard for her once I explained the concept. But "less" gave her fits. We just kept at it. I quizzed her on the white board a few extra times; made sure to give her any of the worksheets that asked for "less" competence; and gave a visual cue as Michelle described. After much repetition, she got it. Now it's easy for her. So stick with it. R&S has so much repetition and skill-mastery built in that if you're doing the work as prescribed there's almost no way your child won't master the concepts. Trust that. Your student is literally going to see the same concepts dozens of times before the skills move on. So don't worry.

          Just a heads up: my daughter also had trouble with just one addition fact. For some reason 2+3=5 or 3+2=5 would always -- ALWAYS -- trip her up -- even if the facts were side by side. She would get every other addition fact correct but give me crazy-wild answers for 2+3 (like 2 or 6 or 0). Again, we just kept at it. Now she knows it. So be aware of that possibility as well.

          You're doing AWESOME.
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

            Wow, everyone! Thank you so much for all these helpful tips.

            Cheryl - you went above and beyond and gave me so much to think about. I have been mixing up the language and trying a few different words (before, less than, smaller). I've shown quantities of various items in two different piles. I like Michelle's hand motions idea, as well as getting his whole body involved as you suggested, Cheryl, with the outdoor/indoor activities. I think I'll need to break down the steps for better conceptual understanding the way you suggested, Cheryl.

            It's really interesting because we've been playing "Spot It" for many months together. (Did y'all know there are now a gazillion versions of the game Spot It? My son has 4 of them.) Anyway, we play almost daily. When we are done we each count our cards and determine who the winner is. He ALWAYS pauses and seems unsure of stating if he's the winner or me based on who has the most cards. I'd say (now) about 75% of the time he'll correctly tell me who the winner is. And the rest of the time he'll say the wrong answer.

            Thank you for the encouragement that one day it'll click. It's times like these that I really struggle to fight off despair. Just teaching a child this age a concept that almost all other children grasp naturally and at such a younger age.....it makes me so depressed!

            Anita - yes, we've also encountered the math fact that, for some reason, he'll give a random answer to. For him it's been 2+1/1+2. He wants to say 2, 4 or 5 as his answer instead of 3. Given how many times we've encountered those math facts on all the worksheets up to this point, and the fact that I continue to pull out the abacus or some other manipulatives, I'm sure we've drilled it in a couple hundred times so far. Having that abacus from the previous math curriculum has really been handy because he's so familiar with it and visually recognizes quantities on it, etc. Tomorrow we learn the fact family of 6.

            Thanks again,
            SusanP

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

              Originally posted by SPearson View Post
              It's really interesting because we've been playing "Spot It" for many months together. (Did y'all know there are now a gazillion versions of the game Spot It? My son has 4 of them.) Anyway, we play almost daily. When we are done we each count our cards and determine who the winner is. He ALWAYS pauses and seems unsure of stating if he's the winner or me based on who has the most cards. I'd say (now) about 75% of the time he'll correctly tell me who the winner is. And the rest of the time he'll say the wrong answer.
              Yes, this IS interesting. I would focus on comparative quantities in both conceptual and linguistic ways. As a homeschooler, you can do this whenever you think of it. "Whose plate has more food, Dad's or mine?" "Whose shoes are larger, yours or mine?" "Whose shoes are the largest in the family?" In the grocery store, as you walk down the produce aisle: "Which type of fruit has more varieties this season, apples or grapes?" While you watch sporting events (if you do), "Which team has more fans in the stands? How can you tell?"

              If you have an Opening time, add a little 5-minute game of "More or Less" each day. Just grab a handful of items before you begin your Bible story or recitations or whatever starts your day. Lay out 4 pencils, 2 pencils. "Which pile has more?" "More" is usually easier, so start with this. Keep the piles the same, but then ask, "Which has less?" It seems so obvious, by process of elimination, but you're really emphasizing both the concepts and the language we use to accompany those concepts -- in ways he can begin to count on succeeding. The next day, do the same thing with spoons. 5 spoons, 3 spoons. Plan to do this for three weeks of school days, as you continue your R&S lessons. Keep this brief, easy, and daily.

              The next time you're ready to target this skill, use 3-D objects for another few weeks. Then switch to pictorial representations of groups. Keep using the same language for all. Just as you're seeing with his improvement when you ask who has more cards after a game -- which, by the way, is a great idea! -- this WILL get better. Do not despair.

              One other tip:
              In your own speaking, be sure you're using comparative (more, older, bigger, smaller, taller) to compare 2 groups, rather than superlative (most, oldest, biggest, smallest, tallest), which is for 3 or more.


              You're doing a great job, Susan! Do not lose heart. I know from experience that the actual skill rarely pulls us down, but wondering/worrying about the future does. Just know that each child has a place somewhere. Your son will too. When I see mine working, learning, and serving at age 21, and when I see so many older individuals with challenges even greater than my own children's, I know this is true. He's still your little boy.


              If you need a heartwarming moment, and if you haven't yet seen these, view the videos inside this post.


              Let us know how he does. I am certain that this time next year, your son will be a champ at the concept and language of more/less!

              Cheryl

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

                Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                You're doing a great job, Susan! Do not lose heart. I know from experience that the actual skill rarely pulls us down, but wondering/worrying about the future does. Just know that each child has a place somewhere. Your son will too. When I see mine working, learning, and serving at age 21, and when I see so many older individuals with challenges even greater than my own children's, I know this is true. He's still your little boy.
                ...
                Let us know how he does. I am certain that this time next year, your son will be a champ at the concept and language of more/less!

                Cheryl
                I actually had thought to write almost this exact thing earlier today when I saw your post, Susan. Some of the biggest struggles we have in teaching our children is not that they fail to catch on to a concept or that they aren't on par with their peers, it's that this situation almost always instills at least a tiny bit of panic in us whenever it arises. We love our children desperately and we want the absolute best for them. So these situations sometimes feel permanent, irreversible, terminal or (worst of all) a sign of a larger, more significant problem. The tension can ratchet up in the pit of our stomachs until we are on edge, shrill and panicky. It spills over in to our teaching and we lose our tempers more often and that starts the snowball effect of us getting down on ourselves more and more often. Next thing we know, we're circling the drain of homeschooling burnout and considering sending the kids to "a real school" because "we obviously can't do it". Now: I'm not saying this is you! But, boy, if any of that resonates, I'm glad I could share it with you -- it has certainly happened to me (and just about every other mom on these boards!).

                Would we have the same panic or apprehension about a little skill gap if our kids were "neuro-typical"? Nah. We'd chuckle and keep on trucking, sure that they would eventually catch on and that everything would be fine. I started taking that tack with my kids, no matter what obstacle they face. "They'll get it. We'll just keep at it." It almost always just falls into place. And the things that don't, we are still working on. But regardless: There are just going to be some things that I can't teach them. There are going to be some things that they will never be able to process, no matter who teaches them -- an entire team of world-class specialists are not going to get a child to understand something his brain is not equipped to understand, for example. But I have total faith that whatever is "missing", God will fill in with grace. So I let go of the worry and anxiety (as best I can). That's why I picked my signature from St Padre Pio. (He was obviously thinking of me when he said that ;D)

                So, again, YOU ARE DOING AWESOME. Just keep at it and try to put worry in its place. Enjoy that boy. He will be leaps and bounds beyond where he is now quite soon and you will (believe it or not) look back on this time with tenderness and nostalgia.

                Big hugs.
                Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                ~Pope St John Paul II

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

                  Cheryl and Anita,

                  Thank you for such beautifully-inspiring words of encouragement. Cheryl, okay, so your video clips of the kiddos' involvement with the challenger baseball league REALLY (I mean, really) got my husband and me choked up. What an inspiration! Michael and Michelle come across as such deep-thinking, intelligent young adults. WOW!

                  Anita, it's nice to know there's another momma acquainted with language processing issues ....and the fact that you are a mere 2 hours away! I seriously think it'd be so fun to connect with other MP homeschool moms here in VA sometime. I should email Sarah Kaye and see if she has anything planned for the next several months.

                  Anyway, even today my son showed a slightly improved level of mastery over this math concept I wrote about. It's so cute how much he loves this math. We cranked out another lesson and all the accompanying worksheets before bed, in addition to what we had done earlier today! He tells everyone he knows that his favorite subject is math. I'm just chuckling to myself how much I dragged my feet, not wanting to give up on the hundreds of dollars I spent on RightStart materials. Plus, the fact that I would scoff at such a workbook/worksheet driven math curriculum. And, yet, this is exactly what a kid like my son needs. Repeated practice and repetition for mastery.

                  Blessings upon you both and anyone else reading this.

                  Hugs,
                  SusanP in VA

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Trouble-shooting R&S 1 challenges

                    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                    Yes, this IS interesting. I would focus on comparative quantities in both conceptual and linguistic ways. As a homeschooler, you can do this whenever you think of it. "Whose plate has more food, Dad's or mine?" "Whose shoes are larger, yours or mine?" "Whose shoes are the largest in the family?" In the grocery store, as you walk down the produce aisle: "Which type of fruit has more varieties this season, apples or grapes?" While you watch sporting events (if you do), "Which team has more fans in the stands? How can you tell?"

                    If you have an Opening time, add a little 5-minute game of "More or Less" each day. Just grab a handful of items before you begin your Bible story or recitations or whatever starts your day. Lay out 4 pencils, 2 pencils. "Which pile has more?" "More" is usually easier, so start with this. Keep the piles the same, but then ask, "Which has less?" It seems so obvious, by process of elimination, but you're really emphasizing both the concepts and the language we use to accompany those concepts -- in ways he can begin to count on succeeding. The next day, do the same thing with spoons. 5 spoons, 3 spoons. Plan to do this for three weeks of school days, as you continue your R&S lessons. Keep this brief, easy, and daily.

                    The next time you're ready to target this skill, use 3-D objects for another few weeks. Then switch to pictorial representations of groups. Keep using the same language for all. Just as you're seeing with his improvement when you ask who has more cards after a game -- which, by the way, is a great idea! -- this WILL get better. Do not despair.

                    One other tip:
                    In your own speaking, be sure you're using comparative (more, older, bigger, smaller, taller) to compare 2 groups, rather than superlative (most, oldest, biggest, smallest, tallest), which is for 3 or more.


                    You're doing a great job, Susan! Do not lose heart. I know from experience that the actual skill rarely pulls us down, but wondering/worrying about the future does. Just know that each child has a place somewhere. Your son will too. When I see mine working, learning, and serving at age 21, and when I see so many older individuals with challenges even greater than my own children's, I know this is true. He's still your little boy.


                    If you need a heartwarming moment, and if you haven't yet seen these, view the videos inside this post.


                    Let us know how he does. I am certain that this time next year, your son will be a champ at the concept and language of more/less!

                    Cheryl
                    Cheryl,

                    Those videos are so sweet, thanks for sharing! And how neat you are in Ste. Gen! I started college at SEMO and had family in Farmington. Ste. Gen is a neat little town! I'm not sure why but I have always assumed you were in the Louisville area. Silly, I know

                    Anita,

                    You sure hit the nail on the head..The panic sets in when things aren't smooth sailing. We homeschool parents sure put a lot of pressure on ourselves and when a child isn't "getting it" or progressing in a typical manner (or to that of which their sibling did)..and then the self-doubt, sprinkled with some guilt creeps in.

                    Susan,

                    I love that your son says his favorite subject is math. My daughter says the same about reading..and she resists reading the most!
                    Katie

                    2020/21 7th year with MP
                    DS 16: 11th, MPOA, HSC, Dual Enrolled
                    DD 13: 9th, MPOA Diploma Program
                    DD 9: mix of MP 5, Seton, HSC, MPOA Latin,
                    Twin DD's 7: mix of MP 2, Seton

                    Comment

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