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  1. Hi all, I’ve been giving myself a maths re-education while trying to work out how I want to teach it. I want to teach conceptually, playfully and early (start at 4). I started with Montessori (too ££) and from there found Mortensen blocks, which I found out have been approved by montessorians of a cheap alternative which are in some ways better and more adaptable than the montessori materials. See paper by montessori teacher Judith Townsend: https://www.crewtonramoneshouseofmath.com/support-files/townsend-mortensen.pdf I have enjoyed watching the Crewton Ramone House of Math videos and I think thats the way I want to go. In an ideal world I would buy all the Mortensen Math books to make his videos work as an actual program and give us some structure - but their prices and shipping costs are extortionate. CR says not to bother with the books and just ‘play math’ but that freaks me out. I don’t have his passwords though and he claims his program is more structured inside the paywall, but some of the reviews suggest otherwise. Gattegno and the C-rods are super accessible in the UK but i’m struggling to nail down the differences. I will refer to the different approaches as Mortensen v Gattegno as they were the originals. CR and MathUSee are spin offs from Mortensen and Miquon is from Gattegno. So far I have: -Gattegno and Moretenson both introduce algebra right off the bat. Gattegno doesn’t have any actual numbers until book 3 (just says one green is three whites etc). Mortensen encourages associating the rods with a number and has lines on them so kids can count them. In Mortensen, one of the first games is to build pictures and count them. Mortensen does algebra traditionally with x and Gattegno uses letters to signify the colour of rods eg 3r = g (three whites is one green). This is to encourage a relational understanding of math. MathUSee doesn’t do early algebra and Miquon does some, but uses shapes. -Mortensen/MathUSee blocks are bigger and easier for little kids to handle. They also have an ‘empty’ underneath that can be used to signify a negative number. Some people on this board say the C-rods are better for being smooth as it discourages counting. - Mortensen uses a montessori three part lesson, and also moves from the concrete blocks, to pictorial representations of the blocks on paper (square for 100, line for 10 and dot for 1) to finally just working with numbers. I believe singapore does this too. MUS misses the pictorial step. No idea about Gattegno. - Mortensen goes right up to 12th grade, not sure about gattegno. I know miquon only goes to third. I don’t know Gattegno that well but have I missed things? If Gattegno is basically the same as Moretenson it makes no sense to shell out for the text books. I could just buy the Gattegno text books and adapt them to MUS blocks? (I think I want to use MUS blocks to make it easy to follow CRs videos, or to switch to MUS for a bit if i’m struggling because ill or have a newborn or something) Another idea I had is to use a vintage text book like Rays or Grubes (it seems like they were more conceptual back then) and use blocks to lay out the word problems and work through the questions (i don't like having to think of my own questions like CR does). That way I would at least know I was covering a certain amount of material. I could print off MUS worksheets for extra practice. If anyone has any experience then please, tell me more! It seems like Mortensen is out of fashion (and I can see why with the price!), but it looks like it would fit my teaching style well - I prefer like a bit of structure but not scripted lessons. This is why I ruled out right start but will be getting their games book for drill.
  2. Hi All, I am hoping for some pearls of wisdom here because I am really agonizing over a math decision. Here is the background. My DS is a sophomore & completed MUS Algebra 1 in 9th grade. He got a B in the class, he is not a strong math student & works hard for his grade. He had done MUS since 6th grade. Well last summer, after completing MUS algebra 1, DS decided he wants to be a nurse & get his BSN degree. Well after research we realized he will need college algebra & stats as general ed requirements & no other higher level maths. Thank goodness. So I decided he would do Saxon Algebra 1 until Thanksgiving as a quick review to solidify his algebra skills. Well long story short, he is now just finishing up Saxon Algebra 1 & it has been agony. Lessons take DS 3 hours & many test scores are in low 70's. We have talked to Art Reed on many occasions & he has been very helpful. He is having DS back up 10 lessons now & then charge forward. So here are my problems: Because I made DS repeat a class he already had on his transcript, he has no credit for math his sophomore year In our state he needs Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 & an advanced math on his transcript to graduate DS really does better to split the Saxon lesson & half but then the next book will take too long Here are my questions: In looking at MUS Algebra 2, I think DS could whip through it because it has much of the same content as Saxon Alg 1-then he could be done by the end of summer & I could put it on his transcript, should I do this? If MUS in completed through Pre-Calculus is that enough for an low average math student to be prepared for College Algebra? Should DS finish out Saxon Algebra 1 & start Saxon Algebra 2 immediately, knowing it will take 365 days of agony to complete? Would a student like this even be capable of completing the first 60 lessons of Saxon Advanced Math he would need in order to get his Geometry credit? (It sounds like this course is difficult for a good math student) At this point I'm not interested in any other math curricula. Any guidance would be so greatly appreciated. I can't wrap my head around what the appropriate thing to do is. Jean
  3. I am thinking of getting something else to help with math. My foster son is in grade 6 but is currently homeschooled. We are using Horizons 3 for the spiral nature. ( When we try to do mastery type math he forgets whatever we have learned when we go back to it. I have taught and retaught how to tell time.) We have supplemented with Math Mammoth Level 2 and level 3 where appropriate. He is all over the place with math. He can add 4 digit numbers together with multiple addenends, and we have been working on multiplication facts. We completed the section in MM Level 2 on subtraction. He did okay but needed a lot of handholding. But attempts to try MM Level 3 is just bringing frustration. He has build up some sort of block about subtraction and is currently just dissolving into tears whenever we tackle it. He has 2 problems with subtraction. He does not seem to have the facts memorized ( although he can figure them out). ( I don't know why that part is so hard when he can do addition okay?) If it regroups more than once, he forgets and just subtracts UP instead. If I correct him, he just dissolves into tears a lot of the time. I feel like he HAS to get his subtraction facts down for his own peace of mind. He knows he doesn't know them and it stresses him out considerably. I was debating between Ronit Bird stuff or MUS Alpha. I feel like a lot of Alpha he might just breeze through but maybe not. I wondered if MUS Beta did much reviewing of Alpha and if that would be enough. The Ronit Bird site is down everytime I try to access it right now, so I am not sure what their work is like. Note: I am currently waiting on the result of IQ testing with the Woodcock Johnson. I have no idea how helpful the report might be and if I need to wait on that to get a better sense of what to order?
  4. I posted about one of my daughter's struggle with her first grade MM. We are switching to MUS Alpha. I found they teacher's manual, DVD and manipulatives used, and ordered the workbook last week at a conference. In comparing the two (MUS teacher's manual and the MM 1b that we are currently using) it's obvious how completely different the curriculum is. Do I have to start at the beginning with MUS? If so, can we quickly move past the material she is already familiar with? I'm just concerned about how far behind she will be at the end of our school year in June. The workbook hasn't arrived yet, and we leave for a 2.5 week Europe vacation in early April so it will be late April before we even start it. Both girls are already behind in MM as I started at the beginning of 1a when I pulled them out of PS at the beginning of January.
  5. We have been using MUS with our 7yo 2nd grade since K, so we are working on Beta. I am not in love with this curriculum, but it was recommended by a seasoned hs mom and by SWB. It seemed to get the job done and I am loathe to change math curriculum, since each has their own way of doing things. My kid seemed to be doing fine and progressing at the expected rate of one lesson/week - until we hit adding with regrouping. It was then I discovered she was doing the algorithm without understanding the why behind it. So we stopped MUS and started counting beans and using paper cups for two weeks. We did some more addition practice for another week, and she seemed to have a better grasp of the concept. Over the course of those three weeks, I totally obsessed about math, because if she was not understanding this concept, then I must be totally ruining her. So I started reading math blogs and about number bonds and number sense and wondering what her understanding was exactly, and what to do about it. During this time, I also started exploring MEP and doing several pages a week with her from the Year 1 book. She mostly knows her addition facts, but cannot come up with them in 3 seconds or less. (She has ceased to be a fan of xtramath.org). But then again, she does almost everything slowly. She is always about 30 seconds behind the rest of her class in Tae Kwon Do. We have passed the lesson that covers column addition and moved on to measuring. However, I print out a worksheet from MUS's generator and make her do four review problems each day. I discovered that she still does not understand regrouping with addition because the generator came up with problems where the ones column added up to 20-something and she carried a 1 to the tens column, because that is how she's learned to solve these problems. I am not math-phobic. All through school, I was able to plug the numbers into the algorithms and get a B+ or A-, but I never understood the why's behind them. Apparently, I am the product of some of the worst math teaching in the history of the US (80s teaching with 70s textbooks) and it shows because I can't even teach adding with regrouping. Soon I will be getting a copy of Elementary Math for Teachers which I hope will help my deficiencies. Usually for math, I play an addition game with her and have her do xtramath.org every other day. She does a page from MUS in 10min. or less. I have her do 4 practice problems, and then we do a MEP lesson. So, I guess I have several questions. 1) Should I stop everything and try to get her speed up on addition facts? 2)Should I drop MUS and go to MEP? I like that MEP has a lot of different ways of presenting concepts, but it is scary because it is so different from how I was taught. (Which is probably a good thing.) There is an irrational voice in the back of my head that says "How can she possibly learn math without pages and pages of addition problems? How can I prove she is learning without pages and pages of addition problems?" Sorry this post is so long.....
  6. How frustrating would it be for a student to work with Math U See and have Cuisenaire Rods as the manipulatives instead of integer blocks? Background: I'm trying to find strategies to help my SIL remediate my nephew. I'm looking at Math U See. (He has almost completely stalled out with MM.) We both have C-Rods, I'm not sure she'll be excited about springing for MUS blocks, too. So, I'm wondering if c-rods can be substituted. Bad idea? I'm planning to purchase a used copy of Gamma DVD/student text from someone on the boards. A trial run, I guess, to see how it goes. Will attempting to use C-Rods make it so irritating to the student that he won't want to try later if the program itself is a good fit, and we decided to go ahead and spring for the specific block set it calls for?
  7. Is it possible for a 6yo to become a self directed learner? Is the age of 6 too young for this? I currently use MUS and MM.
  8. We have been using RS math for 2 years, and I have a DS finishing Level B and a DD finishing level C. I really like lots of things about RS, and I do think the kids have done pretty well with it. But. I am really tired of feeling overwhelmed with math instruction. All the games/manipulatives/prep work area really just too much, and obviously those are the hallmarks of RS. Sigh. There's also the fact that I think the RS creator and I speak separate languages. Often I have to read things 3 times before I get what she wants me to say and do with the lessons. I am really considering switching to MUS, but I am holding back because of reviews I've read which say that it's a bit light, a bit too easy, not strong enough on math sense, word problems, or mental math. Can anyone offer some feedback? I don't want to put my kids at a disadvantage, but I'm feeling pretty anxious about continuing to manage two levels of RS. Really appreciate any thoughts you might have. Angela
  9. Hi all, I need help cutting down on busy work for my 10 year old. What should I cut? What is redundant? What would you keep (or add)? Math U See (epsilon)- 1 sheet daily Mad Minute (1 minute fact review) 6 Mental Math problems (singapore) daily 1 Process Skill problem (singapore) daily I want to add in Beast Academy. That feels like it will be too much. What can I take out? Thanks so much in advance!! Jennifer
  10. Over the years we've tried many different maths program, the ones I like and works well for us is Miquon Math, Singapore and quite recently, MUS. I plan on using MUS as our main program for this year, and Miquon and Singapore as our supplementary material. Questions: My dd finds the problems quite easy in MUS (currently on Delta), and she can master the lessons after the first lesson, so I wanted to challenge her - particularly with word problems. 1. My question is, how can I use other math programs to supplement with MUS? All of the other math programs are written with different topics and they don't work on a linear scale like MUS which focuses on learning division facts only? 2. I feel that 9dd would be better off focusing on word problems, as she easily gets bored of formulas once she masters them. Should I just supplement with word problems or both word & formulas from Singapore and Miquon? 3. I'm not sure how to pull all the supplementary material together, and how often you should do it. i.e.every other day? Note I afterschool so I don't get the luxury of time like homeschoolers. The most i can make do each day is 30 min for maths.
  11. So I am trying to get this whole Math U See thing down....I just started and we went back to Alpha with my 3rd grader so he would grasp the concept behind the program. The problem I am facing is this, they don't want a child to count on for any of their facts even if it is mentally. My son says he does this especially when adding 2 to a number. So my question is...how do I know if he really is? Is it a big deal? When do you decide to try something else? Please, please help!
  12. I could use some some advice about my student with math difficulties. Quick background: He is 14 and I teach him in a small group of 2 kids at a private school. We meet for an hour a day. I don't think he likes me too much, but that may partly be due to being 14 :huh: We started the year doing a lot of Ronit Bird and he was really improving, doing fine telling me the "numbers inside" other numbers, doing addition and subtraction within 10. I found out that he was feeling upset about doing "the easy stuff" so I tested him out with 2-digit addition just for the heck of it. He did fine. I tried 2-digit addition with regrouping. Still did fine! (cue heart attack, maybe I am WAY OFF doing Ronit Bird!) Try another 2-digit addition with regrouping, and he adds the tens column and carries over to the ones. So he doesn't understand why he's carrying. He seems solid with place value. He knows the places and does expanded form easily - 648 = 600 + 40 + 8. After our winter break, I re-named our work for him as "algebra." He was proud to start algebra. But... 3 + ? = 8 is pretty much the level of stuff we do. It is definitely really difficult for him though! 3 + 8 he's fine with, but 3 + ? = 8 is really hard, even with manipulatives. We are also doing 2-digit addition with MUS blocks and a place-value mat. He is really resistant to doing anything he thinks is "baby stuff," or below his grade - like addition, subtraction, etc. He hates using manipulatives of any kind. I have an iPad, so maybe we could use that instead. I'm pretty stumped here. There may be some IQ limitations involved. He doesn't really talk to me, or joke around, or anything. He does everything I ask, and he's a nice, polite kid. I just can't get him to open up, and I'm worried that I'm bumming him out about math. I want him to have fun and feel confident! Help! What should I teach this kid?
  13. Hello there, I have never used MUS before. I used RightStart A - C with my son and then Singapore through 6B for the rest of the years. He is now grade 8 and someone gave me MUS Pre-algebra complete package. I'd love to make use of this free blessing but I am not sure I can. With RightStart for instance, you can't just start using it if you've never used it before. You have to do transition lessons to get you thinking and doing math in the "RightStart way". Is this the case for MUS too? Doesn't he need to learn to use the rods and stuff first? Or could we jump right in to the Pre-Algebra program without problems? opinions would be great! Thank you so much. Originally I was planning to do Video Text this year. I could still sell this program and get Video Text but I'm not sure if MUS might end up being a good match for us after all? Thanks!
  14. I am going to be using Math U See Alpha and Singapore Math 1A/B (US Edition). Does anyone have a schedule on how they combined the two? Any ideas on the best way to do it?
  15. I remember reading Sue in St Pete's review of Math U See a while ago but now all I can find is this thread and the link to her review is dead (at least for me). http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/67227-math-u-see/ Can anyone help me find it on this forum or elsewhere .... maybe someone saved it and can repost? TIA!!
  16. Hello All: My daughter used Math in Focus 1st and 2nd grade at a private school. I homeschooled her last year using Math in Focus for 3rd grade. Math in Focus is way to expensive for us, so I switched to Singapore Primary Mathematics St. Ed. for 3B (last part of 3rd grade). Now she is in 4th grade (still homeschooling) but I am uncertain as to which curriculum for math I should use with her. Should I switch to Math U See? Switch to Math Mammoth? Stay with Singapore Primary Mathematics Standard Ed.? Do any of you have any thoughts on this? Thanks, Denny
  17. I somehow ended up on Math-U-See's site tonight. I've heard of them before, seen them at conventions, and even watched a sample disc once. I remember now ruling it out, for some reason....... ...so I just watched the sample video tonight for Primer...which I assume is K5 level. Um, I thought I would see something lively, interactive for this level at least. Nope, boring man standing in front of a white board...having a very boring conversation, using words that are just not K5-oriented. What I am missing? Does anyone actually use and enjoy it at this young level?
  18. Hello all of you fabulous educators! I need to firm up my math curriculum in the next 2 weeks for my 2nd and 1st grade boys. Please read and advise this newbie with only 1 year under her belt! Last year I used Modern Curriculum Press Math along with MUS. I feel our results were good and both boys are ahead of where they "should be" as I worked with them individually to push them forward. I thought MUS was abit slow and I felt if I continued with it they might be left behind. After about 4 weeks of MUS I kinda quit it and by EOY brought my 1st grader to mastery of addition/subtraction to 20, introd fractions, telling time the the minute. Money he is amazing at and is adding change past 3.00. He ended up about halfway thru the MCP Level B book, which is I believe their second grade material. He is carrying 3 digits, and really enjoys multiplcation but we've just started to 6. I really like the layout of the TM for MCP, it is really solid with many examples and games, and extra activities to reinforce. I liked the blocks for MUS, I like the visual to reinforce concepts- and we'd use the MUS worksheets and watch a lesson here or there, but I didn't think it gave him enough practise to mastery. Maybe had we done just that program I would have seen the same results. Using a 6 ft whiteboard hung low to the ground we did everything from fact families, number lines, and graphing, and even pattern sequencing. Oh we also used IXL math and have a subscription which he thinks is fun to go on the PC and practise. Heard great things about Dreambox too. My K boy is doing well for his age, with addition/sub to 10 mastered, and time to the half hour etc. and I'll take him on the same path content wise I think as his brother this next year. I've read great things about Math Mammoth and Singapore Math. 2nd grader is ready to go into 2a/2B per the tests online. Just not sure what I should do here. Should I change at all or just keep on with the same? I guess I'm having the fears everyone has - I'm missing a component, or a skill set, or (my sanity?? lol) Another program is better than what I have now. . . Am I doing enough . . .Does he get it conceptually. . . I think I'd like a simple straight forward daily plan for math, and I didn't really have one last year which stressed me out and is why I'm thinking about making a change. I do have all the TM's and Student Books for MCP Math in hand up to 6th grade (worked at Pearson and got em free - sweeeet) and there have been great ideas in the TM's I haven't seen in other products TM's. It is an option to just stay with that and as they progress to mastery, push them forward to the next books as I've been doing. I liked the videos with MUS but is that program truly vigorous enough? Waiting until Delta for division? That's 4th grade. . . How is that not behind? We do need more work with word problems, but I see SM has a challenging word problems component I could just buy and add. I've researched and hemmed and hawed. I've bought Cathy Duffy's book and taken the questionnaire. I'm eclectic (like you didn't know that by now) with a push towards classical. I want my boys to continue to be ahead and excel. I guess I'm just shocked that the content can be so different company to company. To stay ahead should everyone just use Singapore? Other tools you've used out there? I know some use an abacus or scales. Any and all advice greatly appreciated. A master at anything was once a beginner and that's what I am. Warm wishes on a great rest of the summer from us here in the deep woods of Minnesota.
  19. Here's the scoop... DD (age 7) doesn't like math, especially addition and subtraction (she likes money and tolerates time. She likes measuring). Math time brings out major bad attitudes, pouting, "it's too hard!" etc. (she likes things to be easy, in all areas of her life). We are attempting 1 page of math a week this summer to help retention. (that's it, one page, but it still sours her mood.) She is not behind. She started 2nd grade MM (2A) half way through 1st. She isn't fast but can just get it done when she makes up her mind to. We are about 40% through 2nd grade MM. She likes manipulatives, too. The biggest problems are that 1. The daily battle to get math done exhausts me. 2. I want her to like math. She loves science and if she goes into that field one day, she'll likely need a strong math background. Kindergarten was a cyber academy, and we went along with their math program. First was MM, adding in LoF for fun. I have Miquon, and she plays with it a little. I am thinking of switching to MUS primarily bc it still uses manipulatives and with the dvds, I think she may respond better to someone else "teaching" her. I know I will also teach her, of course. I can borrow the dvd and teacher's guide, so I'll only be buying the student books. I just so badly want to find something she does fairly happily and not curriculum hop. Will Beta MUS follow well if we are almost halfway through MM 2? Will it be more interesting? Any other suggestions or advice? Thank you!
  20. Do I need to Instruction Manual for Alpha? I have the DVD and Student Pack. If you do use it, what do you find most helpful about it? If you don't use it, why?
  21. In doing some research on MUS, and if it would be a good fit for our situation, I noticed that quite a few people mentioned using LOF to supplement MUS. I'd like to know more (for those who do this), about why you felt LOF was a good supplement to MUS? And why you would need to supplement it? Thanks so much! :)
  22. I'm still trying to figure out the best math program for my son. Background: he is a (young) kindergartener but advanced in math. He just plain "gets" it and tested into the Math-u-see gamma and Singapore 2a. I on the other hand struggle with math. I'm also dyslexic which often throws a wrench in my teaching as I swap numbers unaware. Numbers are much harder for me for some reason than letters. On top of it all, have two little ones, so not much time to study and prep before lessons. My husband excels at math, majored in math in college, and considers math the most important subject-- he wants a rigorous, conceptual, strong understanding of math for our kids. But he realistically could only find time to teach one day a week, so I'm going to have to provide this! I am falling in love with MUS because the video instruction look very clear, and don't have to be done by me. We can watch together and then my son can do the work. My husband is concerned its not rigorous enough, and a bit "plug and chug". He thinks our son may get bored because the program seems designed for less mathy kids, or that he won't get a deep understanding. He prefers Singapore. But I am concerned that it will take too much prep work for me to be able to realistically understand and teach it. Are either of us off base in our assumptions? I'm beginning to form a plan to use MUS 4 days a week with my son, and then day #5 he can do LOF with his dad. It would be fun for both of them, and perhaps assure my husband that his understanding of math is both stable and deep. Do you think that is a good idea for elementary years? We can reasses as he gets older and into more advanced mathematics.
  23. I am trying to determine if I need to buy the new edition...What are others doing? I have a daughter on lesson 14 in Epsilon and another daughter on lesson 15 in Gamma. Now MUS has revised the books and I'm trying to decide if I should switch them over to the new edition immediately or wait until they finish their current levels. I can't quite tell if there are enough changes/additions to switch them now. Anyone else using MUS? any opinions?
  24. So here is my dilemma. DD has been through A Beka math through 3rd grade, Then we switched to MUS and she has done (or will have done) half of Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta. I want to switch to Singapore because I am concerned that MUS is not enough in the upper grades. We have started 5B to learn the teaching style on somewhat familiar concepts. We did the same with MUS which is why she did half of Delta. If I continue with MUS she will be in Pre-algebra next year(7th). If I continue with Singapore 6 A/B based on the table of contents she will be covering topics that she has already done and this kid hates excess review in math hence the switch to MUS in the first place. She is hungry for new concepts and retains well. She knows she has to do some review and does it without complaining. Added drama is that she really likes MUS and does not like Singapore but I think that is because it is new and she is having to learn a new teaching style. Not sure which direction to go. Let well enough be with MUS or continue with Singapore. I do like AoPS for Pre-algebra . It seems to to be written to the student similar to Apologia.
  25. My almost 8 year old is a right-brained or VSL learner and has some color vision issues. He sees only the main colors, very little shades, and brown and green are often the same/grey. His reading is up to level now, but math is making very slow progress. He can understand the processes, negative numbers, place value, infinity, but he can not remember his addition facts. I've read this is typical. This is hard for me as I am a college math adjunct, and my son has dreams of building robots and thus needing math. We are using SM 1B. Slowly. Working some drill on math facts, but it doesn't help. Do I just keep going and try something different for facts? I tried RS Level A with him at age 5 because it doesn't use c-rods. Differentiating the colors on the rods is hard. Should I consider trying Level B now? Would MUS help? I have tried both with him. He was too young when I tried RS. MUS seemed boring and repetitive to me. I like the idea of SM, but I can do math. Ideally, a problem based math where he can use his strengths like AIMS investigations or Kitchen Table Math would be good, but I need something that will get done. Any ideas?
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