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Spy Car- (or anyone who knows) can you plz compare MEP and Singapore math for me?


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#1 HappyGrace

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

Bill-I see that you use both. I have been on the MEP site quite a bit, and printed out the first part of yr 1 for ds about to turn 6 and first part of yr 2 for dd9. (She doesn't like it much-she says it's too "talky" and she just wants to do her CLE math and be done with it!)

I will be using CLE for ds as his "main" math program (makes me feel better that there's no gaps-not that either Sing or MEP would leave gaps but it's just my own quirky thing.) I want to add in either Singapore (Std. edition) or MEP, or even a little of both, for him because he loves that type of thing. He loves math and that conceptual "fun" stuff is perfect for him. I also have other fun supplements like Noble Knights of Knowledge, Living Math, etc., to pull in as desired. I previously did three levels of RightStart with dd, so I pull concepts from that too. But I really want something that we can use straight through alongside CLE, and RS is too involved to use as is in that way.

So all that to ask this: what do you think are the strengths, weaknesses, and especially differences of MEP and Singapore? What levels have you done in them (your dc is young, I think, right?) Do you use both for a reason-are there some things missing in one that the other complements, for example? Will you continue using both for the long haul? What would I be missing if I chose one over the other? The money isn't really an issue, so I don't mind cherry picking from both, if need be. They are both pretty short and sweet. And like I said, it's "fun" for him! Thanks so much for any insight.

#2 oliveview

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:29 PM

:lurk5:

#3 Spy Car

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:38 PM

Bill-I see that you use both. I have been on the MEP site quite a bit, and printed out the first part of yr 1 for ds about to turn 6 and first part of yr 2 for dd9. (She doesn't like it much-she says it's too "talky" and she just wants to do her CLE math and be done with it!)

I will be using CLE for ds as his "main" math program (makes me feel better that there's no gaps-not that either Sing or MEP would leave gaps but it's just my own quirky thing.) I want to add in either Singapore (Std. edition) or MEP, or even a little of both, for him because he loves that type of thing. He loves math and that conceptual "fun" stuff is perfect for him. I also have other fun supplements like Noble Knights of Knowledge, Living Math, etc., to pull in as desired. I previously did three levels of RightStart with dd, so I pull concepts from that too. But I really want something that we can use straight through alongside CLE, and RS is too involved to use as is in that way.

So all that to ask this: what do you think are the strengths, weaknesses, and especially differences of MEP and Singapore? What levels have you done in them (your dc is young, I think, right?) Do you use both for a reason-are there some things missing in one that the other complements, for example? Will you continue using both for the long haul? What would I be missing if I chose one over the other? The money isn't really an issue, so I don't mind cherry picking from both, if need be. They are both pretty short and sweet. And like I said, it's "fun" for him! Thanks so much for any insight.


Grace, which program did your daughter feel was too "talky"? MEP?

My son is only 4.5. So my ability to project "long-term" on strengths and weaknesses of any of these programs is quite limited. I'm just finding that "mixing things up" from Miquon, Singapore, MEP, Japanese Math, Cuisenaire Rod work, a geo-board, base-10 blocks, and as of yesterday a Right Start Abacus and cards...with attention from me that the varied "topics" are comprehensible to him using re-inforfing tools from all of these is working for us.

It may sound crazy. But we keep hitting "concepts" from different angles (and with "concrete" examples and "manipulatives) and things are "sinking in".

I'm finding the MEP materials can be used two ways. Using the workbooks "free-standing", we do this often as a change of pace. The early book is challenging (logic wise) and different that the other programs. The "lesson plan" has a lot of great ideas. I borrow some (often used during "non-math" hours) but have not really tried to do a lot of "full lessons" day-by-day.

Not the the MEP lessons don't look like a good plan. This is a British adaptation of the highly lauded Hungarian Math program. I do like that MEP seems very much about "critical thinking" which at my son's age is the kind of intelligence (and brain-wiring) I hope to promote. I do believe young minds build connections depending on the stimuli they receive and MEP wins high marks from me on adding to (what I consider to be) brain-building.

What we will do long-term is a question I can't yet answer. Singapore, because it is so well regarded will likely be the "spine" around which we build, but truth told the value (at this point) of Miquon, manipulatives of all sorts and MEP, have been the most interesting portions of our ecclectic math program thus far.

Bill

Edited by Spy Car, 08 February 2009 - 05:42 PM.


#4 myfatherslily

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:48 PM

Is this the one you are talking about? http://www.cimt.plym...ary/default.htm
I haven't heard of this! It looks like it might be great for my daughter right now. I love free stuff!!!:) Thanks for mentioning it!

#5 Spy Car

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:59 PM

Is this the one you are talking about? http://www.cimt.plym...ary/default.htm
I haven't heard of this! It looks like it might be great for my daughter right now. I love free stuff!!!:) Thanks for mentioning it!


Yes, that is the one Sarah.

It is a "free" program. A couple files are password protected, but the University gives the password to American homeschoolers who ask. And/or there is a yahoo group, where a password can be had.

There have been a few workbook items that have been incomprehensible to me (truth told) so we've skipped them or done our best. And a few that I either I didn't feel ready to teach, or felt that he wasn't yet ready to learn, again I moved on. But for the most part we've been working through the first workbook 1a and having a great time.

If you and your daughter likes that "learning math" can mean a lot of "different things", and she has a mind for problem solving , then MEP is very cool.

Bill

ETA: At 4 your daughter may be a little young for the "workbooks", I wouldn't say these are typical "pre-school" materials. I'd imagine it's aimed more at typical six year-old. However, there are many great ideas to gleam from the "lesson plan" portion that could easily be used and adapted with a four year-old. I'd just hate to discourage you if you felt this was what a "pre-k" child ought to be doing if it proves a little advanced. It may not, but there's a fair chance you'll need a little time before she's ready.

Edited by Spy Car, 08 February 2009 - 06:16 PM.


#6 4blessingmom

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:10 PM

I've done some from the 1a book as well. We put it away at 5yo with my ds. I think SM 1a is easier than MEP 1a.

hmmm....maybe I'll revisit MEP....:tongue_smilie:

#7 Spy Car

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:25 PM

There is a television program that demonstrates how the Hungarians approach math in the *gasp* "classroom" :tongue_smilie:

As I said in an earlier post, MEP is based on a Hungarian model, so this gives a flavor of the "lesson plan" side of this curriculum. The "workbook" side is a little different. Anyway, I found this fascinating (perhaps I'm easy amused?).

One does need to "register" on this site in order to watch the video. Painless. And I had to download the whole movie, as I could not get it to "stream". It runs about a half-hour if memory serves. Someone who's curious may enjoy this.

Bill


http://www.teachers.tv/video/17878

#8 4blessingmom

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:59 PM

There is a television program that demonstrates how the Hungarians approach math in the *gasp* "classroom" :tongue_smilie:

As I said in an earlier post, MEP is based on a Hungarian model, so this gives a flavor of the "lesson plan" side of this curriculum. The "workbook" side is a little different. Anyway, I found this fascinating (perhaps I'm easy amused?).

One does need to "register" on this site in order to watch the video. Painless. And I had to download the whole movie, as I could not get it to "stream". It runs about a half-hour if memory serves. Someone who's curious may enjoy this.

Bill


http://www.teachers.tv/video/17878


Thanks for the link:D

#9 HappyGrace

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 10:39 PM

Just getting back here finally-sorry it took so long.

I thought I remembered you had a pretty young dc. I am totally with you on the hitting them from different angles math theory. It doesn't sound crazy at all-I think it's so important. I do think that MEP and Sing are probably short enough to pull from them both, at least for a couple years. Then I guess I can reevaluate down the line, depending on what's working and what we have time for. I have watched the Hungarian video before, a couple times, and I lurk over at the MEP yahoo group too. MEP is fantastic-I can't praise it highly enough for it's logic-based and algebraic concepts from very early on. (I'm not saying I personally would use it as a standalone-I haven't evaluated it enough to know if it can stand up to that.)

It's great that it's free, so I'll just pull from it as needed. I'll probably order a couple levels of Singapore to get a better feel for it. Don't you LOVE the RS abacus and games-they are amazing.

(Yes, dd thought MEP was too talky. It will be great for younger ds though.)

Thanks for the input! Much appreciated.

#10 Spy Car

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 01:41 AM

Just getting back here finally-sorry it took so long.

I thought I remembered you had a pretty young dc. I am totally with you on the hitting them from different angles math theory. It doesn't sound crazy at all-I think it's so important. I do think that MEP and Sing are probably short enough to pull from them both, at least for a couple years. Then I guess I can reevaluate down the line, depending on what's working and what we have time for. I have watched the Hungarian video before, a couple times, and I lurk over at the MEP yahoo group too. MEP is fantastic-I can't praise it highly enough for it's logic-based and algebraic concepts from very early on. (I'm not saying I personally would use it as a standalone-I haven't evaluated it enough to know if it can stand up to that.)

It's great that it's free, so I'll just pull from it as needed. I'll probably order a couple levels of Singapore to get a better feel for it. Don't you LOVE the RS abacus and games-they are amazing.

(Yes, dd thought MEP was too talky. It will be great for younger ds though.)

Thanks for the input! Much appreciated.


I DO love the abacus. It's something I've wanted for a long time, and thanks to the "For Sale" board here we have one.

Say, you can help me. Right now the only "cards" we have are the place value and base-10 cards which are fantastic, and fitting in perfectly with our "place value" work. Talk about perfect timing.

Anyway, we don't have any of the Right Start games. So how about some advice. Should I try to get them all. Do I need a DVD, or a booklet or what?

I appreciate any input.

I do think our children will benefit greatly from the sort of approach Singapore and MEP (and potentially Right Start and Miquon) will give them. Sure beats chaining them to a desk to memorize "math facts" :D

Bill

#11 Kate in Arabia

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 02:53 AM

My son is only 4.5. So my ability to project "long-term" on strengths and weaknesses of any of these programs is quite limited. I'm just finding that "mixing things up" from Miquon, Singapore, MEP, Japanese Math, Cuisenaire Rod work, a geo-board, base-10 blocks, and as of yesterday a Right Start Abacus and cards...with attention from me that the varied "topics" are comprehensible to him using re-inforfing tools from all of these is working for us.

At the risk of sounding really stupid, how do you use your geoboard? I got a couple as part of a math manipulatives set years ago, and have never used them. Actually, both are still in their original plastic seal, I ended up giving one away.

I keep waiting to be hit with the applicability of it within our math curriculum, but I'm not "getting" it, I guess. I have a vague memory of using one as a child, but other than that "hmm, I remember seeing one of these before" kind of memory, I'm not recalling how it was utilized.

#12 myfatherslily

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:04 AM

Sorry to hijack again... I was just looking to print the first couple lessons of MEP so we could try it out. The Lesson Plans refer to both the Practice Book and a text. I don't see the text anywhere?? Am I just missing it or it is unnecessary?

#13 HappyGrace

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:13 PM

myfatherslily: I seem to recall that on the MEP yahoo groups they say homeschoolers don't need the textbook-you can do a search there to find out for sure. So far I've printed out the first chunks of levels 1 and 2, and the textbook has not been necessary.

Spy: With your approach to math, I would highly recommend two resources. I have done RightStart A, B and C with my older dd. If you could buy the two resources I recommend here, you could really get the gist of the RightStart approach without buying the actual curriculum!

First of all, you need the Right Start Card Games. It's a little pricey, and hard to find used, but worth every dime for the approach you are taking. My dc ask to play the games like they ask to play Uno! So they are fun, but better yet, they are masterfully done for teaching.
http://www.activitie...EWPROD&ProdID=3

Some of the games require other cards than what you have, but most of them are SUPER easy to make (Hint: you can look at the RightStart site to see what they look like and make your own.) The only ones you'd need to buy are the Corners cards-they are used with a lot of great games, and they'd be hard to make.

Don't worry about getting the instructional DVD-you can figure the games out just fine from the book. You could pretty much teach a great majority of elementary math to your dc just from these games!

The other resource I'd suggest is OOP, I think, but you should be able to find it used. It's called "Activities for the ALAbacus"-it's the original book written by Joan Cotter (RS Math author). Then FROM THAT BOOK, she expanded the info into daily lessons, thus the RS curriculum. You can probably teach most of the RS concepts just from this book alone. (It also has some of the card games.) ETA: I'm not saying the Activities for Alabacus book is nearly as complete as the RS curriculum; of course the curriculum is much fuller. But I'm suggesting it as something a savvy person could use as a money saving way to understand the RS approach and not have to buy or plow through the whole curriculum.

HTH! (Ask more questions if you have them, and I'll try to help further.)

Edited by HappyGrace, 09 February 2009 - 12:20 PM.


#14 jplain

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:04 PM

The other resource I'd suggest is OOP, I think, but you should be able to find it used. It's called "Activities for the ALAbacus"-it's the original book written by Joan Cotter (RS Math author).

Activities for the ALAbacus is still available: link.

And for the RightStart card games, I believe it is cheaper to buy the Card Game Set rather than the book plus the decks: link.

:) Carolyn

#15 HappyGrace

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:17 PM

Thanks for the updates, Carolyn! :)

#16 Spy Car

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:41 PM

At the risk of sounding really stupid, how do you use your geoboard? I got a couple as part of a math manipulatives set years ago, and have never used them. Actually, both are still in their original plastic seal, I ended up giving one away.

I keep waiting to be hit with the applicability of it within our math curriculum, but I'm not "getting" it, I guess. I have a vague memory of using one as a child, but other than that "hmm, I remember seeing one of these before" kind of memory, I'm not recalling how it was utilized.


Marhaba Kate,

Not a bad question at all.

Per the advice in the Miquon teacher materials, I labeled my geo-board in "rows" (the horizontal) from the bottom up as "A, B, C, D, and E and as "columns", 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

You can teach your child the "Rows" by running their fingertips over the pinheads saying:

This is Row A. This is Row B....

Then repeat with the "Columns".

Then have them stretch rubber-bands across a "Row" that you have chosen. Maybe tell them to put a red rubber-band across row B, and a green one across row E. Repeat with columns. Soon enough the concepts of rows and columns sinks in.

Then it's time to work on coördinates. My son didn't understand (at first) if I said "find C4". But he could put a band on row C and another on Column 4, and where the two "intersect" is the coördinate we were looking for. After a short time intersecting bands, finding "A1" or "E5" is easy.

Once they can find "coördinates", we can start asking them to place bands from one coördinate to another. Then we can move to shapes based on multiple coördinates.

With shapes we can teach what "angles" are, And what "sides" are

How many angles does this shape have? How many sides does it have? What's the relationship between angles and sides?

Then I start asking for "shapes" to be constructed or notated by different means.

1) I'll draw a shape on a paper print-out of "geo-board" (using a print-out I found online with 12 small "boards") and ask him to reproduce it exactly (to the peg).

2) I'll write the "coördinates" down as notation (i.e. A1 to E3 to A5,).

3) I'll have him make the "shape" with rubber-bands, then ask him to name the "coördinates".

Of course we'll talk about the names of some of the familiar shapes. Work on "vocabulary" roots such as what "tri" means. And build "concrete" examples of shapes while at the same time getting the brain slowly capable of matting something as "abstract" as a coördinate.

Plus the detail work of placing rubber-bands on pegs develops fine-motor skills and focuses the mind to a task. Especially valuable with a boy.

Beyond that (where we have not gone) you can get into building "mirror" images. Doing fractions (by dividing the shape), factoring the area and other such things.

Doesn't directly reinforce adding and subtracting skills, but it does add another element that moves from concrete to abstract, teaches symbolic notation, and playing with rubber-bands is just fun :001_smile:

I hope that helps a little.

Bill

Edited by Spy Car, 09 February 2009 - 06:45 PM.


#17 Spy Car

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:48 PM

Thank you Grace and Carolyn for the information on the Right Start games and the Abacus Activity book.

The time is right to add these to our mix.

If anyone has a well kept used set they wish to sell PM me

Bill

#18 oliveview

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:49 PM

I know this post is about MEP and Singapore but could we also talk about Miquon for a moment. I am trying to see if this would be the right thing to add to our mix. If we did start, does everyone start at the Orange book? It seems like I read that somewhere. What else do i need to get started? How much time is involved for the lessons and the planning?

Sorry for the hijack, but Bill has me down this rabbit-hole and all of this "math stuff" is mixing around in my head! :lol::lol:

#19 Amber in AUS

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:29 PM

Ooooh, i'd love to hear a little more about Miquon too.

#20 Spy Car

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:05 AM

I know this post is about MEP and Singapore but could we also talk about Miquon for a moment. I am trying to see if this would be the right thing to add to our mix. If we did start, does everyone start at the Orange book? It seems like I read that somewhere. What else do i need to get started? How much time is involved for the lessons and the planning?

Sorry for the hijack, but Bill has me down this rabbit-hole and all of this "math stuff" is mixing around in my head! :lol::lol:


Miquon starts with the Orange book. However, I STRONGLY advise reading the 3 "teachers books" (Lab Annotations, First Year Diary, and Notes to Teacher).

The teachers books make Miquon "make sense" to you, the teacher. For me, they also empowered me to be "creative" and to feel free to make up my own exercises and games. All in the Miquon spirit of things.

The only thing you need beyond that, is Cuisenaire Rods. I'd suggest a set of 155. They cost about $18. The rods are great because the child can start out making "trains". These are stacks of different ways to make a "value".

Say an orange rod is a ten value. How else can you make 10? 5 and 5, 6 and 4, 3 and 2 and 1 and 4. And so on. Children learn the "values" of the rods shockingly fast.

Then you start with "equations".

3 + [ ] = 9
[ ] + 2 + 8
2 + 5 = [ ]

Young children, who still can't "write numbers" can solve equations using the rods easily. Then fractions, and subtraction, and multiplication.

Miquon "jumps around". It's designed to jump around. It might drive a parent who wants "mastery" of "math facts" insane. But for someone like my son, it is exciting. The number relationships "come alive". And the concepts sink in deeper (in my observation) than I could ever have hoped they might using a "traditional" approach.

It's not as if Miquon takes a lot of planning time (once you read the teacher materials and "get it"). But it goes take parent involvement with the child's "discovery" to get the most out of this program. So it is somewhat time consuming. In my case this has been some of the most precious and worthwhile time I've ever spent.

The "lessons" I've learned from Miquon I've tried to bring to all the other math programs we've used. I'm constantly thinking how do we make the approach creative, how can I work from the concrete to the abstract. How do I allow for "discovery" and promote a sense of accomplishment.

At a basic and early level, I believe Miquon provides a natural math foundation that is very much in keeping with the "goals" of math one would have after reading Liping Ma's book.

For me, adding things from MEP, or Singapore, or Japanese Math, or Right Start, or various manipulatives, now all seem like natural fit in large part because of my exposure to Miquon. If I can think of teaching a concept in 5 or 6 different ways, one reinforcing the other then I'm pleased.

This is how (I believe) to make a "mathy" child. One who is very secure with numbers, solving for unknown variables, solving inequalities, seeing patterns...and really thinking. Thinking!

Not learning to memorize a "procedure". Not memorizing "math facts". But thinking about numbers, and relationships of values. How they can be broken down and re-formed. It's a cool thing to experience.

Bill

#21 Amber in AUS

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:45 AM

Thanks for that thorough explanation Bill.

#22 Spy Car

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:56 AM

Thanks for that thorough explanation Bill.


You are welcome Amber. Let me express my condolences for all the people who have perished in the terrible fires there in Australia. Even at a great remove the losses are shocking.

All the best,

Bill

#23 Amber in AUS

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:10 AM

Thankyou Bill. It is terrible!! Complete towns have been wiped out. Fortunately being on the west coast so far we have avoided the worst of it although we have had some bush fires here too, nothing like VIC & NSW.

#24 oliveview

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:28 AM

Thankyou Bill. It is terrible!! Complete towns have been wiped out. Fortunately being on the west coast so far we have avoided the worst of it although we have had some bush fires here too, nothing like VIC & NSW.



It's good to hear that you and your family are safe. I know this is a time of terrible loss for your country.

#25 oliveview

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:32 AM

I think I am going to go with Miquon, at least enough to get and read the teachers guides. I am really changing how I am thinking about math and how to teach. I see now the importance of the thinking behind it all.

I think I will start everyone in the Orange book and then we will see from there. Thank you Bill and everyone else.:D

#26 Spy Car

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:44 PM

I think I am going to go with Miquon, at least enough to get and read the teachers guides. I am really changing how I am thinking about math and how to teach. I see now the importance of the thinking behind it all.

I think I will start everyone in the Orange book and then we will see from there. Thank you Bill and everyone else.:D


Wonderful Sherri!

Your children are so close it age it will be fun to be able to set them up with a "Math Lab" and let them all work together.

You won't need to read all of "Lab Annotations" (not even close). "Lab Annotations" is the main "teachers" text that related directly to the worksheets and clarifies their use. It's an important book to have, so you aren't confronted with this "strange" looking stuff, and think: Huh???

But unfortunately, I believe many people only get the "Lab Annotations" and skip "First Year Diary" and "Notes to Teacher". These books give more insight into the Miquon style of teaching and learning. These are good to read, at least in part. Then you can adopt what of their style what you will.

Do be open to improvising. And don't worry about trudging "straight through". If one of the children confronts something you don't feel they are ready for "skip it". The nice thing in your case is they can potential learn together. Just know (that at least in my estimation) Miquon can be used in a "non-linear" fashion. And you can make up (and are encouraged to do so) your own "lab sheets". Even the 8 year-old could "lab sheets".

"Math lab". Isn't that a fun name?

Before you jump in to doing "lab sheets" I would get the Cuisenaire Rods and let them get started building "trains" (stacks of block combinations that are equivalent to the "botton" blocks value). And other discovery play you'll find in the "First Year Diary".

On a personal level, I'm elated! I guess I believe that if we each do small things to make the world better, the sum of all those acts can help heal the world. It's a small thing in some ways--choosing how to teach math--but these sorts of decisions (I believe) can really can change a person's future. I'm feeling both honored and humbled that you have been so receptive to the ideas I've offered up. I'm convinced of the soundness of these types of approaches, and sure your children will benefit from your being so open to new ideas.

Your children are fortunate to have you for a Mom! :001_smile:

Bill

#27 cmarango

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:05 PM


The only thing you need beyond that, is Cuisenaire Rods. I'd suggest a set of 155. They cost about $18. The rods are great because the child can start out making "trains". These are stacks of different ways to make a "value".


Hi Bill,

I just checked out Rainbow Resource and I see that they have different sets of Cuisenaire rods: "normal", connecting, and wooden. Which do you suggest using?

Thanks for your help,
Christina

#28 Spy Car

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:31 PM

Hi Bill,

I just checked out Rainbow Resource and I see that they have different sets of Cuisenaire rods: "normal", connecting, and wooden. Which do you suggest using?

Thanks for your help,
Christina


Hi Christina,

I would not get connecting rods (for sure).

After searching for "wood" rods locally (because I'm an old-hippie), I gave up and bought "plastic" ones. Since then I've seen the wood ones, and I actually prefer the plastic set (go figure).

I did not see a 155 unit set of plastic rods at RR. They had this set in wood. It is from the same maker (Learning Resources) as the set I have. I do think its worth getting a 155 rather than a 72 unit set.

This is a link to the wood set. There are many places online that sell the plastic sets. I could easily live with either, but ours are getting heavy use. I've actually washed them in soapy water. I'm not sure if the wood ones would take the same treatment? The price for the wood and plastic is the same.

http://www.rainbowre...4293551-1190069

Bill

#29 HappyGrace

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:53 PM

Bill, you've reminded me that I could pull out my Miquon! I have the whole set including all three "teacher's" books. I got it for my older dd, but she is very literal (like me) and couldn't stand it that the rods stood for numbers so she just didn't like it. Now my younger ds, however, would love this and I forgot all about it! Your detailed post about how you use it really encouraged me. Thanks so much for going to the trouble to write all that out. Now I can have another tool in my math-teaching toolbox!

We have the 155 wooden set and he does like to play with it (I like it too-the wooden ones feel so nice, but you're right, I probably wouldn't try to wash them), so I think he would really enjoy Miquon. And who knows, maybe now that dd is a little older (9), she might enjoy it more too! I'm excited to get the teacher books back out and preread them so I can point out ideas when we play "math lab"-it would probably be something that dd9, ds6 and I could all do together because she is behind for her age in math and he is ahead for his age in math so I think I can work with them both in a way that they can benefit at his/her own level.

Thanks again for the encouraging post! :001_smile:

#30 In the Rain

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 05:50 PM

Hi Bill,

I just checked out Rainbow Resource and I see that they have different sets of Cuisenaire rods: "normal", connecting, and wooden. Which do you suggest using?

Thanks for your help,
Christina


I'm not Bill, but I thought I'd answer too. I agree that you do NOT want the connecting ones. We bought and returned these.

We have wood and plastic rods. In general, I prefer wooden items, but the plastic rods are actually more accurate. My single wood units are not perfectly square. Depending on how you line them up, 9 units can be closer to the 10 rod than the 9 rod. For that reason, we only use the plastic units.

HTH

#31 Spy Car

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 06:59 PM

Bill, you've reminded me that I could pull out my Miquon! I have the whole set including all three "teacher's" books. I got it for my older dd, but she is very literal (like me) and couldn't stand it that the rods stood for numbers so she just didn't like it.


Good. Then she'll like it even less when we tell her the "Orange" rod (which till now had a "ten value") is now a "one" and we are going to make fractions :D

Yellow is now 1/2. At least your son will love it :lol:

Seriously, I think it's worth trying to relaunch the math lab. Look especially at the "First Year Diary". There a lot of good ideas buried in there, and especially note how children of different abilities reacted to the materials and things she did to help them learn and coöoperate.

I'm pleased I've inspired you. Now I need some Right Start card games and the abacus book. If we keep reinforcing each other, our kids will get it done :001_smile:

Bill

#32 4blessingmom

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:10 PM

The Miquon Lab Annotations are wonderful! I sit outside while my kidlets play and just sift through the book. I put the worksheet pages in page protectors and use dry erase markers on them b/c ds can do the same page 3 times and each time learn something new from the process.

Bill - I am right behind you searching for the RS math games:tongue_smilie:

#33 ~Phoenix

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:29 PM

Then it's time to work on coördinates. My son didn't understand (at first) if I said "find C4". But he could put a band on row C and another on Column 4, and where the two "intersect" is the coördinate we were looking for. After a short time intersecting bands, finding "A1" or "E5" is easy.

Once they can find "coördinates", we can start asking them to place bands from one coördinate to another. Then we can move to shapes based on multiple coördinates.

With shapes we can teach what "angles" are, And what "sides" are

Huh....lightbulb moment!!! We've been playing with our geoboard and I have been trying to figure out what on earth that thing was for. THANK YOU for helping me see a purpose for it.

Ya learn something new everyday on this board. I can't wait to try Singapore & Miquon next year, as well.

#34 HappyGrace

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:56 AM

Agghhhhh! You're killing me, Bill! See, that's just the type of thing that would drive dd and I over the edge! :lol:

I hope you find the RS materials! Now I have to go dig my Miquon stuff out of a box in the garage.

Another amazing resource for what you're trying to do with math is Noble Knights of Knowledge. Really, it can't be beat. I found mine used for a really good price. It is GREAT and approaches things similar to Miquon/RS/Sing, although it would not be really *necessary* if you're already using the above. Don't let the price scare you-you really ONLY need the Guide and the Activity board-you can buy "jewels" (polished glass) at the dollar store! Here's a link-be sure to look at the samples of the book!:
http://www.livelyles...bleknights.html

Anyway, it's something you can keep your eye open for while trolling through the used boards!

#35 oliveview

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:05 PM

Wonderful Sherri!

Your children are so close it age it will be fun to be able to set them up with a "Math Lab" and let them all work together.

You won't need to read all of "Lab Annotations" (not even close). "Lab Annotations" is the main "teachers" text that related directly to the worksheets and clarifies their use. It's an important book to have, so you aren't confronted with this "strange" looking stuff, and think: Huh???

But unfortunately, I believe many people only get the "Lab Annotations" and skip "First Year Diary" and "Notes to Teacher". These books give more insight into the Miquon style of teaching and learning. These are good to read, at least in part. Then you can adopt what of their style what you will.

Do be open to improvising. And don't worry about trudging "straight through". If one of the children confronts something you don't feel they are ready for "skip it". The nice thing in your case is they can potential learn together. Just know (that at least in my estimation) Miquon can be used in a "non-linear" fashion. And you can make up (and are encouraged to do so) your own "lab sheets". Even the 8 year-old could "lab sheets".

"Math lab". Isn't that a fun name?

Before you jump in to doing "lab sheets" I would get the Cuisenaire Rods and let them get started building "trains" (stacks of block combinations that are equivalent to the "botton" blocks value). And other discovery play you'll find in the "First Year Diary".

On a personal level, I'm elated! I guess I believe that if we each do small things to make the world better, the sum of all those acts can help heal the world. It's a small thing in some ways--choosing how to teach math--but these sorts of decisions (I believe) can really can change a person's future. I'm feeling both honored and humbled that you have been so receptive to the ideas I've offered up. I'm convinced of the soundness of these types of approaches, and sure your children will benefit from your being so open to new ideas.

Your children are fortunate to have you for a Mom! :001_smile:

Bill


Bill,

I don't know what to say. That is one of the nicest posts I've ever read.

Thank you,
Sherri

#36 oliveview

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:17 PM

I was so excited about all of this that we finished up early yesterday and drove down to the homeschool store in Jacksonville. They had the "Lab Book" but not the "first year diary" and the other one. I will order those from Rainbow Resource.

My oldest is VERY logical. Logical to the point that we joke about him being Mr. Spock! Miquon is going to drive him insane!! I can't wait!! :lol::lol: His little brain is going to have to stretch and I see that as a good thing. I don't mean making him into something that he isn't but that whole process of growing and making new pathways in his brain is going to be a challenge for him. It will be interesting to see how he takes to the challenge.

The Noble Knights of Knowledge made my heart skip! My bys saw it on the computer and wanted it RIGHT NOW!!:lol: What fun!! That looks fantastic! That could be a fun thing to do over the summer. I will look at it closer. Thank you.

#37 Spy Car

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 01:12 PM

Bill,

I don't know what to say. That is one of the nicest posts I've ever read.

Thank you,
Sherri


What a nice thing to say, Awww:grouphug:

One things for sure, it's one of the most error ridden posts ever. Who's proof-reading this stuff??? :lol:

Side note: I have repeatedly reffered to one of the Miquon books as "First Year Diary" which is INCORRECT, the title is "First Grade Diary". My apologies.

I would not take bets regarding Dr Spock going insane. Miquon is (to my mind) very logical, and I bet is he eats it up with relish.

Why "Miquon Math Notes To Teacher's" (the proper title) wasn't just the "introduction" to Lab Annotations is beyond me. But it's water under the bridge. I do believe these two "supplemental" books are invaluable for getting a parent/teacher into the Miquon "mind-space". I suspect many who've approached Miquon have only had "Lab Annotations" and may not ever have understood the style and philosophy behind the program. And then dropped it because they "didn't get it".

I follow nothing in "lock-step" (not that Miquon is "dogmatic") but reading these 2 extra guides did provide me with light-bulb moments. And these are especially useful when taking up a program that on its face looks "unconventional", and doubly so if you (like me) were raised with very conventional algorithm based math.

Bill

Edited by Spy Car, 11 February 2009 - 01:14 PM.


#38 Spy Car

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 01:20 PM

Another amazing resource for what you're trying to do with math is Noble Knights of Knowledge. Really, it can't be beat. I found mine used for a really good price. It is GREAT and approaches things similar to Miquon/RS/Sing, although it would not be really *necessary* if you're already using the above. Don't let the price scare you-you really ONLY need the Guide and the Activity board-you can buy "jewels" (polished glass) at the dollar store! Here's a link-be sure to look at the samples of the book!:
http://www.livelyles...bleknights.html

Anyway, it's something you can keep your eye open for while trolling through the used boards!


I'll look at this a little more deeply. A quick glance at the board shows it using the terms "borrowing" and "carrying over". Anyone who's read Dr Ma tends to "cringe" when seeing those terms. It's like "mind-control" :lol:

But I will give it a second look.

Bill

#39 oliveview

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:38 PM

I'll look at this a little more deeply. A quick glance at the board shows it using the terms "borrowing" and "carrying over". Anyone who's read Dr Ma tends to "cringe" when seeing those terms. It's like "mind-control" :lol:

But I will give it a second look.

Bill


I know I'll never say it again!

#40 Spy Car

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:50 PM

I know I'll never say it again!


You have been assimilated :lol:

#41 oliveview

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:38 PM

You have been assimilated :lol:


I must have been...My children and I are decomposing numbers using a fountain pen!! :lol::lol::lol:

#42 Spy Car

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:49 PM

I must have been...My children and I are decomposing numbers using a fountain pen!! :lol::lol::lol:


I'm thinking your children are going to show up on my doorstep one day...and either give a big hug, or a sock-on-the-nose :lol:

Bill

#43 johnandtinagilbert

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:47 AM

Spy,
It's good to see you giddy ;) I appreciate your approach. We've been very a la cart with my 5yo, soon to be Ker and I thought it would be a good time to do some math surveying. I read Ma's book...indeed eye opening. I wish I would have read it when #2-son was young. He was my only math challenge
until #6 dc came along, so instead of plowing through and re-doing, I wish I would have approached differently. I will say, however, Life of Fred has saved his days and allowed him to actually understand Algebra. He even smiles when he says, "Math" now.

And now, I must find a way to get some RightStart into our day. Sigh. :001_huh:
Got any good recs on how to grow a money tree?

Quick, 10 people go and buy Phonics Road or Tapestry with my affiliate number so I can buy RightStart...anyone? Anyone?

#44 Spy Car

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:22 AM

Spy,
It's good to see you giddy ;) I appreciate your approach. We've been very a la cart with my 5yo, soon to be Ker and I thought it would be a good time to do some math surveying. I read Ma's book...indeed eye opening. I wish I would have read it when #2-son was young. He was my only math challenge
until #6 dc came along, so instead of plowing through and re-doing, I wish I would have approached differently. I will say, however, Life of Fred has saved his days and allowed him to actually understand Algebra. He even smiles when he says, "Math" now.

And now, I must find a way to get some RightStart into our day. Sigh. :001_huh:
Got any good recs on how to grow a money tree?

Quick, 10 people go and buy Phonics Road or Tapestry with my affiliate number so I can buy RightStart...anyone? Anyone?


It is kind of fun to revisit old threads :001_smile:

Bill

#45 Leav97

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 01:31 PM

There is a television program that demonstrates how the Hungarians approach math in the *gasp* "classroom" :tongue_smilie:
...

Bill

http://www.teachers.tv/video/17878



Very nice video. Fits very nicely in with Liping Ma's findings.

#46 happyhappyjoyjoy

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:16 PM

Grace, which program did your daughter feel was too "talky"? MEP?

My son is only 4.5. So my ability to project "long-term" on strengths and weaknesses of any of these programs is quite limited. I'm just finding that "mixing things up" from Miquon, Singapore, MEP, Japanese Math, Cuisenaire Rod work, a geo-board, base-10 blocks, and as of yesterday a Right Start Abacus and cards...with attention from me that the varied "topics" are comprehensible to him using re-inforfing tools from all of these is working for us.

It may sound crazy. But we keep hitting "concepts" from different angles (and with "concrete" examples and "manipulatives) and things are "sinking in".

I'm finding the MEP materials can be used two ways. Using the workbooks "free-standing", we do this often as a change of pace. The early book is challenging (logic wise) and different that the other programs. The "lesson plan" has a lot of great ideas. I borrow some (often used during "non-math" hours) but have not really tried to do a lot of "full lessons" day-by-day.

Not the the MEP lessons don't look like a good plan. This is a British adaptation of the highly lauded Hungarian Math program. I do like that MEP seems very much about "critical thinking" which at my son's age is the kind of intelligence (and brain-wiring) I hope to promote. I do believe young minds build connections depending on the stimuli they receive and MEP wins high marks from me on adding to (what I consider to be) brain-building.

What we will do long-term is a question I can't yet answer. Singapore, because it is so well regarded will likely be the "spine" around which we build, but truth told the value (at this point) of Miquon, manipulatives of all sorts and MEP, have been the most interesting portions of our ecclectic math program thus far.

Bill

Thanks for this post!!!!
My DS1 is burning through his Singapore books faster than I ever imagined. he did 1B in 2 weeks. I'm going to look at MEP and Miquon as well. Your math posts have always been helpful.

#47 Spy Car

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:28 PM

Thanks for this post!!!!
My DS1 is burning through his Singapore books faster than I ever imagined. he did 1B in 2 weeks. I'm going to look at MEP and Miquon as well. Your math posts have always been helpful.


Are you doing the Singapore IPs and CWPs. Those should also slow the burn rate.

I'm glad these old posts have been helpful. With two years hindsight I can see things are working as well as I'd hoped.
Bill

Edited by Spy Car, 15 March 2011 - 03:24 PM.
Yikes


#48 happyhappyjoyjoy

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 07:27 AM

Are you doing the Singapore IPs and CWPs. Those should also slow the burn rate.

I'm glad these old posts have been helpful. With two years hindsight can saw things are working as well as I'd hoped.

Bill


YES! He's almost done with CWP and is going through IP right now. He is a workbookaholic. He asked me, "when are you going to get 2A?"

I didn't realize how old this was at first. I was confused on why you were asking about RS games, bec I remembered reading a post by you last year about playing corners.

#49 Spy Car

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:32 AM

YES! He's almost done with CWP and is going through IP right now. He is a workbookaholic. He asked me, "when are you going to get 2A?"

I didn't realize how old this was at first. I was confused on why you were asking about RS games, bec I remembered reading a post by you last year about playing corners.


When are you going to order 2A? :D

He should really enjoy MEP I should think. Also Ed Zaccaro has a book called Primary Grade Challenge Math that is pretty fun.

And have you looked at CSMP? It (like MEP) is available to download without a fee online and is a very interesting "New Math" program. We have not done any CSMP in a while due to lack of time, but it is quite interesting.

Good luck!

Bill

#50 Poke Salad Annie

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:36 AM

And have you looked at CSMP? It (like MEP) is available to download without a fee online and is a very interesting "New Math" program. We have not done any CSMP in a while due to lack of time, but it is quite interesting.

Bill


We also use and love CSMP. It's a little *out there*, but very interesting and always enjoyable. You don't have to print the teacher's guide--just view them online. You could do most of the work on the dry-erase, then give your child some paper to work some problems on his/her own.


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