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basic subtraction facts: Ronit Bird or MUS Alpha?

subtraction mus ronit bird

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#1 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 02:05 PM

I am thinking of getting something else to help with math.  My foster son is in grade 6 but is currently homeschooled. We are using Horizons 3 for the spiral nature.  ( When we try to do mastery type math he forgets whatever we have learned when we go back to it.  I have taught and retaught how to tell time.)    We have supplemented with Math Mammoth Level 2 and level 3 where appropriate. He is all over the place with math.  He can add 4 digit numbers together with multiple addenends, and we have been working on multiplication facts.  We completed the section in MM Level 2 on subtraction.  He did okay but needed a lot of handholding. But attempts to try MM Level 3  is just bringing frustration.  He has build up some sort of block about subtraction and is currently just dissolving into tears whenever we tackle it.  He has 2 problems with subtraction.   He does not seem to have the facts memorized ( although he can figure them out). ( I don't know why that part is so hard when he can do addition okay?)  If it regroups more than once, he forgets and just subtracts UP instead.  If I correct him, he just dissolves into tears a lot of the time.  

 

I feel like he HAS to get his subtraction facts down for his own peace of mind. He knows he doesn't know them and it stresses him out considerably.  I was debating between Ronit Bird stuff or MUS Alpha.   I feel like a lot of Alpha he might just breeze through but maybe not.  I wondered if MUS Beta did much reviewing of Alpha and if that would be enough.  The Ronit Bird site is down everytime I try to access it right now, so I am not sure what their work is like. 

 

Note:  I am currently waiting on the result of IQ testing with the Woodcock Johnson.  I have no idea how helpful the report might be and if I need to wait on that to get a better sense of what to order? 



#2 Heathermomster

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 02:40 PM

RB materials are not a curriculum. RB methods teach the 4 basic functions and support whatever curriculum you happen to be using. MUS and CLE Math are commonly recommended.

#3 HomeAgain

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:11 PM

I would do MUS, or running through Gattegno book 1 with c-rods.  That might be your cheaper option, and let him progress at his own rate.


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#4 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:27 PM

That's weird, you're right, RB's site is down. Dunno. Her FB page is good and maybe amazon has samples. 

 

Have you looked at RB's ebooks and things on iTunes? She has a free Games book that has a game Positive/Negative Turnovers. That's what I used to teach ds subtraction after we finished her Dots ebook. Your ds could probably do it easily. We played the game for a while (several days, weeks, I forget) till he got comfortable, then I started saying hey, what would that look like if we wrote an equation for those cards? If we rearranged the cards, what would the equation look like? If we made a box here to show what we were looking for, what would the equation look like?  That's how I taught ds subtraction.



#5 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:28 PM

If you want multi-digit subtraction, RightStart has a really good method. If you google it, you might find the instructions online. They start from the right, do all the trades, then subtract. They also use a "station" approach where they set up the same equation on multiple different manipulatives and have you form the quantities and do the subtraction with one, then the next, then the next, till you finally figure out the algorthm.



#6 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:31 PM

I really like ebooks from Carson-Dellosa, Evan Moor, Teacher Created, etc. for that gentle spiral. I particularly like the series Search Our Catalog | Carson-Dellosa Publishing  Using the Standards is the series and they have lots of grade levels, major topics. So they have books on measurement for each grade, geometry for each grade, numbers/operations for each grade, etc. Lets you target what you need to work on. For us, it's been really good about bringing in some fresh ways to approach it, hands-on exploration (with the measurement especially), etc. I haven't seen it stated explicitly, but I think they'd be considered intervention materials. They catch a lot of holes for us.


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#7 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:33 PM

So, for instance, we had in another thread someone mentioning issues with measuring and fractions. These Using the Standards books hit stuff like that for us. A lot of the math overlaps, so you introduce fractions in one place, apply them in measuring, etc. So then it can work in reverse, that working on say measuring can allow you to solidify weak skills in fractions or addition or subtraction...



#8 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:34 PM

RB materials are not a curriculum. 

 

Bingo. RB is tutoring. She assumes you're in a progressive curriculum. I'm piecing together lots of things with ds, but I try to make sure those things have a progressive element. 

 

With ds, it's not just spiraling, but it needs to be such a gentle progression that he doesn't notice it happening. Makes it more predictable and keeps the anxiety down.



#9 Lecka

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 03:51 PM

I like Reflex Math for math facts. It has a free trial period so if he doesn't like it you can see he doesn't like it.
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#10 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:02 PM

If you want multi-digit subtraction, RightStart has a really good method. If you google it, you might find the instructions online. They start from the right, do all the trades, then subtract. They also use a "station" approach where they set up the same equation on multiple different manipulatives and have you form the quantities and do the subtraction with one, then the next, then the next, till you finally figure out the algorthm.

Hmm-- we used RightStart Level B last year.  He was not crazy about it and my impression was he found the abacus a little abstract.  But at that time, Dad was teaching and not me, so I may need to dig it up and try again.  I think it just seemed like a bunch of meaningless steps and he didn't really get what he was doing.  We were trying with base 10 blocks, which he sort of gets but sort of finds super frustrating.  He hates using his fingers, but essentially really needs to for his basic facts, which kind of bugs him.  I think also that adding goes so quick for him, that he just hates how slow it is.   

 

I don't remember the station thing in RS but maybe we didn't get to that part? 



#11 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:05 PM

Bingo. RB is tutoring. She assumes you're in a progressive curriculum. I'm piecing together lots of things with ds, but I try to make sure those things have a progressive element. 

 

With ds, it's not just spiraling, but it needs to be such a gentle progression that he doesn't notice it happening. Makes it more predictable and keeps the anxiety down.

Yes, the anxiety part is HUGE!!  He was doing fine with Horizons, but then there was a point where they took a big leap forward and he just shut down completely and doesn't want to even look at subtraction.   But weirdly, breezed through multiplying 2 digit by 1 digit when they introduced it a few days ago.  I was thinking that either MUS or Ronit Bird might seem more "fun" and therefore less anxious? I wasn't sure if MUS might give him a better visual and maybe help with subtizing.



#12 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:09 PM

I would do MUS, or running through Gattegno book 1 with c-rods.  That might be your cheaper option, and let him progress at his own rate.

I will have to check out the Gattegno book.   Thanks for the idea.  That is where I am worrying -- we are a little tight for money right now, having just moved, and hate to spend the money on MUS Alpha if we don't have to.  But I am wondering if that is what we need to get those facts down cold.  Then we can tackle the regrouping problem.  It is just so weird-- he can regroup fine with addition.  



#13 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:11 PM

That's weird, you're right, RB's site is down. Dunno. Her FB page is good and maybe amazon has samples. 

 

Have you looked at RB's ebooks and things on iTunes? She has a free Games book that has a game Positive/Negative Turnovers. That's what I used to teach ds subtraction after we finished her Dots ebook. Your ds could probably do it easily. We played the game for a while (several days, weeks, I forget) till he got comfortable, then I started saying hey, what would that look like if we wrote an equation for those cards? If we rearranged the cards, what would the equation look like? If we made a box here to show what we were looking for, what would the equation look like?  That's how I taught ds subtraction.

No , we dont' have an iphone or a mac so I never thought of it. Can you download the e-book onto a PC?



#14 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:39 PM

Ok, here's the thing. You're listing 20 curricula that are meant for kids who struggle with math or are normal at math. He has math SLD. I couldn't get ANY of those things to work for my ds. So save your money and look at things that are meant for SLD math and meant for intervention. That would be my advice. Everything else has too big of leaps. RightStart makes HUGE leaps. It's rocket science compared to what my ds could do. I used it with my dd, repped for them, like it. I'm just saying it was like GREEK to my ds.

 

It's hard because there isn't a pat progression or set of materials or certification or something for SLD math the way there is for dyslexia. If you said dyslexia, we'd say OG and you'd have your choice of things, all in that vein, that you knew would work. But when you say RightStart or MUS, that's like saying AAS works for dyslexics. Might for the occasional one, but it's really not the most in-depth tool.

 

Ronit Bird would be gold to you right now. You want her Overcoming book. It's targeted to remediating older kids. If you're going to buy a print book, buy Overcoming. Overcoming Difficulties with Number: Supporting Dyscalculia and Students who Struggle with Maths  Sometimes amazon does a day of Thanksgiving or Black Friday coupon code for like 25 or 40% off. That would be your best best deal. You want the newest edition unless the older edition is super cheap. If they're about the same price, go new edition. It says there's a kindle version for $31. Really though, you'll get the print for that with the coupon. Hopefully they'll do the coupon next week.

 

 


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#15 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:43 PM

1.  MUS alpha is addition.  MUS beta is subtraction.  I realize that addition and subtraction are related to each other, but I can't imagine a 6th grader who can add being happy with starting with alpha.

 

2. I imagine he is already pretty down on himself because he struggles with math. I know my 6th grader is.  Why don't you do something game or activity based rather than workbook based.  Playing games tends to put any other difficulties he's having (like handwriting) aside and can focus on the specific target skill that you need to develop.

 

3. I'd choose CLE if I had to choose a remediation text.  Do the placement test, which is available online for free.  You'll likely discover more gaps in the process.  We were able to move through two grade levels a year.  We started with CLE1 last year (2016) and are midway through CLE4 with my 11 yo who has significant LDs going on.  

 

4. If you were to ask me what I'd do, I think I'd do the CLE placement test, then do Ronit Bird....especially the card games. If you must demonstrate a traditional work text because of foster care, I'd use CLE....but it'd be a ratio of 50% fun card games and 50% work text.


Edited by prairiewindmomma, 17 November 2017 - 04:45 PM.

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#16 Stibalfamily

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:01 PM

Or this? https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/1933339934

We are working through the Addition Facts that Stick right now and I like it.



#17 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:19 PM

1.  MUS alpha is addition.  MUS beta is subtraction.  I realize that addition and subtraction are related to each other, but I can't imagine a 6th grader who can add being happy with starting with alpha.

 

2. I imagine he is already pretty down on himself because he struggles with math. I know my 6th grader is.  Why don't you do something game or activity based rather than workbook based.  Playing games tends to put any other difficulties he's having (like handwriting) aside and can focus on the specific target skill that you need to develop.

 

3. I'd choose CLE if I had to choose a remediation text.  Do the placement test, which is available online for free.  You'll likely discover more gaps in the process.  We were able to move through two grade levels a year.  We started with CLE1 last year (2016) and are midway through CLE4 with my 11 yo who has significant LDs going on.  

 

4. If you were to ask me what I'd do, I think I'd do the CLE placement test, then do Ronit Bird....especially the card games. If you must demonstrate a traditional work text because of foster care, I'd use CLE....but it'd be a ratio of 50% fun card games and 50% work text.

Thank- you - this was really helpful.  I somehow thought Alpha was adding and subtracting to 20 and Beta was adding and subtracting with regrouping.  

 

I will have to look up CLE.   

 

We have been doing a morning basket time with our different read alouds ( Bible, History Spine, some social skills stuff, Literature) It has been going awesome and is probably the best part of the day right now.  I was thinking of adding some math games in there as it is such a nice mellow time for us.   



#18 NorthernBeth

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:31 PM

Ok, here's the thing. You're listing 20 curricula that are meant for kids who struggle with math or are normal at math. He has math SLD. I couldn't get ANY of those things to work for my ds. So save your money and look at things that are meant for SLD math and meant for intervention. That would be my advice. Everything else has too big of leaps. RightStart makes HUGE leaps. It's rocket science compared to what my ds could do. I used it with my dd, repped for them, like it. I'm just saying it was like GREEK to my ds.

 

It's hard because there isn't a pat progression or set of materials or certification or something for SLD math the way there is for dyslexia. If you said dyslexia, we'd say OG and you'd have your choice of things, all in that vein, that you knew would work. But when you say RightStart or MUS, that's like saying AAS works for dyslexics. Might for the occasional one, but it's really not the most in-depth tool.

 

Ronit Bird would be gold to you right now. You want her Overcoming book. It's targeted to remediating older kids. If you're going to buy a print book, buy Overcoming. Overcoming Difficulties with Number: Supporting Dyscalculia and Students who Struggle with Maths  Sometimes amazon does a day of Thanksgiving or Black Friday coupon code for like 25 or 40% off. That would be your best best deal. You want the newest edition unless the older edition is super cheap. If they're about the same price, go new edition. It says there's a kindle version for $31. Really though, you'll get the print for that with the coupon. Hopefully they'll do the coupon next week.

I just ordered it. Only about 34 bucks canadian.  Thanks for the advice.  

 

I loved the idea of Right Start-- but when they do the regrouping on the abacus-- he just didn't really get that-- you mean the same bead that used to count as 1 now suddenly means 10--- and one bar over means 100-- okay mom-- if you say so.  

 

I'm looking forward to seeing the Ronit Bird stuff.  My concern was it would seem too babyish.  But if it is targetted to older students we should be fine.  

 

I really appreciate everyone's advice.  We are in such a small place and I have not had a chance to see any of this curriculum myself so it makes it so much harder to figure out what will really work.  It's nice to hear what other people are using that will actually work!


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#19 stephensgirls

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:58 PM

I'm starting all over with my 6th grade dd using Ronit Bird materials (ebooks for now) and Math on the Level. MOTL is an investment and a major commitment, so may not be appropriate for your situation. 

 

Ronit Bird will not be too babyish at all. 

 

Also, one of the main draws for me to MOTL was that there are no grade levels. There are checklists of concepts and a suggested sequence, but no grade levels--therefore no stigma for my dd that we had to go back to 2nd or 3rd grade math. I had to give up on the dream of an open and go curriculum that would work for dd's math disability. 

 

ETA: I sorta got off the original topic. Your were asking about subtraction, and I got distracted reading all the comments. Ronit Bird would be more efficient ultimately than doing, say, MUS. Better for remediating.


Edited by stephensgirls, 17 November 2017 - 08:58 PM.


#20 stephensgirls

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:12 PM

FWIW, Math Mammoth was not efficient for remediation either. That's what I was using last year. I was trying to work through MM 4 when we got the dyscalculia diagnosis. I dropped it at that point because after having her tested I realized she wasn't retaining much of anything. My beef with MM is that there is WAY to much time spent on complicated mental math. I don't care if my daughter can use 3 different strategies to add multiple 2 digit numbers in her head, kwim?  It was taking too much effort and too much time to get through the lessons.  MM is an excellent, thorough, rigorous curriculum, but it just wasn't a good fit for us.


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#21 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:04 PM

I loved the idea of Right Start-- but when they do the regrouping on the abacus-- he just didn't really get that-- you mean the same bead that used to count as 1 now suddenly means 10--- and one bar over means 100-- okay mom-- if you say so.  

 

Yes, RS was overwhelmingly hard for my ds, with huge steps and assumptions. Ronit Bird's materials will have a similar conceptual approach, but she'll break everything into teeny tiny steps, so he can succeed. Not the algorithm steps, like first this, then this, but the actually little bits of how you UNDERSTAND the math. 

 

Peggy Kaye has a really terrific game for regrouping. I know he's on the old side, but if you can get some of her books you might still glean some good. The one we've been playing recently you make a grid with squares and write numbers in them. Then you write onto cards the numbers only as they would read with the trades. So like it's 93 on the board but the card says 8 tens and 13 ones. You draw cards and place buttons, candies, whatever, trying to get 4 in a row. There's nothing hard about it except getting comfortable with the idea of moving ten over to the ones column. It was just hard enough for my ds to be fun and we've played it several times now. If I get around to it, I'd like to make a version where the hundreds or thousands do trades. So the board might say 3,241 and the card might say 3 thousand 1 hundred 14 tens 1. And so on. My ds doesn't generalize well, so we'll probably need to do that step. If a dc can infer and see the pattern, they might just go oh and have it click.

 

Games for Learning: Ten Minutes a Day to Help Your Child Do Well in School―From Kindergarten to Third Grade  This is the book I'm using. She also has Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math, From Kindergarten to Third Grade  



#22 PeterPan

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:08 PM

The RB stuff won't be babyish. If you could get ebooks through iTunes, you could even go ahead and get Dots. Do you know ANYBODY with an apple product of any kind who would let you borrow it for an hour or two? Like seriously, just to go to their house, read a chapter of the ebook, go home and teach that chapter, then go back and read the next chapter... He would FLY through Dots, but it might fix some little gaps you don't even realize he has. Overcoming will get him there. I'm just thinking it's something you could do for the week while you wait for the book to ship. 

 

Is Positive/Negative Turnovers in one of the print books? Seriously, you really want to get a hold of an apple product. Borrow, beg, ask somebody just to go to their house for an hour. Seriously, you'll be glad you went to the effort. She embeds videos and it will just make SO much more sense.


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#23 TracyP

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 06:41 AM

Thank- you - this was really helpful.  I somehow thought Alpha was adding and subtracting to 20 and Beta was adding and subtracting with regrouping.  
 


You are correct.



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