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


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#1 Nart

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:19 PM

I just read "Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics" by Liping Ma. I used to teach second grade and I have to admit I could have been an example of the poor American teacher without a deep understanding of math. I taught math how I was taught using phrases like "borrow from your neighbor".

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 plain jane

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:28 PM

We use Singapore and really like it. I also use RightStart with another child but will use some of the Singapore workbooks as they get older.

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. :o

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


#3 angela in ohio

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:29 PM

I have read it twice. I didn't find it as earth-shattering as many, because I had leaned many of the "Asian" ways in my little old public school in the eighties.

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 Satori

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:34 PM

I read it. We settled into RightStart Math and will use RS A & B. After we're done with B this year, I'm still deciding what to use next. Right now my inclination is to use Singapore.

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 Crazyderiver

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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 abbeyej

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 02:38 PM

I think RightStart might be your best bet for teaching you *how* to teach.

#7 Spy Car

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

We did a combination of Miquon, Singqpore, MEP, and elements borrowed from Right Start.

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 Crimson Wife

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

I have used Right Start, Singapore, Math Mammoth, and MEP. My oldest did RS B & C, then Singapore 3A-4A supplemented with some of the MM single-topic "blue" worktexts. She also loves 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 siloam

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 04:13 PM

Right Start and Singapore math here. Love them both as well as Liping Ma's book.

Heather


#10 JennyD

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:23 PM

Singapore, with some supplementation from Miquon and from Marilyn Burns's Math and Literature series.

#11 Alice

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:28 PM

Singapore

#12 texasmama

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

I read the book. I use Singapore as a spine and Life of Fred as a supplement with my kids.

#13 tracymirko

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

Loved the book. We are using CSMP.

#14 MeganW

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:44 PM

I naturally think the Asian math way, but because I figured it out myself instead of being taught it, I do so in a clumsy inefficient way. Still faster (for me) than the American way though - I never could get those stupid multiplication facts memorized! :) So the Asian way really appeals to me.

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

We sporatically use Miquon and MEP as supplements.

#15 Karen in CO

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:45 PM

Oh I get to be different. :) I use Saxon for the older and BJU for the younger and will move into Saxon at 5/4. I also keep my Kitchen Table Math close by to give more or deeper explanations when needed.

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 sleepymommy

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:07 PM

Loved the book, we are using Math Mammoth. We tried RS, it didn't work for my ds.

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 Farrar

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:15 PM

We tried MEP - I loved it, the kids didn't. Now we're using Math Mammoth and we all like it fine.

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 ladydusk

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:30 PM

We're using MEP and MM and I'm considering how I use my words. I try and explain how to solve the word problems in MEP in multiple ways.

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

#19 kalanamak

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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 poetic license

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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 :D 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 Jlynn

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:26 PM

Read it...Loved it. Tried Singapore for about 3 years first as the only math curr. then I had to face the fact that my son just didn't do "see" math that way. So I used it as a supplement to Rod & Staff. Stuck with Rod & Staff from Grade 1 through 6th grd book (we were a year ahead) and switched over to Saxon so that we could get into saxon in their 7/6 book. My son did test into the 8/7 book, but since we were trying out a new cur. I went with one below his level and its worked fine. Rod and Staff gave clear instructions and led to his having a wonderful understanding of math, especially decimals and fractions. We plan on sticking with Saxon till the end. Never thought I would say that, but there it is.

#22 EKS

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:29 PM

I've used several math programs over the years (and I have read Liping Ma's book). For young children I really like RightStart B (or A and B) followed by Singapore 2-6.

#23 Spy Car

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:48 PM

Could you elaborate on that, Bill? Sounds neat and mysterious :D 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 Dinsfamily

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:54 PM

Singapore as our main teaching math. We also use Horizons, Miquon, and CWP as supplements. My ds is very mathy so we've also added Zaccaro's PCM and some other math books (like Penrose the Cat) for fun. Those are completely optional for him.

#25 Melanie

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:10 PM

We used Saxon (5/4 and up) before and after I read Liping Ma's book. :001_smile:

#26 blessedmom3

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:17 PM

We used CLE before and after :) I do throw some Singapore workbooks and CWP but stay with CLE as our main program. We also love beestar.com 1/week.

#27 Tress

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 04:01 AM

Singapore Math.

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! :lol:)

#28 Crimson Wife

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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 LizzyBee

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:30 AM

Singapore

#30 ScoutTN

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

Right Start so far (this year and next). After that either Singapore or Math Mammoth.

#31 robsiew

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 04:32 PM

We used MUS before I read and now Math Mammoth after reading. Reading the book didn't instigate my change though, however I feel better about MM for many reasons, some of which were confirmed by reading the book. MUS is a conceptual curriculum though and got us part way there.... there were just some additional things I started looking for in MUS that I didn't find... thus the switch. MM has been excellent for all my kids!

#32 poetic license

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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 Veritaserum

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:30 PM

Math Mammoth

#34 Guest_Cheryl in SoCal_*

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

MUS and LoF.

#35 Nart

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:53 AM

Thanks everyone for all the information. I read all the posts and then reviewed a whole bunch of past threads this weekend (my husband finally asked me to turn off the computer and go to sleep at 2 in the morning last night). I have decided on Right Start Math Level A and will supplement with Early Bird. So adding up the costs it looks like Right Start A Starter Kit is 100 dollars, and Singapore Early Bird A and B textbooks (to supplement) is 44 dollars for both. So 144 dollars (plus shipping) for kindergarten math.

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 Crimson Wife

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:08 AM

If you want to keep the costs down, I would do RS A & B plus Math Mammoth. MM is going on sale through HSBC in March, see here for details. If the discount reaches 40%, you'll get the entire MM "light blue" grades 1-6 package for $71 or you can get the grades 1-6 package of single-topic "blue" worktexts for $54.

#37 tristangrace

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 11:15 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).

#38 Spy Car

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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 tristangrace

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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 MeganW

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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 Satori

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:17 PM

I also didn't like the Singapore Earlybird books. I second the suggestion of doing RightStart A/B with Math Mammoth instead of Earlybird for the early years.

#42 Spy Car

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:29 PM

I'm also not a fan of EB. The only advantage it had was it got a child used to doing "workbooks."But they have a lifetime to do workbooks and the Pre-K and K years can be better spent.

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 Amy Jo

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:01 PM

I have the Liping Ma book coming, but I'm planning to continue with MEP. I'm under the impression that Ma's book is to teach the teacher how to present the information. So is there anything detrimental about MEP? It's much cheaper :lol:

#44 poetic license

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 03:44 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.

#45 Spy Car

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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 JennyD

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 04:07 PM

Agreeing with those who didn't like Earlybird. I won't be getting those again for my youngers.

#47 Classical Book Worm

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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.


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