# If You Read Knowing and Teaching Math by Liping Ma, What Math Do You Use?

### #1

Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:19 PM

So if you read the book, what math series are you using? My son is almost 5, so I need to decide which math series to use soon.

### #2

Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:28 PM

ETA: I used Singapore and RS before I read the book so it wasn't a deciding factor in choosing a math program but it sure did make me feel more confident in my choice. I find I tend to second guess myself a lot when it comes to curriculum.

**Edited by plain jane, 19 February 2011 - 02:35 PM.**

### #3

Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:29 PM

I usually use Miquon and Singapore, then Singapore and A Beka, then some SF Exploring Mathematics or whatever I have, then go into algebra in 7th or 8th grade. I have found it easier to learn the math myself, and be able to use any materials.

### #4

Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:34 PM

I was very good at math growing up and in college, but re-learning it in this way has been very rewarding and enlightening.

### #5

Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:37 PM

I have found it easier to learn the math myself, and be able to use any materials.

I was a math major and loved the book. I was not an education major, but I had never been exposed to, or heard it called, the "asian way" of doing math. I have chosen Math Mammoth for my kids and love the approach. But I agree wholeheartedly with the pps. If you understand a math concept fully, you should be able to teach that concept well. The curriculum is the aid, not the teacher. I love how MM aids my math instruction. I also use Miquion as a supplement....gotta show love there as well!

### #6

Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:38 PM

*you**how* to teach.

### #7

Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

Primary Mathematics (Singapore) is what we use as our "spine" but Miquon was the best introduction to whole-parts math for my son, and the Miquon teachers materials were/are the most enriching things I have found as a parent-teacher who read Liping Ma and then wondered how I was going to do it.

There is synergy between the Miquon program and the Singapore program that is more than the sum of the parts.

Bill

### #8

Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

*Life of Fred: Fractions*and

*Life of Fred: Decimals & Percents*.

My DS did MEP Reception and is now slowly working his way through Yr 1 supplemented by some of the RS activities.

### #9

Posted 19 February 2011 - 04:13 PM

Heather

### #10

Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:23 PM

### #11

Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:28 PM

### #12

Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

### #13

Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

### #14

Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:44 PM

My current plan is RightStart A & B, then moving to Math Mammoth after that.

We sporatically use Miquon and MEP as supplements.

### #15

Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:45 PM

I love Knowing and Teaching; it really helped me to understand what I was doing wrong with math teaching.

I like the systematic teaching and the amount of practice. Besides, It was recommended by my brother who teacher high school Algebra.

### #16

Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:07 PM

We were using MEP in addition to MM, but have scaled back during the past couple of weeks. We've been busy with other things, but we will likely return to the combo over the summer.

### #17

Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:15 PM

I taught remedial 6th grade math for a little while when I was a schoolteacher, and when I reflected on the book through that lens, I have to say that being conceptual or procedural was as much about the teacher as the materials. For better or worse, I guess...

### #18

Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:30 PM

Love MEP. We're following with MM far enough behind for it to be review.

### #19

Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:15 PM

Singapore

99% Singapore, started from the get-go.

You might also want to read Arithmetic For Parents. He favors SM, too, but writes from his Israeli perspective.

### #20

Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:15 PM

There is synergy between the Miquon program and the Singapore program that is more than the sum of the parts.

Bill

Could you elaborate on that, Bill? Sounds neat and mysterious I've read parts of Liping Ma's book and love the Miquon approach (saw it transform the way my brother understood math). But I'm curious about the synergy between it and singapore.

Right now we're on Miquon Orange, MEP 1, and MM 1A. My plan after this is to do Right Start A & B as we finish Miquon and then go into Singapore with MEP/MM thrown in for extra practice or fun as necessary.

### #21

Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:26 PM

### #22

Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:29 PM

### #23

Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:48 PM

Could you elaborate on that, Bill? Sounds neat and mysterious I've read parts of Liping Ma's book and love the Miquon approach (saw it transform the way my brother understood math). But I'm curious about the synergy between it and singapore.

Right now we're on Miquon Orange, MEP 1, and MM 1A. My plan after this is to do Right Start A & B as we finish Miquon and then go into Singapore with MEP/MM thrown in for extra practice or fun as necessary.

Miquon (for the student) in very concrete ways (including the use of Cuisenaire Rods) teaches numbers as parts-and-wholes that can be recombined in different ways. For example, if you have a Black Rod it is 7 cm long and its "normal" value is 7.

What other ways can you make 7?

A child could stack a 2 and 5 and see that makes 7. Or 1 and 6. And so on.

This is (in concrete means) the same thing Singapore does when it teaches childen "number bonds".

Children also get a start finding the "difference" between two values by having a concrete "part" and a whole. Huh? If the "whole" is 7 and one "part" is 5, what is the other part?

If you have two parts, say 2 and 5 the "whole" is 7.

This kind of thinking is foundational to the Singapore Method of mathematics. Singapore also subscribes to the idea that math should be taught in a concrete>pictorial>abstract progression (something I heartily agree with). Unfortunately the Singapore materials largely leap over the "concrete" stage of learning in favor of pictorial models (although the HIGs try to some degree to mitigate for this deficiency).

Miquon is all about fostering this concrete learning. It gives a chance to internalize this way of looking at math from the very beginning.

For the parent/teacher there is both practical advice for how to foster a love of math and good ideas on how to teach and how children learn, plus it teaches parents how to make the Laws of Mathematics easily comprehensible to children and in explicit terms. The Singapore materials teach these laws "implicitly" but not explicitly.

Where Singapore shines is slowly building up the whole-parts method to include mental math skills of re-grouping and using the whole-part "bar diagrams" for the solving of word problems.

Together they are an amazing duo!

Bill

### #24

Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:54 PM

### #25

Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:10 PM

### #26

Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:17 PM

### #27

Posted 20 February 2011 - 04:01 AM

But I had already chosen Singapore Math before I read Liping Ma. Singapore Math/Asian Math is very close to how math is taught in the Netherlands. (I'm *not* saying that all teachers here have a profound understanding of math! )

### #28

Posted 20 February 2011 - 07:26 AM

Right now we're on Miquon Orange, MEP 1, and MM 1A. My plan after this is to do Right Start A & B as we finish Miquon and then go into Singapore with MEP/MM thrown in for extra practice or fun as necessary.

FWIW, if your child has done a significant portion of MEP Yr. 1 and MM 1A, I would skip RS A and start with B. B covers everything in A (it was the original entry point into RS), just at a faster pace.

### #29

Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:30 AM

### #30

Posted 20 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

### #31

Posted 20 February 2011 - 04:32 PM

### #32

Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:33 AM

FWIW, if your child has done a significant portion of MEP Yr. 1 and MM 1A, I would skip RS A and start with B. B covers everything in A (it was the original entry point into RS), just at a faster pace.

Thanks for the heads up. I just figured that it would be better to do A because he'll probably start it when he's relatively young (5) so I wasn't sure if he'd be developmentally ready for B. I don't want to derail this thread so maybe I'll start another one...

### #33

Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:30 PM

### #34 Guest_Cheryl in SoCal_*

Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

### #35

Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:53 AM

And looking to first grade Right Start B is 102 dollars for the add on kit plus Singapore Math A and B textbooks (to supplement) will be 25 dollars plus shipping and handling.

**So for Kindergarten and first grade math it will be a minimum of $271 dollars.**Then I will switch completely to Singapore math 2A and 2B and get the HIG, textbook, CWP, Math Sprints, and maybe workbooks for around $100 for everything. So kindergarten through 2nd grade will be around 400 dollars for math! It looks like it is worth it so I plan on starting to purchase the kinder materials in the next month

### #36

Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:08 AM

### #37

Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:15 AM

Liping Ma actually co-authored a math curriculum called "Knowing Mathematics", published by Houghton Mifflin. It's designed as a remedial math program (I think during summer school), so I use the 4th grade text for my second grader. (I also use Math-U-See).

### #38

Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:24 AM

Haven't read all the responses, so this may be redundant:

Liping Ma actually co-authored a math curriculum called "Knowing Mathematics", published by Houghton Mifflin. It's designed as a remedial math program (I think during summer school), so I use the 4th grade text for my second grader. (I also use Math-U-See).

Since it is designed to be "remedial" work for older students who have fallen behind grade level "Knowing Mathematics" moves at a very brisk pace. It is designed as a 13 week course. I think most Second Graders would benefit more from a full math program like Singapore aimed at their age rather than the accelerated pace of a remedial program like the one by Ma. YMMV.

Bill

### #39

Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:36 AM

I think most Second Graders would benefit more from a full math program like Singapore aimed at their age rather than the accelerated pace of a remedial program like the one by Ma.

Agreed. I'm not taking her straight through KM; I'm interspersing the lessons throughout the other curriculum we're using.

### #40

Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:15 PM

Singapore Early Bird A and B textbooks (to supplement)

I was SO excited about the Early Bird books, but I have to give those a thumbs down. I have heard better things about Singapore's Essentials books.

### #41

Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:17 PM

### #42

Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:29 PM

Miquon on the other hand was brilliant for these years! It inspired just the kind of fun (and effective) learning I dreamed of instilling in my (then) young child. It made a great prep for Singapore 1. Far better than EB.

Adding in place value ideas taken from RS, RS games, and ideas from MEP made for a very rich Pre-K and K math experience. EB in contrast was very workbooky, and not inspiring.

Bill

### #43

Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:01 PM

### #44

Posted 22 February 2011 - 03:44 PM

I personally am in love with Miquon, like Bill said it is brilliant. It really helps to explain visually those concepts of "decomposing" and composing #s. Just the other day DS asked me why numbers were written the way they were (e.g. why is 24 written that way?) He had the impression that "11" meant "1+1."

By working with the rods he was able to see with great clarity the concept of tens and ones, and even how you can substitute a set of ten ones for one ten, etc. With that kind of hands-on knowledge, he'll have no problem decomposing tens when he has to subtract 2-digit numbers.

### #45

Posted 22 February 2011 - 03:53 PM

Another vote against Earlybird. It was so lame I sent it straight back to Rainbow Resource ASAP. Would have been a complete waste of $$ IMO.

I personally am in love with Miquon, like Bill said it is brilliant. It really helps to explain visually those concepts of "decomposing" and composing #s. Just the other day DS asked me why numbers were written the way they were (e.g. why is 24 written that way?) He had the impression that "11" meant "1+1."

By working with the rods he was able to see with great clarity the concept of tens and ones, and even how you can substitute a set of ten ones for one ten, etc. With that kind of hands-on knowledge, he'll have no problem decomposing tens when he has to subtract 2-digit numbers.

I also advocate adding a set of (10) base-10 "flats" (to serve as 100 values) to a Cuisenaire Rod set so from the get-go a child can work with "concrete" 3 digit numbers in a fashion even a 4 year-old can understand easily.

It is a playful way to build a solid foundation.

Bill

### #46

Posted 22 February 2011 - 04:07 PM

### #47

Posted 22 February 2011 - 04:29 PM

I was SO excited about the Early Bird books, but I have to give those a thumbs down. I have heard better things about Singapore's Essentials books.

We really like Singapore Essential Math for K. We're working through book B since my son tested out of A. I only purchased the workbook (there is no text or HIG, but teaching notes at the foot of each page) and unix cubes so far. Each page gives extension activities. The unix cubes are used extensively, in a manner mentioned earlier, giving concrete methods to introduce and reinforce addition, subtraction, parts of a whole, etc. For about $20, we've had a great semester of math so far, and my 4 year old has really enjoyed it.