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Everything posted by debi21

  1. The Three Investigators! I loved those books, and it was the first time I encountered Alfred Hitchcock. Thanks for reminding me of them. I think one of the three boys had a sister who featured occasionally - maybe that's where the girl came in. For other mysteries featuring girls, I remember reading a lot of Trixie Belden books, too.
  2. Around here, near where collleges/universities have their free tutoring (math lab), there is some kind of bulletin board where students advertise paid tutoring. That should give you some local options. If he doesn't see it, he can ask the front desk at the math lab too - they usually have a list of tutors offering their services and sometimes they also have a set-up where you can arrange repeated sessions with the same tutor at a given time each week. The front desk people and/or managers of the peer tutoring could also possibly have insight into who is really good for calc 2 in particular. If you are at a larger university, you might also explore whether either graduate-level math students or adjunct faculty who teach lower level classes offer tutoring as well. Again, not sure how large an institution you are at, but I'd have your son be at the professor's office hours asking more questions, seeing if he get get a better handle on where he got lost, or where his gaps or weaknesses are. This will provide a better understanding of what he needs more help with. Also, it's possible that the professor himself can recommend a good tutor for the class from among his past students or TAs or whatever. Is there a TA for this class? If so, contact the TA and pursue help from him/her. If not, I believe the student should be persistent about showing up for office hours for the professor. At some universities no one ever goes to office hours, and then it's so easy for the professor to say/think, well they never asked for help. At smaller colleges with smaller classes, at least, the professors are expected to help students out during office hours. This class might take more time and effort than classes in the past. The recommendation that students who fail the first (second?) exam should drop the course along with the inability to see an advisor for 2-3 weeks makes me wonder if this is a large university and they are using this class as a "weeder" for students interested in engineering/sciences/math? I find that to be a crappy attitude and I would counter it by being defiantly persistent. Make sure the TA and professor know who you are and know how motivated and willing to work you are. Also, Khan Academy covers through AP Calc BC - have you looked at whether that, or other free online resources, could help him out in the meanwhile as you look for a tutor?
  3. I would first want to work more basic skills for number sense given she's using fingers. I am guessing since I'm not sure where she is skill wise or how old. Can she subitize 1-6 with a die and 1-10 with a ten frame? Can she add and subtract one from any number 1-20 by counting up and down without fingers? What about two? I would probably try to transition from fingers to counters in a ten frame and/or c rods to continue manipulative (concrete) while decreasing finger usage. Then work five and ten number bonds. Then addition doubles memorization (might be a song for this), and doubles plus or minus one. Then whatever is left. I realize this doesn't really answer your question about fun activities but you have some good ideas for number bonds. And I'm sure others will have good ideas too. I would say there's lots to do with decks of cards and c rods.
  4. 10 X 5 = (? X 2) + (? X 8) You have a lot of good answers already. This problem seems a bit weird to me, in the sense that why would you want to do this problem? 5x10 is an easy multiplication and this problem is complicating it unnecessarily. How would this problem ever come up in a practical sense? Why is the distributive property important to learn? One obvious application involves the ability to manipulate numbers more easily, which leads to easier mental math. This is evident in your first example, where 69 = 70 - 1. Then there is the ability to better understand multi-digit multiplication and place value, where you can use expanded form so 38 x 17 = (30 x 17) + (8 x 17). And then it's important for algebra as you learn to combine and separate terms in various ways. But I find your example problem non-inutitive. Plus if I wanted to use a manipulative to show something like 2 groups of 5 and 8 groups of 5, I can't even really see how do that immediately, because of the way this problem chooses to have the 5 number missing. What if you gave them this type of problem, but with one of the '5's filled in so there was only one blank? Would they immediately be able to see the other was 5 too? The other thing is that, on the face of it, if you know the distributive property this is a very easy problem. Maybe the idea is that if they see it several times in examples, it's supposed to be an easy one too. Oh the 2 and the 8 make 10 therefore the other number, 5, is the one that's missing? Is that the thought that the problem writer wanted them to have? ETA: is your book even specifying (and emphasizing) that the two ?s have to be the same? Otherwise I could easily answer that 10 X 5 = (21 X 2) + (1 X 8) and it's not the distributive property at all. I really think I don't care for this question format. I really like the idea of having manipulatives here, with 10 groups of 5 and asking, how can we divide these into two parts without disrupting the individual groups of five, and then you can see how the distributive property works more. But, again, doesn't work with the format of the question you are looking at.
  5. My 5 year old picky eater just seems to be getting worse. Yesterday, breakfast was 6 strawberries. Lunch was two pieces of cheese. He gets his own plate for every meal. I give him a cup of milk for each meal, mostly left behind. I offer choices in every category: fruit, vegetable, protein, certain carbs. I offer nuts and olives to try and provide more fat and calories. Right now he is turning down meat, eggs, yogurt, and peanut butter (but I offer them every day in case), so finding enough fat and protein is tough. If he doesn't pre-approve everything on his plate, he refuses to eat the whole thing. The best thing going on right now is that he's way into eating popsicles.I am doing fruit + vegetable (spinach) + cream + whey protein made into fruit smoothie, then frozen into popsicles. 1 or 2 a day, and at least he's getting some calories and nutrition.
  6. Do you think, for children who are susceptible to this kind of video game addiction, that television watching is less damaging (particularly if it is educational tv)? And is cold turkey better or trying to teach moderation? Is cold turkey possible or realistic once a child knows they like this type of thing? Is an hour a day several days a week preferable to one day a week for several hours or vice versa? I have so many questions about this. I think our family is prone to this, including me, my husband, and my kids. My 8 yo wrote an answer to describing his perfect day "24 hours of video games." I will definitely be looking for this book.
  7. As far as Basis, I understand they are high pressure and force out lower performing students, so that they lose a lot of students in high school grades, making the remainder of their students look really, really good. I would not be interested in that kind of environment. That said, taking so many APs is something a lot of kids with aspirations to elite universities do, so I would be in favor of that. Around here, I understand the first AP most kids are able to take in public schools, in either 8th or 9th, is the Human Geography. That might be considered easier? Back in the stone age, I took my first in 10th and it was European history. Taking an AP course in 8th grade could be a good, ambitious goal, but I would not be thinking about memorizing facts as a useful indicator with regard to success in an AP exam. I think an important question is, how good at writing are your children? Because it's the essays being at an appropriate level that I would thinking about as to whether they are ready for an AP in grade 8. What is their general maturity level with regard to keeping calm with a long (3 hour, isn't it?) exam? Also, what kinds of tests will they have taken prior to an AP. You would want them quite comfortable with test-taking before something like that.
  8. I'm not an expert, but it occurred to me there must be some shared resources or open educational resources out there since I would expect this to be taught somehow in public schools. I found although I don't know if it's good, and I'm sure there's other options. Many/most people do say no wikipedia, and of course you shouldn't cite it, but I feel like it is discouraged to look at it at all. I encourage reading it for a little baseline knowledge, to discover for example if you really do want to research that subject, and frequently some of the works cited at the end of the wikipedia article can be useful to read. I think introducing the idea of searching on article/journal online databases and how that is different than just simply googling a random internet page is so valuable, and will serve kids well heading into high school and then university. Find out what is available through the public library, and you can also find out if the library itself will do any of this type "training" or classes.
  9. We did MK in grades 1 and 2. We didn't do much preparation, but I guess it depends on whether you have expectations about doing well. We did free sample problems over a handful of sessions, and worked with Challenging Word Problems as part of our math. He finished MM 4 for 2nd grade, so not as advanced as yours, and sometimes I'm not sure he has retained anything. At the center we take it in, it's in a classroom at desks, filling out a "scantron" type form. I think you have 75 minutes, but my son has been out the door after 15-20. I keep hoping he'll slow down and be more careful. Our testing center is an hour away and I take him out for sushi and ice cream after to make it a special thing. We tried CML this past year. It is really low key as you can take it at home. But with it being at home, my son was like, "is this a real test?" and I'm not sure he put in his best effort. ETA: thanks for mentioning Caribou. That wasn't on my radar.
  10. Math Kangaroo is an individual test for grades 1-12 CML (Continental Math League) starts in grade 2 and has 3 or 4 tests per year, taken individually. You can sign up as an individual homeschooler, or as some kind of class/team/school. MOEMS has a grade 4-6 division and a grade 6-8 division, generally part of a team at school. Mathcounts is grades 6-8, usually a team thing but you can do some parts individually I understand. They have regional chapter competitions, then state, then national. AMC has AMC8, AMC10, AMC12 where the number is the highest grade you can be in. Individual. Some really advanced kids take AMC8 as 5th or 6th graders maybe. My oldest is going into 3rd, so personal experience only with the first two. For I think all of them, there are some free example problems on their websites and you can buy more tests/problems/answers. There are others, too, but these I think are the most well known. I agree with PP that MK is a nice one to start with. If you want to "learn" more than just doing problems, I think that George Lenchner's book Creative Problem Solving in School Mathematics is recommended for middle school grades, and then for the AMC tests, I think kids use the AOPS books and others on that site.
  11. My ds8 is going to start 3rd grade at a public full-time gifted program in three weeks. I have no idea how it's going to go, how he will fit in the class academically, and how much (and what quality) homework there will be. I also don't know what extracurricular opportunities will be available for him. So I have no idea how feasible anything I plan will be, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it. Also, I'm anxious. My top priority is to keep doing math with him. Sometimes it goes well and other times poorly. I know he is better at math than I was at his age, but I don't know how good he is compared to others, and what level he'll be looking at in this school. Sometimes he says he likes/loves math, and other times, hates it. Probably because I'm giving him hard problems and/or he is 8 years old and doesn't want to focus and work. He still has frustration and temper tantrums when he finds problems hard, and that's what I'd really like to improve. His highest peak of motivation is the state Math Kangaroo award ceremony. He was 2nd in state in 1st and 3rd in state in 2nd grade and he said to me he'd like to come in 1st (so he can have all the ribbon colors). I told him I thought it was possible, but he'd have to work a lot harder. I told him if he spend the hours doing math that he spent on his preferred extracurricular that he'd have a chance. I don't know how brilliant the other children are. So my desire is to do 20-30 minutes of work a day, but it's going to depend on school hw I'm sure. I have CWP, Singapore Challenge workbooks, Zaccaro's, a Borac book, BA, plus there's MK problems. I think I will buy one of the MOEMS books this year, and maybe upgrade to higher grade levels on some of the others. Other than that, I would like more reading or more read alouds and for him to keep practicing the violin, which he just started this summer. And then to introduce him to more non-academic skills through whatever extracurriculars we can fit in. I'd love to find a sewing class not for homeschoolers, a good art class, and I keep thinking about boy scouts. I let him dabble in other things he's interested in through computers, apps, books in his free time - some science, geography, and programming here and there, but I'm not pushing any of that and am glad he is interested in these things.
  12. So I just was working on sorting through my tall ds8's clothes for this year and thought of this thread. We tried on pants and separated too big, too small, ok fitting. The problem is, my mother buys and ships clothes to me from second hand sources. She likes thrift shopping. In the ok fitting pile, I have 28 pairs of pants. 6 jeans, 12 chino/khaki type, and about 10 track/sweat pants. I have bought none of them. I would like to buy one pair of really good fitting jeans, but I won't. I have no idea how to further winnow them down, and have a hard time discarding/donating, especially when I have a younger son with a different body type so the best fitting pairs for him might not be the same. I have like 10-12 huge tubs of clothes in my garage filled with bigger sizes, and sizes between the boys. I should be (and am at least somewhat) grateful to not have to spend any money on clothes, but I am constantly overwhelmed trying to juggle and organize huge inventories, which is a weakness of mine in the first place. She just sent me an entire wardrobe basically of size 5/6 clothes for the younger, when I already have too many size 6 clothes from what she's bought before for the older. Tomorrow we'll go through the 14 pairs of khaki and navy chino shorts plus all the athletic shorts for my older. There's probably at least 50 shirts in every size. OK, that was a vent. I advise less than what I have.
  13. Now at ages 5 and 8, I am finally more comfortable. The 8 year old is a passable swimmer. The 5 year old wears a life jacket. I am assuming the PPs who mentioned life jackets use ones like this which are like what I have and they are amazing. I can't believe some pools don't allow them. I can turn my back for a few minutes and not worry - highly recommend.
  14. When I have a few minutes, I usually offer the kids a choice of oatmeal, yogurt, or scrambled eggs. When we are late and running out the door, it's often a piece of bread with butter (if we have bread in the house) or a larabar and a cheese stick or two in the car. 1-2 times a month, DH cooks pancakes as a special treat. When we are home all morning, breakfast is usually followed up with a plate of fresh fruit and veg within an hour or two. I try to avoid giving the kids cold cereal.
  15. I like Mel Joulwan (Well Fed, Well Fed 2) and Michelle Tam (Nom Nom Paleo), whose emphasis imo is tastier food versus going on about the health benefits. I have made recipes from both of their websites to good effect, so you can see from there if you like their styles. Disclosure - I don't own their books yet, but I have Well Fed 2 out from the library now, and am trying some recipes from that. Don't forget to check out what's available at your local library for more choices.
  16. I have been using some "past its prime" fruit lately in smoothies, including a watermelon losing its texture, mushy plums, and some apples getting pretty old. They work great for that. Also, cooked apple things, like applesauce or apple butter should translate pretty well with pears, I would think.
  17. I might be wrong, but my understanding is for my insurance (and I think many/most/all?) they will refill at 90% of days. That is written oddly. What I mean is, for a 31 day prescription, 10% is 3 days, so they will refill in whole at 28 days. I am on a permanent, required-to-live medication and am in constant fear of running out, so I always refill just those few days early. Eventually it gives you a little stash of spare.
  18. Hi. My son turned 5 in April, we had him evaluated through our public schools in May, and he will qualify for speech services this fall in K. They measured him in the 7th percentile. So this is some of our info in case you find it helpful. He is missing r, l, and every consonant blend, where he either just says one of the letter or says 'f' (so, stick is 'tick', while truck is totally inappropriate). His j was also marked as not quite right (kind of like a french 'j' - 'zhj'). He also frequently drops the first syllable of 3 syllable + words. For example "destroyed" is "foyed." For the IEP, they have prioritized getting the "sh" sound. Our public school evaluation took less than 30 minutes and involved him looking at pictures and saying what they were. Also of interest, since they said there is nothing phsyical preventing him from developing the sound, they said that even with no therapy, he would eventually come to gain all of them naturally.
  19. I'm very interested in this topic and am interested in what you find. I don't think the U.S. does a good job at all with this, generally. I don't know of any articles. So I went to the state Math Kangaroo awards this year and I took a minute to talk to our state winner and runner up in 12th grade, who had represented our state in MathCounts in middle school, etc. They both live in the most populous county in our state, while I live in an adjoining one. I asked them if they knew if any high schools in my county that had a good reputation for math, competitions, etc. They didn't, and we talked about the "top" high schools in their county and they pointed out that even there, for math clubs and math competitions it was generally just students teaching other students. Basically, they implied no math teachers were up to the task. I think somehow we just expect the really genius kids will just figure it out on their own. If they are not successful with the discovery method, AOPS, etc., what else is there for them? The bright and gifted, but not profoundly so, I think are really let down and may not reach their full potential. Edit: Rosie, your article sounds great. I'm going to go read it. More Edit: OP, would love it if you would share your assigned readings. Also, I had noticed that Cleo Borac had offered a "seminar for Parents of Gifted Mathematicians" on and while I hadn't pursued it, it is still in the back of my mind. I wonder if she would have any useful input there.
  20. My husband loves to cook meat sous vide. He uses it most commonly for chicken breast (it's cooked perfectly inside, you can store extra in the fridge, and then you just have to quick sear before eating in the next couple days), pork tenderloin (this comes out with amazing texture, like a steak - we really like it with trader joe's coffee bbq rub), and nice steaks like ribeye and new yorks. The steaks can be expensive, but they are as good as or better than a steakhouse. Pork chops also come out really well. These are all relatively "fast" cooking, like two hours-ish. We have not been won over by the cheap cuts of beef cooked super long. They are nice and tender, but to us have still more of a flavor of pot roast versus steak to us (he in particular doesn't care for pot roast). He did like how ribs turned out (but that was before he bought a smoker!). His love of the sous vide has led him to now purchase a searz-all to finish all the aforementioned cuts. It's a powerful one-two combo, I guess. Plus blow torches are cool? On my end, one of my favorite uses is to "pasteurize" eggs without cooking them so that I am more comfortable making and consuming homemade mayo. My in-laws' favorite use for theirs is salmon, but for some reason we haven't done that yet. In years of owning the thing, we've never tried any veggies in it. DH also loves J Kenji Lopez-Alt.
  21. On the pencil issue, the school list I just received (3rd grade) requires 20 mechanical pencils (.7 mm lead specified) and specifies crayola twistable colored pencils. There will be no sharpening of anything by anyone. I hate mechanical pencils and just seem to break them repeatedly. Maybe I push too hard or maybe I had the too-small diameter lead?
  22. So far I've bought pre-alg, algebra, and geometry. I will probably add to the collection, always hoping for a second-hand deal. Hoping my kids might use them eventually (oldest is 8 and still a few years out) and also that they might come in handy for me. Finishing a secondary math ed program.
  23. Someone posted the article about this on a local community facebook page. The subsequent response was #fakenews. This upset me more than anything else. I am a bit jaded and not surprised with the hypocrisy of the whole thing. But I was disappointed that we are at the point that any "bad" PR about a conservative company was met with immediate dismissal and denial.
  24. Putting aside computer programs and apps, some different kinds of options would be something like math circle type investigative problems (i.e. fun topics like Farrar mentions but you can get books for ideas like the one on the Berkley Math Circle), brain teasers (like Martin Gardner or similar), competition math questions (you could use MOEMS, MathCounts, Math Kangaroo, etc, and probably get some free sample problems), challenging workbooks like Singapore's CWP or books from Zaccaro, Borac, Ellison, or an unusual curriculum like Beast Academy or MEP maybe. There are also cool ideas out there on lots of math teachers' websites, but that always takes a lot of searching for me, and then I lose them, so I don't know if the time expenditure is worth not buying a book.
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