# Cuisenaire Rods + Education Unboxed + Singapore Math = ?

### #1

Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

We're nearing the end of SM 1A, but I want to go back and reteach DD number bonds, addition and subtraction. I didn't have Cuisenaire Rods when we started. I also didn't know about EducationUnboxed.com then. DD used to know her number bonds pretty well and did pretty well with her math facts, although I'm not sure she had all of them memorized. When we got to addition/subtraction to 20, things got a little jumbled.

Let's pretend DD knows nothing related to number bonds, addition and subtraction. How do I go about using Cuisenaire Rods and Education Unboxed's rod games alongside Singapore Math?

Do I present the SM lesson with Cuisenaire Rods, then play games with them until she's just about 100 percent accurate with the Cuisenaire Rods, even if that takes several days/weeks/months/years . Then, move onto the textbook and workbook pages in Singapore Math?

Or, do I present the lesson with Cuisenaire Rods, start out playing games with the rods each day and complete the Singapore Math text- and workbook pages a little each day as well?

Is she allowed to use the rods while completing the workbook/IP/CWP? I assume she should not with the Mental Math pages in the back of the HIG. Should I only proceed when she can complete the appropriate Mental Math page without using any rods?

Thoughts? I did not learn math the Singapore way, nor did I learn with any other manipulatives than my own fingers and maybe drawing dots on a piece of paper. It's important to me that I get this right. Thanks!!

### #2

Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

### #3

Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:03 PM

I have the bin o' rods next to us during our math lesson. If we need them, I pull them out and use them. If we don't, I leave them there. I do allow use of the rods during exercises. My son doesn't use them for every exercise (we did in the K book, but not in 1A). If he can't remember a fact, I say, "You can use your rods if you need to." Sometimes he'll immediately get them, and sometimes he'll remember it right after I say that.

I'm not really pushing the fact memorization yet because he's just 5. My experience with my older son was that the facts were memorized in time by just continuing working on problems that used the facts, and I remember him knowing the facts about as well as DS2 does now at this point of first grade math. If DS2 were needing the rods a lot, I might push the fact memorization a bit more, but for now, I'm letting him be 5. I do expect the addition/subtraction facts to be solid by the end of 2nd grade math. I don't think we'll have any problem with that. The C-rods have given my visual thinker a picture of the facts, so they're easier to remember (note that this doesn't work for all VSL kids - many have real trouble memorizing facts).

I haven't used the EducationUnboxed videos lined up with Singapore or anything like that. I've watched a few of them so that I know how something could be presented. Basically, I try to make sure I know how to use the C-rods, and then when the opportunity comes up that I see a good use for them, I can use them. Does that make sense?

I was just looking at the going over tens stuff in 1A today, as we'll be hitting that unit next (we're in the reviews right before that unit). It looks like they almost always have pictures available during those exercises. I don't think having to check a few facts with rods will be a huge deal. I'll also allow use of the rods during those exercises. This concept is retaught every single year in Singapore. I think it's ok if they need to use manipulatives while doing it in first grade level. It is a very difficult concept for first graders. My mathy older son (breezing through 5A right now as a young 8 year old) needed manipulatives for this concept in MM1A, and he NEVER needs manipulatives. I had to explain it and explain it and explain it. Finally, he got it, and he was fine. It's a very abstract concept if you're not using manipulatives, so keep the manipulatives for this one if they're needed. DS1 only needed them for a few problems, and then he had it down pat, but he's also a fairly abstract thinker AND he was 6.5 when I was teaching the concept. DS2 is 5.5, so I expect to possibly need to keep the manipulatives longer, and THAT'S OK.

I think the problem for you is that you're in this limbo where your DD is ready for some higher concepts, but at the same time may still need to develop a bit before hitting the VERY abstract concepts. Just keep moving, and come back to the concept now and then to see if it has clicked yet. She'll get it soon enough. There are a lot of units there that can be taught without being able to add/subtract across tens in your head.

### #4

Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:23 PM

### #5

Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:40 PM

### #6

Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:49 PM

I just keep on moving forward in Singapore, if I feel they aren't getting something then I get the Miquon out for sure.

I can see that just after about a month my children are understanding math better. And I sure understand how their minds work better. They both had me so confused, as they each see math differenty than I do.

### #7

Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:04 PM

I had no idea that this concept is retaught every year. I thought with Singapore being a mastery program that this is it. I thought she HAD to know how to do this with ease or she would fall behind when we moved on.

This concept is retaught every single year in Singapore. I think it's ok if they need to use manipulatives while doing it in first grade level. It is a very difficult concept for first graders.

DD can complete the problems when I walk her through them. She even gets going pretty well after a few, but I can't yet give her multiple problems and say go. I thought she needed to be able to do it all on her own mentally before moving on. Maybe this isn't the case after all.

Abby needed the rods for crossing tens for a fair while. At the time, she had her bonds to ten down pat. So if we had the problem 8+7=? we'd walk through like so: "Which number are we going to make a ten?" she'd pick. Then I'd say, "What does 8 need to be 10?" She'd have the 8 and 7 out, and she'd say a 2...so we'd pretend the 7 shared 2, which left 8 as a 10 and 7 down to five. Visually, when a brown and black are placed together, and then an orange above, it is very easy to see the brown needs 2 more and therefore the 7 must be 2 smaller.

Thanks for the replies! DD is my one and only. I have no idea how Singapore is supposed to work yet.