# Math Question

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My son is absolutely loving CLE Math right now. He loves writing, and CLE has a lot of that! We're also really liking the spiral method. He loves workbooks, but I feel he needs more hands-on learning to grasps the concepts. I'm not sure what to do:

-Keep using CLE and add manipulatives

-Change to a more hands-on Math curriculum, that also contains quite some writing and worksheets. Any suggestions???

He's doing grade 1, and is doing fine but place value is where we got stuck. Please, I can use some ideas, what manipulatives would be helpful? We have a base ten set, but that's only confusing him. He gets really confused by the terms 'ones', 'tens' or 'units'. Maybe I'm just now explaining it well enough :glare: Do we actually really have to break up numbers into tens and ones to understand place value? Would it be possible to introduce this later and still go on with this curriculum? He seems to be doing fine with numbers up to 100.

Thank you!

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Since you otherwise like CLE, I'd be inclined to stick with it and add in manipulatives to flesh out the instruction and practice.

What about the base ten blocks confuses him? Does he not get what 45, for example, really is - that it is how we represent in writing the quantity of 45 units, arranged into 4 sets of ten units with 5 units left over? Or that he doesn't get why anyone needs to spend time trying to learn this totally obvious concept :tongue_smilie:. If you gave him 4 tens and 5 units, could he tell you that was 45, and vice versa, whether or not he sees the point of that activity?

What sort of place value activities have you done?

I'm not sure what you mean by being "fine with numbers up to 100" if he really doesn't get place value :confused:. Does he have any understanding of what those quantities *are* - does he at least get that 88 is 88 units, even if he doesn't get how those units are arranged into 8 tens and 8 ones to get the notation 88?

I would say that, yes, you really need to be able understand how to break apart numbers into tens and ones, and how to build them up from tens and ones. An understanding of place value is foundational to being able to understand arithmetic, particularly the standard algorithms. Without it, you're stuck learning the procedures by rote.

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Lots of times curriculum that spirals doesn't expect mastery at the first introduction. That's how Horizons appears to work out. Unless you need the PV to build onto another concept, I would just continue on and work on PV again when it shows up next in the spiral. Or come back to the PV after working on a few other things (if the next PV lesson is farther away).

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How far are you in CLE? I was looking at the 103/104 samples, and there are quite a few place value activities. How does he do on the segmenting oral numbers into hundreds/tens/ones? And can he order 2 & 3 digit numbers - that is pretty dependent on place value. Anyway, there seems to be quite a few place value activities in each lesson - how does he do on them?

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Since you otherwise like CLE, I'd be inclined to stick with it and add in manipulatives to flesh out the instruction and practice.

What about the base ten blocks confuses him? Does he not get what 45, for example, really is - that it is how we represent in writing the quantity of 45 units, arranged into 4 sets of ten units with 5 units left over? Or that he doesn't get why anyone needs to spend time trying to learn this totally obvious concept :tongue_smilie:.

He does understand that the number 45 represents 45 blocks, but gets confused by the rods. Maybe he makes a different mental picture of the number 45 :confused:

If you gave him 4 tens and 5 units, could he tell you that was 45, and vice versa, whether or not he sees the point of that activity?

No, he would count all the blocks, even after I've told him many times that the tens represent the number 10.

What sort of place value activities have you done?

Basically just what CLE offers in the workbooks. They give a number, and he needs to break them up in ones and tens. I've tried to do this with the base ten blocks as well.

I'm not sure what you mean by being "fine with numbers up to 100" if he really doesn't get place value :confused:. Does he have any understanding of what those quantities *are* - does he at least get that 88 is 88 units yes, even if he doesn't get how those units are arranged into 8 tens and 8 ones to get the notation 88? Yes, he can't break them up into tens and ones, and I don't have a clue why :D

I would say that, yes, you really need to be able understand how to break apart numbers into tens and ones, and how to build them up from tens and ones. An understanding of place value is foundational to being able to understand arithmetic, particularly the standard algorithms. Without it, you're stuck learning the procedures by rote.He's been doing so well with everything covered in the workbooks, but this keeps being a problem. He really wants to move on with math, but indeed I feel like we have to work on this first...but it gets kind of frustrating for him.

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How old is your son? (3??)

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MissKNG: That's what we've been doing, but there is no improvement. So I don't really feel like moving on now, even though he understands the rest

forty-two: Place Value was introduced in Lesson 10 of 101, and he didn't get it. We moved on anyway and are starting 103 now. Basically I'm explaining it everytime again, working with him on the problem until we get the answer.

Jen3boys: Yes he is. He loves Math and is doing fine with it, he works independently on the other problems.

Edited by femke
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I think I'd keep on going - CLE does seem to have lots of place value things throughout level 1 - but maybe do each and every 2 digit problem/activity with the blocks. Or maybe you could try an abacus - give a different way to look at it.

Also, can he count by tens? I've been counting the RS "mathy" way :tongue_smilie: - one-ten, one-ten-one, ... , two-ten, etc - and dd4.5 can, with prompting, count by tens with ten blocks or on the abacus. Once I remind her that one block/row is one ten, she can take it from there with two-ten, etc. The RS counting does really help make place value more transparent - maybe it's another thing you could try. Haul out the blocks (or abacus), and once he's confirmed via counting that one 10-block is ten units (or even if he needs to confirm that *every* 10-block is ten units :tongue_smilie:), have him then count by tens instead of ones to build up that number. He's counted them, he knows each 10-block is worth ten units, so let's now count how many *tens* we have. Really work on getting the connection down between ten ones and one ten. Would he agree that 10 units lined up next to one ten-block are equivalent?

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MissKNG: That's what we've been doing, but there is no improvement. So I don't really feel like moving on now, even though he understands the rest

forty-two: Place Value was introduced in Lesson 10 of 101, and he didn't get it. We moved on anyway and are starting 103 now. Basically I'm explaining it everytime again, working with him on the problem until we get the answer.

Jen3boys: Yes he is. He loves Math and is doing fine with it, he works independently on the other problems.

I didn't see that he was three. In that case, I'd definitely not stress about him getting it right away - but I'd also present it with manipulatives of some sort every. single. time. until he does. For Christmas, I'm making my dd a set of jewels/sacks/treasure chests a la Arithmetic Village :tongue_smilie: to play math with (10 jewels per sack and 10 sacks per treasure chest ;)) - there are all sorts of manipulatives and games you can do to work on place value :). R did quite a bit with an abacus before we got out base-10 blocks, and it made things pretty easy for her to see. We did a lot of counting and such, as well as entering various numbers and whatnot (most in the context of her math lit books - I'd keep an abacus nearby and haul it out whenever numbers came up).

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I think I'd keep on going - CLE does seem to have lots of place value things throughout level 1 - but maybe do each and every 2 digit problem/activity with the blocks. Or maybe you could try an abacus - give a different way to look at it.

Also, can he count by tens? Yes I've been counting the RS "mathy" way :tongue_smilie: - one-ten, one-ten-one, ... , two-ten, etc - and dd4.5 can, with prompting, count by tens with ten blocks or on the abacus. Once I remind her that one block/row is one ten, she can take it from there with two-ten, etc. The RS counting does really help make place value more transparent - maybe it's another thing you could try.Wouldn't starting a different way of counting confuse him even more? I can see the value of this though. I think that way of counting makes sense. Haul out the blocks (or abacus), and once he's confirmed via counting that one 10-block is ten units (or even if he needs to confirm that *every* 10-block is ten units ), have him then count by tens instead of ones to build up that number. He's counted them, he knows each 10-block is worth ten units, so let's now count how many *tens* we have. Really work on getting the conne:tongue_smilie:ction down between ten ones and one ten. Would he agree that 10 units lined up next to one ten-block are equivalent?

Yes, he would. So that's why I don't understand his problem,He seems to understand what I'm telling him, but as soon as I give him a problem, he's blank

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The Jewel/Treasure chest idea sounds really nice. Just trying to come up with a nice adaption for my boy. I'm going to try that, maybe with diggers or trains :lol: Thanks for the idea!

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The Jewel/Treasure chest idea sounds really nice. Just trying to come up with a nice adaption for my boy. I'm going to try that, maybe with diggers or trains :lol: Thanks for the idea!

And wrt seeming to understand all the necessary bits yet looking blankly at you when it comes to actually *doing* it - dd4.5 does that all. the. time. I just prompt her as much as necessary, up to and including pretty much walking her through it - I just make sure that I am verbalizing the thinking process I want her to be learning. I'm not sure when I'll start stressing over her being able to do things without needing heavy amounts of help - but not anytime soon :tongue_smilie:. DD4.5 is still so young - I'm more concerned about fun (but correct!) exposure than independent mastery right now.

ETA: And I know that several moms here do the same think wrt walking their dc through difficult word problems, even at much older ages - that it is better for them to see how it is done, get experience seeing the sort of thinking required, than to not do it at all or be left to flounder.

Edited by forty-two
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Also, I see in your siggie that you are doing MEP 1, too. How is that going? What sort of activities are big hits? I *love* MEP, but I've been hesitant about starting it with dd4.5.

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I understand what you're saying, I don't want to push him in any way, but he so desperately wants to move on with the workbooks. I've been looking at MM because it has a place value workbook, separately from addition and subtraction. Not sure if that would be a better choice for us?

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We've done Reception, which was way too easy. We're now doing 1 or 2 pages a week of Year 1, it's challenging but fun. No PV yet ;)

My concern is, that he might already understand place value, but that he just doesn't understand what I want from him and that by pushing him to do it this way, I'm confusing him more and more. But how can I found out if he knows what the meaning of the number 56 is?

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Do you have linking math cubes? They come in rows of 10 with each row a different color. That's what we used for PV and she was also as young as your kiddo. It quickly clicked and once it did, she has breezed through every PV lesson since.

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Wow , 3 years old doing CLE 100??

You have a smart boy !

My 4 and 6 yo are doing it but it's quite challenging for them at times. They love it too. We do use a lot an abacus ( the one rightstart math uses) and a base ten blocks. Understanding place value is very important . But at 3 , I wouldn't expect it ... it's developmental ...which means whenever they are ready , they'll get it.

You might try Singapore 1 which is workbook too but has more thinking exercises than CLE.

I agree that Unifix cubes are great too to understand place value. Also , toothpicks , pencils , crayons , cars , blocks ...anything you can gather in a group of temn and ask him to count.

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One thing I have found with my daughter is that coming back to things later is OK. If she doesn't get it now, maybe it will make more sense in a month or two.

We are using the Math Mammoth blue series, and I have been surprised by the depth of the concepts in the Place Value 1 book. I like the way Math Mammoth builds things up gradually.

I'd suggest continuing with what you're doing. If the time comes when he really does need to have a better grasp on place value, you could take a break and work through the Math Mammoth Place Value 1 book.

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Thank you all for replying! I'm going to try out some of the suggestions with him. I found the decimal street video on youtube, so that is something I'm going to try with him today. I don't really want to buy a different set of blocks, and the MUS are quite expensive. I have Unifix blocks, and a Base Ten set. If these suggestions don't work, I think I'm going to try the MM place value book, as Ialready have it. And if that all doesn't help, I'll just keep moving on with CLE and skip the Place Value problems for now.

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And if that all doesn't help, I'll just keep moving on with CLE and skip the Place Value problems for now.

I don't know enough about CLE to comment on this specific plan, but I did want to reassure you that there are plenty of math curricula where place value isn't introduced in first grade.

I know place value is only touched on in Germany during first grade- they study addition and subtraction within 20 that year.

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Hi!

Just wanted to let you know that decimal street did the trick :D He has been talking all day about the houses and castle! We watch the video as well. And have been doing some work on the white board together. We've been making a unit house, tens house and castle out of paper. He LOVED it!

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