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Everything posted by mathmarm

  1. Mastering the Bar-Modeling strategy, along with developing a rock-solid number-sense is a great preparation for Algebra. You don't need to do anything but learn the strategy and then work every word problem explicitly and systematically. I don't use the Primary Math/Dimensions series, but apply the strategy to a ton of Word Problems--we love Process Skills to Problem Solving and Kumon Word Problems are a distant 2nd to PStPS. If the child just wants to plug and chug with numbers, then take out the numbers and make him study the relationships for a few weeks.
  2. I can not speak to every one who chooses to pursue academics for their youngster. For our own family, it was not a choice that we made lightly or without thoughtful research and reflection. There is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding to follow a traditional trajectory for your children, and there is nothing wrong with deciding to follow a less expected or less understood trajectory. The most important thing is that children are loved and educated in nurturing environment. However, to your question: you and I are not co-parenting children. I'm not going to enumerate the reasons that my homeschool is designed the way it is. The only one who needs to agree with my parenting vision or share in the educational values and goals that I have for my children is their father, and fortunately he does.
  3. Memorization plays an important role in understanding. For many, memorization precedes understanding. The word problems that Englemanns group solve offer an interesting preview into whether or not they understand and make connections back to the real world. The children immediately recognize the significance of the mistake when Englemann plants the wrong unit in a word problem. One boy is wowed at the idea that a pie would cost $20 as opposed to 20¢. Direct Instruction isn't the only way to teach such skills. It's one tool that's known and highly effective for teaching. It's available to anyone who wants to use it because it's a set of principles, more than a packaged curriculum. I'm citing the video as a neutral example of average children exemplifying above average competence in something both concrete and highly objective. Those are preschoolers and kindergarteners in that video. Obviously, if you keep them on that track extend the instruction, the work becomes more sophisticated Direct Instruction is highly accessible because it doesn't require oodles of special manipulatives and difficult to acquire training for teachers like Montessori and to a lesser extent Gattegno/Cuisseniare which requires special blocks and books. A well organized and executed Montessori Mathematics foundation established before 1st grade can put children at the stage of insightfully tackling algebraic concepts and skills--typically reserved for 9th and 11th grade--at the start of 1st or 2nd grade with understanding. A well organized and executed C-Rod based Mathematics program can have children understanding and working sophisticated calculations. The class in this video are 6months into 1st grade. There are a number of techniques that can be used to build up the understanding and abilities of averaged children. I don't know if successfully applying these types of methods can truly make a child gifted as the term is understood today.
  4. You might be interested to know that In 1966 Dr. Engleman published a book for parents and care-takers, Give Your Child a Superior Mind and in this book he outlines exactly how to systematically teach your 4 and 5 year old child to solve these exact types of problems. Though, this book asserts that working the program will induce giftedness in your child. ...The program we have outlined in this book is a systematic attempt to increase the size of the child's collecting sufrace, and the child who is taught by this program will be gifted by the time he is 5 years old. (p.315, Give Your Child a Superior Mind) If it's truly possible to induce "giftedness" into people, then it's highly likely that we've "induced giftedness" in our children by now. But I'm not so sure that you can induce giftedness as I understand it. However, a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video should be worth a few million words. If he's not taught how to interpret or understand what he's staring at then I can't imagine what other options he'd have. You will see a group of Dr. Englemann's class of socially disadvantaged preschool students solving such problems if you watch this excerpt until 4m48s and watch this excerpt until 7m12s. Dr. Englemann explains that the children in this video received 1-2 years of Direct Instruction, 20 minutes a day at his experimental preschool. If you watch the first 19 minutes of the 28 minute video you will witness that group of poor, socially disadvantaged preschool students calculate the answers to simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems solve 2-digit addition with regrouping, solve word problems about money and fractions add/subract fractions--after demonstrat solve 1 step algebraic equations that involve fractions -- ie 2/3 *A = 6 demonstrate an understanding of algebraic notation such as you can write 4*C or 4C or 4*8 for multiplication, but never 48 for multiplication compare fractions to 1 calculate area of rectangles given either the sides or the total area
  5. So, it seem's that we're now having a few over-lapping conversation, without distinguishing which posts belong to which conversation and so my posts lose meaning without the proper context. In response to the OPs queries: Do my children know they are smart? I have not asked, but I think that my kids tend to feel smart. They each seem to have a good sense of self-esteem. They are particularly proud of their creative skills and abilities. Do my children know they are gifted? As someone who observes and monitors her children very closely, I have not seen the common traits of giftedness in them and believe you me I've looked. So far, there are no flags that make me think that getting them evaluated for giftedness is worth it. It's interesting to note that in a discussion of super-powers, they have both said that they wish that they could be "super smart" or "a genius". ****** Now, there was also the tangent that I spoke to re: The potential of Neuro-Typical children (my understanding of NT is that the childs IQ or cognitive abilities fall within the normal distribution of a bell-curve.) and my (disorganized thoughts) as to whether or not it's developed as fully or wholistically as possible by "typical" public schools. I am not qualified to speak to the experience of raising Neuro-Divergent children--on either side of the bell curve. It's not a part of my lived-experiences or my research.
  6. We use very systematic programs. By completing the programs with fidelity, you master a very precise skill set and achieve a very defined level. So, I do expect my children to come out of these programs at a roughly comparable levels. We use programs that are designed to deliver all "typical" students to the same destination on the same time table. I've kept samples of my eldests drawing progress and so far my younger tracks closely to what he did, when I compare their 0 months, 1 month, 2 months and 3 months of instructions samples, you see the largest variation during their earliest samples and when a new skill is introduced. But right around 3/4 months of instruction I can see how the "foundation" gelled and the variations get smaller and smaller. They must practice and repeat exercises until they're consistently producing a product that's "right". We move on at the point of mastery. Perhaps. But neither of my children are gifted artists or gifted writers. Bruce McIntyes essay about art being a skill, not a "talent" possessed by the few, really gelled with my family. We wanted to teach our children to draw--not "Art" but drawing--and found the resources that we needed to make it happen. We combined The Drawing Textbook and New Augsburg and it's a very repeatable method. Neither Hubby nor I felt we would be a good writing teacher and so we picked Reasoning and Writing composition program for our home school. It's a Direct Instruction program, I love it. I've written about it before.
  7. Well, this being the Accelerated Learner board, I think that you are going to get a lot of families who have accelerated their children in academics. There will be some families who have a child that's clinically gifted, but given what it takes to be "Gifted" I think even they will be in the minority. The OP is confusing because the title of this thread is "Does Your Child Know They Are Smart?" --and that's what I responded too. However, the actual post asks "Does Your Child Know They Are Gifted?" which is of course a different thing than simply being smart. There is something to be said about nurturing the potential in Neuro-Typical children as fully as your resources and abilities allow. Communities are often teaching children to the standard or expectations--very few communities truly try and nurture the children up to their potential NT children don't have any of the "side effects" that often accompany giftedness--they're not hyper-aware, anxious or confused about what other children can/can't do, or wondering why they're different. They're not tied in knots battling perfectionism over various tasks. They're not struggling with disproportionate abilities or awareness for their age/stage. Perhaps this lack of "giftedness" allows the highly nurtured NT child to learn with less emotional clutter and baggage? NT Humans have brain plasticity--as they learn, they learn faster and they learn better and remember longer. Their brain changes and alters in response to growth and (re)organization. History is littered with man-made "geniuses". When I look at high performing Public schools around the world, at the academic performance of various Immigrant communities, or think of the large proportion of children who perform at very high levels in a variety of fields due to the parents investment in the child--and for no other reason. I know that what is typically expected of children is not strictly about the child, but also about the resources and the teachers, because let's face it: in 99% of gen-education classrooms, the teacher is the limiting factor and the controlling factor. The best programs in the world will not help a teacher who will not use them. (Let's ignore classroom management issues for a moment). The performance of Finnish children demonstrate what can be achieved with intelligently designed programs conducted by highly-competent, dedicated teachers--without the maniacal effort found in many Asian and Western countries. I disapprove of the negative intensity of sterotypical Tiger Mothering, (think yelling, forcing crying children to work without bathroom breaks) but I love what we've been able to accomplish by being "intensely focused" on the kids development and education, for lack of a better term. Since we don't live in Finland, we hoped that by giving our children two highly devoted, "Tiger Parents" who are as gentle as they are persistent and intentional in the childrens education could get us good results, and it has. It's not perfect, but it's something. For example, we are very intentional, deliberate and focused on teaching them to read phonetically and building their oral reading fluency. We go much further than 99% of the commercial "learn to read" type programs out there. Most US 1st grade reading programs are designed to be used by mediocre teachers with who knows what kind of support and administered 1 time a day to a group of 10-25 children who may or may not have challenging behavior or supportive home environments. sight words, CVC, CCVC and CVCC phonics, and silent-E is the best that they hope for and so most 1st grade reading programs stop there. But when you're able to administer a reading program, 2-5 times a day, to a single student who doesn't have challenging behavior and does have a supportive home environment, you may be able to accomplish that standard in a couple of months. The problem is that in the US doing reading 2-5 times a day with a child is almost unheard of--2 times maybe, but 3+ times and your neighbors will shun you and might even try and sic CPS on you. Another example is that the typical Scope and Sequence of mathematics is meant to spread arithmetic out over 6+ years before getting to algebra, and so it takes 6+ years of arithmetic before children get to algebra. But when you think about how a well run Montessori PreK might teach mathematics to it's 3-6 year old kids. Or watch Mathematics at Your Fingertips and see 6-7 yo children working fluently with fractions and reasoning through "highschool level" math, or think about what children can accomplish with an oral/reasoning based program like Direct Instruction Arithmetic--that does not make use of special manipulatives, then you realize that what we're asking of our NT 3-7 year olds isn't any where close to what they're generally capable of. Being a mathematician, I happen to know that there is no real mathematical reason that Algebra be introduced only after Arithemetic has been mastered. I know that the algebra needed to understand and perform geometry and trigonometry is minimal--there is no reason to do a year or two of algebra before getting to these subjects--the modern scope and sequence of Mathematics is based on Standardized Tests and Box Checking, it's not rooted in pedagogy or mathematical need. 100+ years ago very few teachers in one room school houses knew algebra and so Algebra was not included in the elementary school education. Not because of the children, but because of the teacher. When you look at texts from 100+ years ago, you see that the problems can be very algebraic--but the abstract notation isn't there. The fact that these books were in use and widely successful shows that even elementary students can do algebraic calculations and use algebraic reasoning, they just didn't learn the formalized algebra for solving those problems because the teachers couldn't teach what they themselves didn't know--many of them having been educated in one room school houses themselves. When you look at the handwriting of the average US-educated 8yo (where handwriting is not being taught to mastery, currently) and the handwriting of a child educated in a system that values handwriting--you see what 8yo handwriting can look like--if the teachers (are able to) prioritize it. The majority of the humans on earth are bi- and tri-lingual. Thus speaking multiple languages is not an advanced skill or special ability. It's something that humans naturally do. There are street vendors and street urchins around the world who speak 6+ languages with ease, because that's what their day to day survival demands of them. By living in society that does NOT make use of that natural human ability, who is to be sure that the average American monolingual is not being harmed the way that our lack of physicality harms us? Modern Americans raised in the late 90s or 00s might feel tired just walking up and down the block, but human beings can walk miles each day. We did it up through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, but the rise of cars, and the rise of "taking kids everywhere" and commuting to work has everyone in the states walking far less, the poor quality of mainstream food and so our typical phyiscal capacities are diminished. These other humans are not "super human"--they're simply exercising their human-abilities far more regularly and thoroughyl than most Americans. Neuro-diversity does exist, but I don't think that's the sole explanation or even the primary explanation for what so many children can do.
  8. I might speak to the parents or look online about finding someone who can record a few MP3's for your DD. Common phrases that she can use with her friend. Vocabulary for the things that they do play with Question words that she can use to get more information from her friend What a neat situation to be in. Your daughter has a playmate that she's interested in learning from and who is interested in teaching her. Perhaps you can ask the neighbors about teaching your daughter to read from a Bukvar (Russian Syllabary) as this can help train her ear and develop her accent learning to read from a native Russian. Does your daughter watch TV? I'm sure you can find a show on YouTube for her to watch.
  9. The title asks: Does your child know they are smart? I am pretty sure that my children feel smart. They're confident in their literacy and numeracy skills, and very proud of their drawing skills. I think that their handwriting is the only academic skill that has been noted and pointed out by young and old. They're very advanced in the things that they've been taught, and learn well when they're learning something new. But I don't see any signs from them that makes me think that they should be evaluated for giftedness.
  10. What is a natural range for young children? I'm seeking a method that's completely about developing basic vocal skill, not instruments. Is there a series of Song Books that are able to be sung skillfully in a "natural range" for an untrained person or child? If so, what are they? You mentioned multiple methods that are based on Solfege--are there any alternatives to Solfege that I might explore? Which techniques lay the best foundation of skills like breathing and breath-control?
  11. If I want to educate myself on the basics of Vocal Education/Singing Pedagogy, where should I start? What are the schools of thought that I should look to educate myself about the techniques to teaching or learning singing? There are a variety of established programs/"schools" for learning instruments (i.e. Suzuki, Yamaha, Alfreds, etc) but I imagine there are some established methods of vocal music seeing as how it's the only global instrument there is.
  12. mathmarm

    I'm Sad

    (((hugs))) After you're done being sad, it's important to start looking for actionable solutions, such as accepting/budgeting for an Uber or Lyft to take you out there every so often. An hours ride in an Uber would be costly, but once a month or every-other month, should be doable.
  13. 1. I think that doing 20-35 minute sessions 2x a day may help a lot more than adding more boxes and books to the learning to read process. 2. The only LA-skill that I work on with my early-readers is penmanship. We used the Kumon books for handwriting but any program that teachers letters based on their letter shapes/stroke order will work. We add in extra work, we have them write missing letters to complete words. We have them write words from dictation. We have them drill handwriting and work to get their handwriting fluent. Once their handwriting is developing and coming along, we use Spelling by Sound and Structure. When she's fluent in handwriting and able to write letters neatly and fluently, then begin a spelling program with her. A well designed spelling program re-inforces phonics. I used and highly recommend Spelling By Sound and Structure 2-6, in my opinion it's a wonderfully designed program. I start it with my kids who can read on a basic level and can physically write easily. SbSS is gentle, thorough and very intelligently put together, we skip the student workbooks and teach only from the Teachers Guides. Our kids write on the papers, the board or note cards. NOTE: The workbooks are Christian--there are references to God throughout, but I edited out all the religious references for my family because that faith doesn't align with our family values. 3. For a budding reader who can't write I think that LA should be restricted to systematic phonics + reading practice + penmanship. I would do AM and PM sessions in all 3 to get a foundation established. I would do 30 minutes of focused work in the AM: 7 minutes of supervised and directed penmanship. (she should write the 1 or 2 letters 2 rows each working quickly and diligently) 7 minutes of explicit phonics lessons. (teaching 1 or 2 sounds, IDing it in words, blending words with that sound, IDing the sound in print, orally blending words that have the sound, blending a few words that use that sound. 12 minutes of phonics based reading practice. 4 minutes of dictation. and 10-20 minutes of focused work in the PM. 2 minutes of letter/digraph writing practice 4 minutes of phonics-based dictation (review of what she learned in the AM or has been working on for a while) 5 minutes of phonics-based reading practice. 3 minutes of Rapid Reading Review (reading words and phrases from a card or sheet of paper)
  14. What was the ending of Dogs in the original edition? What is the ending of Dogs now?
  15. PBS has a series The Origin of Everything on YouTube.
  16. Word Build is a great program. The workbooks are a bit costly, but we enjoy it greatly and the kids vocabulary benefits from working through it. We use the Foundations Series (2 books for 3rd-5th), but kinda wish we'd gotten the Elements Series (3 books for 6th+) instead. Spelling By Sound and Structure 7 and 8 are vocabulary focused books that teach roots and word elements. Spelling Through Morphographs teaches words elements and their meaning, as well as the spelling rules to combine roots and affixes to spell complex words.
  17. So, we teach phonics "all the way through" for our kids. We use this Ultimate Phonics List because the font is large and easy for beginning readers and the words + sentences make it super easy to use. As the kids are progressing we pull in the free resources from OnTrack Reading for 3-Syllallble and 4-Syllable words, and for a free resource of 5-syllable words we created a list from a the website Wordnik, we discounted the more obscure words. So, we continue the phonics process until the kids can easily read 5 syllable words as easily as they can read a 5-syllable sentence. As quickly and clearly as our kids read Tom ran very fast. is as quickly and clearly as they should read affiliation, curiosity, and intracranial. No. We do not. While our children are on the path of "Learning to Read" to the level that we desire, when there is an article or book that we want them to read, we skim the material for words the child can't yet sound out fluently and write them on the whiteboard or a piece of paper. We syllabicate the word with the child, but then the child must sound out the word. It's our thought that if we tell the child how to sound it out, it doesn't grow their decoding ability.
  18. I don't know if it fits your needs as much, but we have a Scholastic Visual Dictionary and get a lot of use out of it.
  19. For what it's worth to you, the reason that we continued teaching and practicing phonetic reading until they're reading 5-syllable words easily and fluently is because phonics based spelling programs lag significantly behind phonics based reading. Spelling programs that are phonics-based tend to focus on phonics skills and concepts below the current grade level because the conventional thought is that spelling should be practice on words that kids can read. When you start a phonetic spelling program, you're starting with 1syllable words again. We use and love Spelling by Sound and Structure, it's a steady, systematic phonics based spelling program which starts in grade 2 and works for our kids. The exercises are recycled and re-used on various categories of words and the skills seem to transfer quite well into their writing. In my experience, many older kids are found to be poor readers because they lack the ability to fluently read upper-grade material as easily as they could read lower-grade material. That's why many educators describe it as "the kids hit a wall" after ___ grade. The kids decoding isn't automatic--often phonics have been abondoned too soon or they did so well with 1 and 2 syllable words that people just assumed that they didn't need any help with 3-5 syllable words. Some kids don't wind up needing any help with longer words, but many of them do. Upper grade material is composed of multi-syllable words embedded in parts of phrases, sentences, paragraphs and passages. OP, I want to encourage you to extend their phonics practice another 6 months or so so that they master longer words and can read them easily and accurately aloud or silently.
  20. We continue reading instruction until a child can fluently and accurately read 5 syllable words. You don't need to purchase a program for this though, you can continue reading instruction on this level with 2 steps. 1) You can find lists of multisyllable words online for the kids to practice reading. 2) Use an article from a book that you want the kids to read. Pre-teach all of the longer words in that passage on a sheet of paper then have them read the article until they're reading that passage fluently. (Decoding + Punctuation).
  21. My absolute favorite writing program is Reasoning and Writing. It's written for a public school, but can be adapted pretty easily to a 1-1 scenario. You can give him the placement test. Because of his age, you should give give him the placement test for Level F first. If he doesn't place in RaW-F, then give Placement Test for level E, then D, then C.
  22. You can use this Phonics Based Reading Test. to determine which phonics skills he should start on. Then use the Ultimate Phonics list to target exactly the phonic skills/patterns that he needs to work. Invest in making sure that he can read the multi-syllable words fluently. While you are doing the phonics, have him learn and practice handwriting. For handwriting we used the Kumon handwriting books and a few of those "Learning to Write" practice pads that you can get at the dollar tree. We drilled the letters themselves and we also drilled the various letter combinations like vowel teams and digraphs, so that they get some speed writing those combos. As his letter formation improves, you can have him write words from the UP List that he's reading and copy a few of the sentences each day. Once he finishes the Ultimate Phonics list, he'll be a reader. Our young readers began working on spelling once their handwriting is fluid. We use Spelling by Sound and Structure 2-6.
  23. Teachers Guide. We don't use the student workbooks for Spelling by Sound and Structure, we teach it directly from the Teachers Guide. The kids write the words in a notebook, and they also write them on the board.
  24. I would keep her progressing in her phonics. Work on her handwriting first. When she's fluent in handwriting and able to write letters neatly and fluently, then begin a spelling program with her. I used and highly recommend Spelling By Sound and Structure 2-6. We just use the TG and have the kids write on the board and on papers. It's a wonderfully designed program. I start it with my 5-6yos who read on a 3rd+ grade level and can write easily. SbSS is gentle, thorough and very intelligently put together. NOTE: The workbooks are Christian--there are references to God throughout, but I edited out all the religious references for my family because that faith doesn't align with our family values.
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