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Everything posted by bmninada

  1. There's a different angle to these boot-camps. I know for a fact that certain Ivy league give preferential acceptance to those kids who consistently did summer intensives in their campus. There's a whole market here where its anywhere from $4000 to $8000 per summer and arranged by various "tutors" / "agents" for the sole purpose of getting into 1 of these institutions.
  2. I come from a long line of professors and teachers. I have taught myself - others and my son. I have realized few things and realized it rather harshly: When an adult and the person starts to work - in a business, a corporate, Govt, no one gives a penny as to how good I was or my son was in school and whether he could do Geometry in grade 5. What matters is if he can hold his own when discussing a point, arguing a point, driving home a point or plain vanilla - joking around. All of which starts from being social and learning within a social infrastructure. Now, I may be able to teach all of that (Maths/Science/Language Arts) EASILY but at the end I won't be able to teach him how to get up after being hazed or bullied and then based on the situation - react. Then, I want him to see what others in his age group are thinking/doing/reacting. These are life values which I believe the earlier I expose - the better. Its not that I have disposable $ to spend. I gave birth to my child and now I have to do what I have to do and for me, giving him a solid education where if required I'll eat once a day - so be it. That's how my father did and my grand father before him. By no way I am trying to criticize you or your comments. Please don't get me wrong - but I thought here - I ought to give my perspective as to why I put my son in the training program costing me $$.
  3. This is my honest feedback about Redbird Maths: Adv. Ed. I am not connected to them in any way shape or form. Background: Relatively speaking - my 9 year old is okay to good in Maths. He's got good feedback from school and won here and there already few things. Tuition: Mainly by myself originally. However, due to workload, put him in Mathnasium, which he liked but not due to studies but the atmosphere. His base got better there. Later, I adopted Beast Academy and currently he's comfortable in 4B. In school, he's in accelerated maths and they are doing exponents and prime numbers (currently). Problem statement: His issue has always been the basic question (to me): why should I learn (for example) prime numbers? What's the use? Etc., etc. Also, he doesn't like repetition like his school makes him do - TenMarks and Jam sessions (for example). He'll however happily do study island as they are short and sweet. Main topic: Thus I was trying to find out more about the applied part of things. I took subscription of this online program costing me approx. $60 per quarter. Initially, the child is graded by self (parent) and I accidentally put him at grade 3 (Sept. just started, still not used to grade 4 - tying...LOL). He did 50-50 in the initial assessment! I was surprised at the low score. Then I reviewed the questions, etc and more on that: later, below, i.e. why he fared not well as he was stumped at the questions being rhetorical and applied knowledge was required! The course below is for grade 4. I had an option (as parent) to moving him to grade 4 which I did. Then, there's 1 more option whereby I can move him up even more and it goes to the middle of the course - Equivalent Fractions. When taking the individual package, it's not possible to pick and choose topics. Like I mentioned above, you go with grade or grade + .5. For me - this is a negative. Now, the structuring of questions - is rather good! I was pleasantly surprised when my son flew thru the 1st. part and then in multiplication and division started getting TONS of questions. I realized they are adaptive and not only that in between questions suddenly it'll go into a "hunt" mode and then next set is substantially different type than the ones before if my son is doing them quickly. Then, in 2 cases it just completed and moved on to the next topic after just 10 odd questions! I knew he is relatively strong in it. Quality of questions - this is what caused me to stop and really look into the program. Almost every question starts and continues with an applied thread. The material starts with a video - showing some use case. As an example - use case is a ranch and cows - what they eat and produce (manure). From that point on, all questions are tying into the ranch - in terms of XX lbs of manure generates YY kW of power and so how many more cows, less cows, etc., etc. My son is not only able to follow it but understand and appreciate a real-life use case associated with the problems! The complexity also varies. They also have short tutorials and then links talking about manure and ecology, etc. Rather - fantastic! Then what blew AND MY SON was at the end, there's a freaking project!! WTH? All he learned - now he can apply and on the same topic actually do a project applying the maths skills! Wow! From mundane work-sheets to jam sessions and now he's actually doing work like a mini-engineer? The project took him about 2 hrs. There are also games embedded and which I found to be surprisingly tough. My son loves these games - like pattern matching, block matching, puzzles, fuzzy logic, etc. I can't really reveal the questions as its proprietary I guess but as an example a common question is 5346. Ask: What's the smallest number I can get if I am asked to use these digits only once and use all of them? Pretty standard question. What they did was they said its ranches and in total there are 456 cows. Then - hurricane warning, etc. and finally the same question. My son loved it and then actually found a use case of it, in his crayon box!! Grade 4 Grade 5 Foundations in Base Ten* Read and Write Multi-Digit Numbers Place Value Relationships Compare Numbers Round Numbers Addition Subtraction Problem Solving with Addition and Subtraction Multiplication and Division Multiplication as Comparison Tape Diagrams and Multiplicative Comparison Find Missing Factors Factors and Multiples Investigate Remainders Extend Multiplication Concepts Multiply by 10, 100, and 1000 Estimate Products Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 1-Digit Number Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 1-Digit Number Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 2-Digit Number Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 2-Digit Number Multiplication in Problem Solving Extend Division Concepts Divide 10s, 100s, and 1000s Estimate Quotients Area Diagrams in Division Distributive Property in Division Zeros in Division Problem Solving with 1-Digit Divisors Problem Solving with Division and Other Operations Equivalent Fractions* Fractions: Compare Whole Numbers to Make New Numbers Compare Fractions with Models Compare and Order Fractions Multiply to Create Equivalent Fractions Divide to Create Equivalent Fractions Operations with Fractions Add Unit Fractions Add Fractions Subtract Fractions Mixed Numbers Improper Fractions Problem Solving with Fractions with Like Denominators Multiples of Unit Fractions Multiply a Fraction by a Whole Number Problem Solving with Fractions and Mixed Operations Decimal Fraction Concepts Decimal Fractions Add Decimal Fractions Write Fractions in Decimal Notation Compare Decimals in Tenths and Hundredths Whole Numbers: Place Value & Multiplication* Place Value and Exponents Multiply by 1-Digit Factors Multiply by 2-Digit Factors Use Algorithms with 1-Digit Factors Use Algorithms with 2-Digit Factors Whole Numbers: Division Use Multiplication to Estimate Quotients Use Rounding to Estimate Quotients Use Repeated Subtraction and Multiples of 10 Use Models with 2-Digit Divisors Methods for Division Problem Solving with Division Decimals: Place Value and Operations* Decimal Place Value Round Decimals Compare Decimals Add and Subtract Decimals Multiply and Divide Tenths and Hundredths Multiply Decimals Divide Decimals Problem Solving with Decimal Operations Fractions: Addition and Subtraction Equivalent Forms Find Common Denominators Using Models Find Common Denominators Add and Subtract Fractions and Mixed Numbers Using Models Add and Subtract Fractions and Mixed Numbers Estimate Sums and Differences Problem Solving with Addition and Subtraction of Fractions Fractions: Multiplication and Division Inverse Operations Multiply Fractions Using Bar Models Multiply Fractions Using a Number Line Multiply Fractions Using an Area Diagram Scale Divide Whole Numbers by Unit Fractions Divide Unit Fractions by Whole Numbers Problem Solving with Multiplication and Division of Fractions Coordinate Graphs Coordinate Plane Ordered Pairs Connecting Points in the Plane Use the Coordinate Plane Volume: Right Rectangular Prisms Unit Cubes Determine Volume Using Cubes Examine Layers, Rows, and Columns Explore Nets Volume Formulas Problem Solving with Volume * They have a tuition based program also - it's $455 per quarter and there flexibility with course selection, etc. is there. I only wish I was allowed to pick and choose topics, then this would have been, for me a killer program. * Supposedly, they have won numerous awards and recognition. From my end I am really liking the program, it's structuring, flow of questions (adaptability), the applied part of it and finally the games. Link: https://giftedandtalented.com
  4. i'd go for Beast Academy - if physical paper based books and work-sheets. OR https://giftedandtalented.com/ - opt for Redbird maths : online and pretty darn fantastic. You can go self or the tutoring option ($$). I went: self. My son does it 20 min a day and already way above others. He loves it as at the end, there's a complete project using Maths so ends up actually understanding where what he learnt can and is being applied, today in real world.
  5. @Jackie - I don't know who you are, where you are but your feedback I see has helped so many. You are great!!
  6. SAGES-2 is a test suite conducted by my son's school to test gifted. It happens yearly. Last year he got thru. In 4th. grade there are 3 topics: Reasoning, Language Arts/Social Science, Maths/Science. I ain't sure if you guys know about it. If yes - was wondering if you happen to know any good materials which I can purchase to assist my son. Reasoning - I am not planning to as he's very good and in reality there's no preparation required however in Maths/Language Arts it'll help.
  7. In terms of issues: Run-on sentences. Read a passage then attempts answering certain questions. Ensuring all the critical details are captured within the text which is subsequently asked for, in the questions/exercises. Inferences I am looking for very good practice materials. I have an awesome person with years of experience helping him and he has improved a lot as a result but I need excellent workbooks/worksheets which are challenging enough. I got a recommendation for Reading Detective level 1 but prior to purchasing wanted your good opinion. As a guide, we use MCT level 1 program to build his language arts and language perception skills. Thank you. Will definitely look into it.
  8. Actually, I beg humbly to disagree. My son took the online program this summer - Moon Investing. He loved it tremendously. First of all its like a classroom setting and he actually gets to participate with discussions with other students, his age group (+/- 2). I have seen heated discussions, agreements, changes being done. Quite like my work atmosphere and essentially I see a HUGE value in team building, leadership, debate/argumentative skills, etc. Next, teach BA/Saxon/Singapore/etc. as much as I want but 1 thing I strongly, strongly look for is practical applications. They did just that coupled with strong STEM program specifics my son found it really useful. His presentation in school was extremely well appreciated and is still posted in the gallery. Now they are offering a course "Factoring Fractions" and since we are old customers I got quite some details and my son is currently able to actually APPLY the fraction knowledge he learnt. Every other day he goes "OH! I now know how to use fractions...." , etc., etc. I was shocked when yesterday he explained to his friend using fractions and applying it to something in the Harry Porter series.
  9. Hello - please excuse my insistence here, especially since all of you are actually working or busy and myself hate it when someone writes "any feedback" but whenever you get the time it'll be really great if you can provide some feedback please?
  10. Today my son goes to public school but I take private tuition for my son in Maths - which is $2100 yearly covering beast academy as text books along with online tutoring in Creative Writing/Language Arts at $25/hr, usually 6 hrs. per month using the M.Clay program.
  11. All I can say here is its unique in its approach. My son has been doing multiplication for sometime now but some of the practice stuff made him think. They associate a project and then almost all the questions are using that project as an example. At the end of the module that project is tracked full blown by asking my child how to solve this and that. They have good video introductions, etc. I personally found it interesting and they approached multiplications from various angles. Finally, its adaptive. I saw suddenly my son getting same type of questions over and over again and in the next module he flew thru it.
  12. When my son was in 3rd. grade met the parents of his friend who stated their son gobbles up maths and is currently doing at a level = 5th. grade. My son also says - he's smart. The school at EOY conducted testing for gifted and talented and his son did not get thru. I remember there was a big push from the said child's parents consequent to which education board was involved who conducted a re-test. This time it became apparent the child knows but the knowledge is superficial. In other words the child knows a lot but why part can't figure out. In no way, shape or form : I am saying your son is such a case. All I am trying to say here is before you take ANY decision: slow/fast/etc. talk to your school and start to challenge them. They have considerable funds to take a test to determine giftedness vs. "special needs". Sometimes the schools are so bad they don't want to be burdened with a gifted child and tend to label them otherwise ; effectively deferring them as something middle school can deal with. Finally - as you seem to be stuck with the school, I'd recommend not doing any individual tests, etc. They are generally un-accepted by school. You should, for now, follow the school's guidance on THEIR tests but make sure the test is not something school conjured but is a test nationally recognized.
  13. Hello - I want to start preparing my child for SAGES-2. It has reasoning, language arts, maths/science, social science topics. He scores very good in Reasoning (98% in grade 3) and I primarily use an online subscription to train him with various practice tests, etc. At the same time - any recommendations on this topic - like supplements, books: highly appreciated. My questions: 1. What to do with social studies, science topics? Someone recommended: Science Detective. 2. I have a separate post on language arts in this forum - so will track it there. 3. For Maths (also have a separate post here) but: I believe with all the stuff I am doing with him I ought to be good. 4. ANYTHING / any recommendations.
  14. Hi - my son's is in grade 4. He tracks to NWEP of 231 currently. I have started him on MCT program - level 1 and he's liking it. At school, he's good. Issues I have been told and noticed: He tends to read diligently however when writing down the questions, he tends to write them down as fast as possible, effectively making grammar mistakes, too short sentences or vice versa (run-away sentences) or miss critical details. As I work with him to slow down, I want to engage with him via some work book which will guide him. MCT program has practice island but its different. I also have the Mud Trilogy but currently could not figure out how to use it to achieve the above objective. Now - he'll also appear in SAGES-2 Grade 4 exam next year, June. Keeping that into perspective along with BAU work I wanted to tackle both together. Can someone recommend to me any books/worksheets where reading & comprehension is sufficiently challenging and fits also the things they check as part of SAGES-2 Language Arts tests? Somewhere they recommended Reading Detective 1. Using this as an example - what else can be used? Of course, if this book is good - I'll go for it. Oh : 1 have quite a large # of "Action" magazines (old copies).
  15. All - now that September has started I wanted to update all of you - very good people!! My son goes to school and he's in UL maths (some states call it Accelerated Maths). His school is tracking his progress using Study Island and Ten Marks. I leave it up to the teachers at school to keep him practicing with basics and what he already knows. The best part I feel, after speaking to the teacher, he told if my son is already doing jamming sessions ahead of most in his class then he'll push him ahead!! I already see it in Ten Marks. At home - I went for Beast Academy and currently he's tracking to 3D but just 2 chapters following which from October he'll start with 4A. My son found the guide and practice books extremely good and interesting. I strongly believe in applied maths and how to project ideas where maths can be applied. To this effect I took this TRIAL program: Redbird Mathametics Advanced as independent study. Wanted to get some feedback from you guys on this program. My intention: is for him to "play" around and progress thru the program starting at 3.5 grade with the notion for him to understand the APPLIED side of maths.
  16. @Lace - Thank you. This is going to be my strategy then: Continue with Hard Maths and finish it off over the summer. Already enrolled in Challenge Maths (noetic-learning) from school summer program and he's getting 4 assessments/week grade 4 level which gives him additional practice stuff over summer. Purchase work books from Beast Academy to further the learning during Sept. 2017 till June 2018 and buy them based off assessments (free) in Beast Academy. Do the assessments at end of August/early Sept. since by then he would have completed Hard Maths. If assessments say he's clear for (say) 3D then purchase for 3C as I want this to be more for practice of existing/known stuff. For further enrichment, i.e. next after August still debating between Zacarro or Glen or buying the complete Beast Academy NEXT set. For problem solving go with the suggestion made earlier i.e. with the Rainbow publication stuff "Process Skills in Problem Solving" as a supplementary read.
  17. I would suggest either www.noetic-learning Challenge Maths (4 assignments a week throughout summer) if child is good in math OR same site - StayAhead program designed specifically for summer.
  18. All - I have just joined and already asking questions!! But at the same time I feel obliged and honored to give my opinion. My son's 9 and GT. I was gifted this book and frankly my work load is usually 14 hr work and 3 hrs. commute. So, neither I have the time or much $ to research and just started using this book, 4 months back. I also have the workbook and answers. The good part: For my son at least, a teacher was not much required. He started off with chapter 2 - Base 8 only because the chapter reads What if Simpsons were real!! On his own he grasped almost 80% and then followed thru with the worksheets. Chapter 3 - adding in your head, Chapter 5: Addition Puzzles, 6: Multiplication tables, 8: Subtraction, 10: Area, 4: Tiling, 10: Polyhedra, 19: Division and 21: Decimals. All of these he understood himself about 80% and he did the worksheets. >>> What I understood is - if a child is a good reader, careful reader the material presented here can be self taught. I do understand the approach by Ellison may not be acceptable to many against specific areas however in today's world where time crunch and availability is a major bottle-neck having such a book is awesome. >>> I carefully looked at all the worksheet answers, that was my job. Trust me, when I say this - but textbook is one thing the worksheets are another. It actually made my son think and think hard. I found him many, many times going back to the text book and returning with a rather grumpy face. In US, students are used to repeat what was taught. The work book actually made him think!! It was simply put: not easy. Frankly, if I did not have the answer book I would have struggled for quite a few. Example - FAT + CAT = CLEO. (its in the text book). This addition puzzle made me think, think hard. In work book, at least twice as difficult. The bad part: The chapters which are normally NEVER touch in 3rd. or (perhaps) 4th. grade school like 7: Prime numbers, 9: Distributive property, 11: Modular Arithmetic, 13: Combinatorics, 16: Unmultiplying prime factorization number system, 18: Probability, 19: Advanced fractions he had trouble and his grasp was 40%. So, I believe in these topics perhaps the author wrote the subject matter a bit too complex. I also agree the typeface used in the book leaves a lot to be desired!! >>> Here, I completely agree with the OP. Quite a few areas I ended up going about it, my way, in terms of explanations. Again - the work book is a bit on the tougher side. >>> Word problems are a bit scant everywhere. Overall - my son has a rather love/hate relationship with this book. Loves it because he has realized it has made him smarter and he has won a few things in school competitions. Hates because its not easy and groans when it comes to the work book.
  19. Hello - I am not a Mathematician and I work in technology. At the end of the day I have realized this - I learned geometry, algebra, calculus, etc., etc. and for the last +30 years the only Maths I do is using numbers, that too addition, multiplication, division and subtraction, in MS Excel! Long story short, I believe and strongly believe in fundamentals. I do NOT like the US approach towards division, fractions and found Hard Maths book to be good in the sense it does a very good job in nailing the fundamentals thru addition puzzles, base-8 intro, distributive property and in-depth fractions, decimals and divisions. I have the worksheet book and will be using it during the summer vacation. Question is: what will I use starting September, 2017? Practice makes perfect. School will go in its own merry way teaching division (again), etc., etc. but the stuff I already taught him I want to practice. Which is why was looking to see if there's any website which can gauge the student's strength and automatically up the exercises. I did hear about TenMarks but my son's school does not participate. In my opinion there might not be any physical books as it'll be too huge. Now - again from September 2017 till end of academic year 2018 I would like to do this: Re enforce the things taught in summer via work-sheets. Teach him problem solving skiils and THANK YOU: I will definitely look into "Process Skills in Problem Solving" Move forward to next topics, more advanced. THANK YOU: I have just now looked into Saxon 65 but nowhere they have samples of what's inside. Its difficult to buy something - blind! Was thinking of buying something similar to : Hard Math but for middle school IMLEM Plus Edition by same author. As it seems you are well aware of the Saxon 65 book can you compare perhaps with the ToC of the book I mentioned and let me know? 1 small problem I see is multiple books of this Saxon series. My son tends not to follow the set pattern, so I tend to jump from topic to topic. In other words when we attempted Permutations/Combinations he loved it but with distributive properties he had difficulty. So I dropped it and moved to area and then over time slowly came back to it off and on. Finally, he grasped it. THANK YOU: I'll avoid the Maths Circle for now as I don't have a group. On a side note - this organization has started something relatively new. For a $50 donation, they can send over the complete class notes. As they don't have online classes they have introduced this. Once again - thank you!
  20. My son is 9, grade - 3. Recently aced Noetic learning's contest. He's already in Higher Math at school. I taught him and would like to continue teaching him. For the summer - my plan is to complete Glen Ellison's Hard Math (Elementary School) and in which he has approx. 3 to 4 new topics only to learn. It will take him till EOM August as teaching time is limited. As and when he'll be in 4th. grade, in New Jersey and where I need some assistance is: - He'll need to practice the stuff I taught him using the above book and whatever school teaches as per their core curriculum (practice, practice and practice). Which websites is best suited for this type of review based practice? - As part of furthering and reinforcing the stuff and making it challenging too was planning to use (yet to buy) Zaccaro's Upper Elementary Challenge Math. - I am currently a little unhappy in how he approaches word problems so was thinking Zaccaro's Becoming a problem solving genius. Also debating if I should also purchase Ten Things all future .... by the same author. - 1 particular book which caught my attention is Math Circles for Elementary School: Berkley 2009 available in Amazon. But not sure if its worth it or should I use it instead of the above book? - Beast Academy text books I really liked but waiting for them to open up the online teaching in 2018. Any assistance / replacements recommended - highly appreciated!
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