# SM 1a -- keep pausing or push through?

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My DD is very strong in LA but seems to have trouble keeping math in her head. Addition facts that she knew yesterday, she forgets today. At times she seems to "see" math and can do more difficult work, like adding up a handful of coins in a moment (not asked, just does). She can do whole/part circles in a flash but makes more mistakes when the problem is in an equation format. We've been working on SM 1a (US edition) for almost a year, after flying through the K workbooks. We do math a few times a week, and I have been concentrating on using the abacus for adding, as with RightStart and playing games.

At this point, though, I almost feel like we've idled for long enough. I'm not sure whether she needs more drill to just memorize her facts, or maybe even to try a more straightforward program like Mammoth Math. Right now she is at the end of SM 1a, where you make a 10 to add (7+8 becomes 5+10) or use 10 to subtract (15-7 becomes 10-7, +5). I'll walk her through a problem, then she can do the steps independently, but I know she doesn't really get it because she'll forget it by tomorrow.

Thoughts?

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I think it's really important that they know their number bonds before moving on. If I were you, I'd work on the number bonds/facts every day until she has them down, and then the rest will be much easier.

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Right now she is at the end of SM 1a, where you make a 10 to add (7+8 becomes 5+10) or use 10 to subtract (15-7 becomes 10-7, +5). I'll walk her through a problem, then she can do the steps independently, but I know she doesn't really get it because she'll forget it by tomorrow.

Thoughts?

:bigear:

I'm curious to hear what others have to say about this. My older dd got this concept easily. My almost 7yo does not! We took a break from 1A to do some MM. She has now developed the ability to count up very quickly in her head, but still isn't breaking up numbers the Singapore way. I'm thinking about letting her continue on. Maybe it is a developmental issue.

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:bigear:

I'm curious to hear what others have to say about this. My older dd got this concept easily. My almost 7yo does not! We took a break from 1A to do some MM. She has now developed the ability to count up very quickly in her head, but still isn't breaking up numbers the Singapore way. I'm thinking about letting her continue on. Maybe it is a developmental issue.

:iagree: Went quickly for my DS but just not so with DD. Just curious, which MM books did you use?

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:iagree: Went quickly for my DS but just not so with DD. Just curious, which MM books did you use?

I bought Add/Subtract 2A in the blue series. It has certainly been a struggle. :tongue_smilie: She's only done 26 pages, but has been at it for a month. We've also continued with the Singapore HIG mental math. Today was our first day back at Singapore 1A (page 120?). She breezed through it. She admitted she is counting up in her head. I guess I am okay with that for now. Before the Christmas break, she'd just freeze up and not know what to do.

My 9yo dd, stuck on long division in Singapore 3A, worked in MM Multiplication 2. Talk about tears and frustration!! :confused: I thought it would be a fun, easy way for her to practice the skills I thought she had learned in Singapore. :tongue_smilie: Today I let her go back to Singapore because I couldn't handle the tears and frustration.

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I'm not sure whether she needs more drill to just memorize her facts, or maybe even to try a more straightforward program like Mammoth Math.

I'll just say that MM did not turn out to be straightforward for us. I do see great value in what it is teaching, but it was not what I was expecting. Both of my kids have found it to be more challenging than Singapore.

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I bought Add/Subtract 2A in the blue series. It has certainly been a struggle. :tongue_smilie: She's only done 26 pages, but has been at it for a month.

Hmmm, this makes me think that I should go back to Add 1 and Subtract 1. I don't want my first grader to think that math is too hard.

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I think it's really important that they know their number bonds before moving on. If I were you, I'd work on the number bonds/facts every day until she has them down, and then the rest will be much easier.

Through our work on whole/part circles, we've talked about number bonds (eg, if 10=8+2, then 10-8 must equal 2), although I haven't called it that. Is there a program that you used that you think covered number bonds well? Or did you just keep making up your own problems?

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Do you have Cuisinaire Rods? That's really what cemented those 10 bonds for my DD-just playing with them and working with them, and realizing all the ways you could make a 10. Once she'd memorized those 10 bonds (and, on the way, pretty much all the lower ones, too), it's made computation easy.

Same with place value-base 10 blocks let her really understand it, and once she did, the textbook has been enough.

I also use the cheap Disney workbooks sold at dollar tree and let DD pick a page of "fun math" (IE, review of basic skills) a day. She enjoys this, and it certainly doesn't hurt her to practice those easier concepts daily.

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Do you have Cuisinaire Rods? That's really what cemented those 10 bonds for my DD-just playing with them and working with them, and realizing all the ways you could make a 10. Once she'd memorized those 10 bonds (and, on the way, pretty much all the lower ones, too), it's made computation easy.

Same with place value-base 10 blocks let her really understand it, and once she did, the textbook has been enough.

I also use the cheap Disney workbooks sold at dollar tree and let DD pick a page of "fun math" (IE, review of basic skills) a day. She enjoys this, and it certainly doesn't hurt her to practice those easier concepts daily.

:iagree: We used Cuisinaire Rods. I also loaded a couple apps on my phone (math bingo) which helped to cement the bonds as well.

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Hmmm, this makes me think that I should go back to Add 1 and Subtract 1. I don't want my first grader to think that math is too hard.

Here is a sample of the harder work on some sample pages to help you decide. Obviously there are easier problems on the pages. Honestly, I was surprised dd couldn't do some of these, but she couldn't. :confused:

page 8 (2nd page of work): 20 +6, 80-30. I had to break out base 10 blocks here

page 9: counting by 2's forward and backward from random numbers (43, 41, ...)

page 10: break the numbers into tens and ones 25=_+_

So that is the hardest part of the first few days of work. Maybe I should have started dd at the 1st level. I guess something I read in the description made me think this would be a better fit. :confused:

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After she understood the concept, we drilled number bonds with homemade triangle flash cards.

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Here is a sample of the harder work on some sample pages to help you decide. Obviously there are easier problems on the pages. Honestly, I was surprised dd couldn't do some of these, but she couldn't. :confused:

All of those problems (which are taught in the first grade level of MM light blue - 1B) are dealing with place value. It sounds like your DD just doesn't fully understand place value yet?

The place value is worked pretty hard before getting to the mental math of 8 + 4 = 12 by making a 10, etc.

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Here is a sample of the harder work on some sample pages to help you decide. Obviously there are easier problems on the pages. Honestly, I was surprised dd couldn't do some of these, but she couldn't. :confused:

page 8 (2nd page of work): 20 +6, 80-30. I had to break out base 10 blocks here

page 9: counting by 2's forward and backward from random numbers (43, 41, ...)

page 10: break the numbers into tens and ones 25=_+_

So that is the hardest part of the first few days of work. Maybe I should have started dd at the 1st level. I guess something I read in the description made me think this would be a better fit. :confused:

DD might be able to do these problems but not on a consistent basis. I break out the base-ten blocks with her pretty regularly. Definitely helps. I didn't mean for you to second guess where you started your DD, just think that mine might need some confidence building at this point. Lately during math, she tends to stress out or guess at an answer, and, of course, neither one is conducive to learning. ;)

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All of those problems (which are taught in the first grade level of MM light blue - 1B) are dealing with place value. It sounds like your DD just doesn't fully understand place value yet?

The place value is worked pretty hard before getting to the mental math of 8 + 4 = 12 by making a 10, etc.

Interesting thought. Maybe it is the place value more than the addition that is causing problems. Perhaps I need to use the base 10 blocks in a new way for these mental math problems. Off to look at MM's place value books...

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Do you have Cuisinaire Rods? That's really what cemented those 10 bonds for my DD-just playing with them and working with them, and realizing all the ways you could make a 10. Once she'd memorized those 10 bonds (and, on the way, pretty much all the lower ones, too), it's made computation easy.

Same with place value-base 10 blocks let her really understand it, and once she did, the textbook has been enough.

QUOTE]

None of my children have seem interested in Cuisinaire rods. We have them, but they don't get used. Maybe DC #3 will be the exception. That said, I've been meaning to pull them out for him -- perhaps DD would play along with him, maybe even "teach" him.

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All of those problems (which are taught in the first grade level of MM light blue - 1B) are dealing with place value. It sounds like your DD just doesn't fully understand place value yet?

The place value is worked pretty hard before getting to the mental math of 8 + 4 = 12 by making a 10, etc.

Thanks for the insight. We'll work on place value more with some games. I thought she understood it. We worked a lot with base 10 blocks in K. I guess she still needs the manipulatives, rather than seeing just an equation.

Placement in the blue series seems tricky. Level 1 of Addition and Subtraction states that it covers numbers 0-10. Because dd knew her number bonds so fluently, that seemed too easy. Level 2 starts with the problems I posted. Maybe the in between stuff is found in the light blue series? I was really just trying to supplement Singapore and get us through a rough patch. That is why I didn't switch to the light blue program.

Now I need to go back and read about level 1 of multiplication. Maybe I placed older dd wrong.

Edited by Julianna
clarity
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I would definitely focus on getting good and quick on those math facts. We have to temporarily opt out of 2A (we were near the end) because not knowing her math facts quickly enough was really slowing her down and making her very frustrated.

We're doing Saxon 2 for now (we're speeding through in triple time), lots of Flashmaster (electronic flashcards), and math races with her and her younger brother. Various card games that use math facts. ANYTHING to work on it. Once we're more solid, I'm hoping to return to 2A where we left off. I LOVE Singapore Math and I'm really hoping that after our math facts are more automatic we'll sail through.

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Thanks for the insight. We'll work on place value more with some games. I thought she understood it. We worked a lot with base 10 blocks in K. I guess she still needs the manipulatives, rather than seeing just an equation.

Placement in the blue series seems tricky. Level 1 of Addition and Subtraction states that it covers numbers 0-10. Because dd knew her number bonds so fluently, that seemed too easy. Level 2 starts with the problems I posted. Maybe the in between stuff is found in the light blue series? I was really just trying to supplement Singapore and get us through a rough patch. That is why I didn't switch to the light blue program.

Now I need to go back and read about level 1 of multiplication. Maybe I placed older dd wrong.

Contact Maria Miller. She answers emails quickly, and she could recommend the best placement. I don't know where things fit between blue and light blue.

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