# best math suppliment-3rd grade, specific

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Dn struggles with "algebra & data analysis (missing variables like 25 +____= 61 and reading graphs and understanding what they mean)," according to her teacher (public school, this is my niece so she doesn't live with me). I will be summer schooling her this year, and will be using MUS Foundations. She is a concrete learner, and struggles with abstract concepts (as you may have guessed). She is turning 9, and has just completed 3rd grade, although she is "just now ready for 3rd grade math."

Is the MUS enough? What do I use to focus even more on these two areas, that we can make some progress with in 11 weeks, and also doesn't cost a bunch of money?

Thanks!

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In singapore math (of which I'm most familiar) they talk about number bonds.

Number bonds have the whole number at the top and the parts at the bottom.

61

/ \

25 ??

From this can be written a number bond family.

25 + ?? = 61

?? + 25 = 61

61 - ?? = 25

61 - 25 = ??

Whenever there was a problem like the one you stated that my son could not figure out, I would have him write the number bond and then write out all four equations to the number family. Then he could choose which equation he could use to answer the question.

He wrote them all out for a couple of months until it finally clicked.

Just one way to think about it.

HTH

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For a visual learner, a simple way to explain is to use one of those cheap plastic balances and counting bears.

I teach my kids that the = sign is the pivot point on the balance. In order for the 2 sides to balance, the amts on both sides need to be equal.

Starting off simply: 1+2=3 is balanced. If you subtract 1 from each side 1+2-1=3-1, you end up with 2=2

Stay with really simple equations until the concept is mastered. The main goal to work toward is that as long as you do the same operation to both sides, the equation always remains equal. Add numbers to both sides, subtract numbers from both sides. The key is that the balance is the same.

Once simple ones are mastered, you can apply the same concept to more complicated problems like the one you posted. 25+__=61. She should be able to understand that the 2 sides will remain equal if you subtract 25 from both sides giving her the answer.

HTH

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You could do a graph every couple of days. Graph the kinds of shoes around the house (slip-on, tie, velcro, buckle), everyone's fav fruit, opinions, etc. Get her used to collecting data, organizing it in a graph and analyzing it.

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We have recently added the use of a Nintendo Ds w/ the Math Trainer game, and would recommend it as something to consider adding to your teaching arsenal. The game calls those kinds of problems ‘missing number addition or missing number subtraction’. I think of it as just another kind of math problem practice, not problem solving instruction.

I have no experience with MUS, but saw something somewhere of a Russian Math that uses letters as early as 1st grade in problems like your missing variable example.

If I were in your shoes, I think you have enough time (11wks) to not only reinforce the specific objectives of graphing and missing number problems, and a separate explicit instruction on place value, topics to include expanded notation. I have no idea if this is the root cause of the current math difficulties, but it’s worth the effort to eliminate it as a potential root cause now and in the future.

Sorry, skimmed the part asking about ideas that don't require too much \$, those DS's games are not really what I consider cheap- but they are NOT needed anyway it just something to keep the practice interesting. A dry erase board and willingness to "talk less and listen more" are infinitely better teaching tools.

Ray

Edited by Ray
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For a visual learner, a simple way to explain is to use one of those cheap plastic balances and counting bears.

YES!!! This is awesome!! Just what I"m looking for. She needs to understand WHY, and using words words words isn't going to cut it.

You could do a graph every couple of days. Graph the kinds of shoes around the house (slip-on, tie, velcro, buckle), everyone's fav fruit, opinions, etc. Get her used to collecting data, organizing it in a graph and analyzing it.

Oh brother. I was thinking of making a chart for minutes of homework done. Yeah, making more than just one chart/graph with a variety of topics makes a LOT more sense. :tongue_smilie: I'll definitely be doing this one.

We have recently added the use of a Nintendo Ds w/ the Math Trainer game, and would recommend it as something to consider adding to your teaching arsenal.

Don't apologize for suggestions, right? Maybe we already have a DS, right? We DON'T, but you never know. :D Sounds like a good idea though. I sent you a message about the rest of your suggestions, in case you don't come back to the thread.

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