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How do you know if a student would do well with AoPS?


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#1 MamaSprout

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:09 AM

I guess that's all I really want to know. :o)



#2 regentrude

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:25 AM

You give it a try :)

 

The student should enjoy math and be willing to work through harder problems and go broader and deeper.

A student who is struggling, or is math phobic, or dislikes math and prefers to do the bare minimum should stay far away from AoPS.


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#3 Julie of KY

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:31 AM

I don't know that you can always tell. Try it out and see.

 

Just because a student is struggling with math doesn't mean it won't be a good fit - I've used it in students I tutor. Students do need to have a decent amount of math logic before doing AoPS. They also have to have the tolerance to struggle with problems. 

 

I have four kids:

math geek - AoPS is perfect for him

perfect math ACT score boy - AoPS is too frustrating 

dyslexic, hard to teach math computations, but great math logic girl - AoPS gives her the challenge she needs for her logical mind though she moves through it very slowly

dyslexic, non-reader, loves math and logic boy finishing Beast and about to start AoPS at a young age


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#4 regentrude

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:34 AM


dyslexic, hard to teach math computations, but great math logic girl - AoPS gives her the challenge she needs for her logical mind though she moves through it very slowly

dyslexic, non-reader, loves math and logic boy finishing Beast and about to start AoPS at a young age

 

Slightly OT question for you: how do you use AoPS with a dyslexic student?

Since the program is designed to be used without a teacher, the books contain every word a good teacher would say, so there is a lot of reading. I have often seen people complain about the "wordiness" of AoPS and would imagine this to be an obstacle for dyslexic students. Do you adapt the program and read to the student or do direct teaching?



#5 Julie of KY

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:56 AM

Slightly OT question for you: how do you use AoPS with a dyslexic student?

 

 

Well  3 of my 4 kids are dyslexic and I am certainly an AoPS lover. My dyslexics have a high IQ so they might not be typical of any dyslexic student.

My child that doesn't fit AoPS will probably graduate with 10 AP classes and is the only one without dyslexia.

 

oldest - dyslexic and severely dysgraphic - I got into the habit of reading all the math to him because he couldn't write the answers. He did everything orally. He did AP calculus in his head. The huge difficulty was teaching him to write out a problem. We did it completely backwards - he first learned proof writing in some of the online AoPS classes (he did Int. NT and Int. C&P online) and then we worked back toward a show your work style problem. He did all the AoPS books and is now studying math and CS in college

 

daughter - dyslexic - she started the AoPS books before she was an independent reader; I read everything. She's my kid that if you give her story problems, she can do it all in her head, but she has trouble with "easier" problems that are written on paper. We just take it one step at a time. I read through the practice exercises with her and work with her as she works our the problems. She does the end of chapter problems on her own. Before this year, she'd want someone to read her the wordier problems. Often we are also pulling extra problems to drill concepts like exponents and fractions. 

 

non-reader dyslexic kiddo - finishing Beast and I predict he will eat up AoPS books. He "sees" math like my oldest. Obviously he needs the books read as he cannot read them himself. If I can't get him reading at the level to do a Mathcounts test in the next year or two, then I'll call national and ask if he can have a reader for the test if he has documentation saying he needs it. He might be at the level that he can be top in the state at math but unable to read the word problems himself. Since 4 year full tuition scholarships are at stake in our state through the middle school Mathcounts competitions, I may have to look into accommodations. If he's not at the level to compete at the very top, then I won't bother.

 

... the brain is wired in weird ways and I have some smart kids with very specific learning disabilities.


Edited by Julie of KY, 16 October 2017 - 10:05 AM.


#6 Julie of KY

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:58 AM

Do you adapt the program and read to the student or do direct teaching?

 

I mostly simply read the books to my kids without me doing the teaching. 

With my daughter it is more of a mix of me doing some of the teaching.



#7 Roadrunner

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:59 AM

In my house the kid who was finished with all of SM by the end of the 3rd grade thrives with aops, but my "normal" kid doesn't.

Edited by Roadrunner, 16 October 2017 - 09:59 AM.


#8 loesje22000

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:06 AM

We did AoPS pre A and first half of Intro to Algebra.
Dd started to like math.

But there weren't any video's further on, and it became too time consuming to fit in our program.
So we are back to a Flemish math text and dd disliking math :(
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#9 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:30 AM

My mathy kid loves AoPS. He is someone who comprehends math concepts quickly, and really enjoys that AoPS challenges him through problem solving. 

 

My less mathy kid also enjoys AoPS (much to my surprise!) because it isn't page after page of endless problems to work. It actually takes the concepts and applies them.  He is slower working through the exercises, but prefers the style of learning AoPS uses. 



#10 JanetC

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:36 AM

Make an alcumus account and try it.
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#11 deerforest

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:09 AM

My DD loved BA, didn't like pre-algebra (so we didn't use it), and absolutely loves Intro to Algebra. So, not sure how to tell!



#12 JoJosMom

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:22 AM

I agree with (what appears to be) the consensus:  You have to give it a try.  I also like the suggestion to have your student work with Alcumus a bit. 

 

As for which students like AoPS, I really think it depends.  My personal opinion is that it is more of a "learning style thing" than it is a "math" thing.  AoPS seems to appeal to more conceptual thinkers, in general, and not just to "mathy' types.  For example, I think that a math-loving-but-very-linear-thinking student could find AoPS to be an absolute misery. I also could see a more humanities-focused student who thinks in big pictures being drawn to AoPS.


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#13 skimomma

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:03 PM

 

 

My less mathy kid also enjoys AoPS (much to my surprise!) because it isn't page after page of endless problems to work. It actually takes the concepts and applies them.  He is slower working through the exercises, but prefers the style of learning AoPS uses. 

 

This is my dd too.  She did SM 1-6 and while generally pretty good at math, was not very excited about it.  I had her check out a few different Pre-A books that I got through our library.  She was immediately drawn to AoPS.  I had my reservations but we gave it a try and it seems to be a good fit.  I am very mathy so I really like it.  We do not find it completely self-learning yet.  I often have to help break down explanations, show them in a different way, or help elaborate on the solutions.  Dd found the online videos and Alcumus tedious so she ultimately did not use them.  However, they would have been more useful if I was no able to help on the level that I do.  



#14 Chanley

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:08 PM

Slightly OT question for you: how do you use AoPS with a dyslexic student?

 

My dyslexic kid LOVES AOPS, he takes it with WTMA and he will be quick to tell you that it is his favorite subject. He is a great reader after Barton. However,  he still struggles with writing, so you really see the dyslexia with the proof problems but his teacher is a patient saint who understands him well.  I think being willing to struggle with a problem is one of his gifts from dyslexia, so when he struggles to understand something with AOPS, he is at home. 


Edited by Chanley, 18 October 2017 - 09:56 PM.

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#15 MamaSprout

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:18 PM

Do most students retain the concepts?

 

 

ETA- she's done Alcumus, but is happier on the floor with a whiteboard.


Edited by MamaSprout, 16 October 2017 - 12:31 PM.


#16 regentrude

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:43 PM

Do most students retain the concepts?

 

That is a strange question. What does "most" refer to?

"Most" of all students? Nope. AoPS is not a program that works for "most" students.

"Most" of the students who are using AoPS consistently? Yes. Parents of students for whom AoPS does NOT work will switch to something else. Students for whom the program works will retain the concepts.


Edited by regentrude, 16 October 2017 - 12:44 PM.

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#17 MamaSprout

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 01:09 PM

That is a strange question. What does "most" refer to?

"Most" of all students? Nope. AoPS is not a program that works for "most" students.

"Most" of the students who are using AoPS consistently? Yes. Parents of students for whom AoPS does NOT work will switch to something else. Students for whom the program works will retain the concepts.

 

Ha! I guess I worded that oddly.

 

When she was working through the samples, she could answer some problems by looking at them because she had seen ones like them before. I guess for that kind of learner, AoPS gives them "hooks to hang" concepts on.

 

So maybe it might be worth giving it a try for this kiddo. I looked over the PreA and didn't care for it, but the Intro sample went over pretty well.



#18 MamaSprout

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 01:47 PM

Oh hey... I can now get the AoPS books through our library's new inter-library loan service. So I don't have to shell out money to give it a try. It sounds like it will be worth trying it out. Thanks all.


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#19 skimomma

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 01:56 PM

Oh hey... I can now get the AoPS books through our library's new inter-library loan service. So I don't have to shell out money to give it a try. It sounds like it will be worth trying it out. Thanks all.

 

 

I do this for any text I am considering.  Our actual library never has anything I am looking for but I can get almost anything ILL as long as I am patient.



#20 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 02:07 PM

Slightly OT question for you: how do you use AoPS with a dyslexic student?

Since the program is designed to be used without a teacher, the books contain every word a good teacher would say, so there is a lot of reading. I have often seen people complain about the "wordiness" of AoPS and would imagine this to be an obstacle for dyslexic students. Do you adapt the program and read to the student or do direct teaching?

My dyslexic loved AoPS.  By the time he was using AoPS, he didn't have difficulty reading.  He just read very slowly.  (He still does.)  He also has never had comprehension  issues.  None of my 3 dyslexics have.  (Spelling, otoh, yikes!)


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#21 MamaSprout

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 02:28 PM

I do this for any text I am considering.  Our actual library never has anything I am looking for but I can get almost anything ILL as long as I am patient.

 

I do too, but our ILL never had any textbooks up until very recently. They added a new system that has university libraries, too. I'm still surprised when I find something. Of course it's the only set circulating in the state, so something could still go wrong. Fingers crossed!

 

Openlibrary.org is also good for looking at books.



#22 daijobu

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 09:40 PM

If you have a student who is average in ability but willing to give it a try, it really helps to have a teacher/parent who is strong in math, or willing to study ahead and get to where they are solid.  

 

This depends on whether you are starting in Beast Academy, the Introduction series or the Intermediate series.  BA is pretty easy to take the plunge into as the concepts are relatively elementary.  There's a lot of overlap between BA and PreAlgebra, so you should have a smooth transition to the Introduction level books.  If an Intermediate level text is your first exposure, you'll be jumping in the deep end.  



#23 Roadrunner

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 10:53 PM

If you have a student who is average in ability but willing to give it a try, it really helps to have a teacher/parent who is strong in math, or willing to study ahead and get to where they are solid.

This depends on whether you are starting in Beast Academy, the Introduction series or the Intermediate series. BA is pretty easy to take the plunge into as the concepts are relatively elementary. There's a lot of overlap between BA and PreAlgebra, so you should have a smooth transition to the Introduction level books. If an Intermediate level text is your first exposure, you'll be jumping in the deep end.


I think this is very true, but we are stil finding the jump still pretty significant from Intro to Algebra to Intermediate Algebra. Let's just say the Intro text was not difficult for him at all. This one is a different level of challenge altogether.
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#24 daijobu

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 12:14 PM

:iagree:  with Road Runner.  


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