Math people? Solve problem inside! Column/Placement errors

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I am slightly mystified here. Need help. Dd 8 is the subject.

Tonight, working on problem:

178 - _____=124

I told her to look at the problem then write it out on paper to solve.

(And this is a very *sudden*) problem.

It took her about two minutes to draft this onto paper. Lots of errors in transcribing it properly. It really confused her, struggle.

When she finally had the numbers properly transcribed (copied) it was in horizontal form, and then she went into "mental" math mode, drawing numbers in the air.

I just let her keep going without interrupting her.

Tried a few more problems and had her set them in column form this time with addition.

She's missing columns in vertical format, and cannot seem to copy from horizontal to vertical.

Now here's the weird part.

I spoke the equation to her and would not let her "see" the numbers I wanted to work out, and she did them perfectly, just breezed though at fluent speed.

So two questions..is this a developmental fluke out of nowhere? It's never been this way.

Question two:

Is there some sort of presentation I need to go back over to show column alignment and proper carry over?

I'm going to keep at this all week, I've never seen her regress like this before. It's right out of the blue.

Is it possible that different sensory (see vs. hear) can change over time in understanding math?

:confused: Am worried mama. Any thoughts?

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I would maybe walk her through it.. with 1 digit, two digits, and so on. Use graph paper.

That said, think it sounds like a spacial awareness issue. I've seen stuff like this with my 8 yr old, and she has some diagnosed dyslexia. This algebraic approach to math at this early an age is relatively new. I'm not convinced every kid can tackle these problems at this age. When we used MM, we sometimes would skip some of the higher-concept problems as-needed.

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ZJ, do you think there is a huge processing maturity between horizontal and vertical math layout?

Are there any signs or behaviors or anything at all to show they are ready to "switch" or become fluent in both layouts?

I kept thinking that horizontal form is left to right for speaking purposes..and block/vertical layout is for working it out.

Now she's all three going on at once, I think it's too much...

horizontal to "air/mental" to vertical- is there any chance that the three forms are just clashing and causing the confusion for her?

Should I make her just stick to one form and discourage the others for now?

She can obviously do auditory to vertical just fine, but not "air math" to horizontal style, and for some reason, copy work from page to paper isn't working right now either. Ugh.

Could that be causing a break in the column layout, just too much noise in the mind? :confused:

Just some rambling thoughts.

Thanks for the idea of graph paper. Doing this tomorrow first thing. :)

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Yes, I do. I seem to vaguely remember going through this with my dd (who is almost 9).

I remember becoming specifically aware of it during a Math Mammoth geometry lesson. She had to replicate patterns on a grid of dots by using a straight edge on the dots. Seriously, I don't think anything was MORE confusing to her the entire year. That and analog clock reading.

When we did her standardized testing at the end of the year, geometry was her lowest math score by far. She doesn't dislike geometry - in fact, she thinks of it as her favorite thing in math, but her performance has demonstrated that anything that requires spacial awareness has been more of a challenge to her.

Difficulty translating a horizontal equation to a vertical equation is almost certainly due to either a spacial awareness issue or (another possibility) due to a weak understanding of place value. (IMO)

We switched to MM (on level) to TT (1 year ahead) partially because having something audio-visual on-screen really helps her overcome obstacles to these concepts. TT also has fewer high concept items introduced, which arguably makes MM a superior curriculum, but not for a student who struggles with it to excess.

I still love MM as a resource but I don't think the high math concept elementary math is necessary for everyone.

A lot of kids have skills mature at different rates - and as a generalization spacial awareness development happens later for girls. As long as the fundamentals are learned at *some point* that leads to real algebra readiness around middle school, I really do think it all works out. My husband is dyslexic and struggled horribly with math in elementary school, and ended up excelling in mathematics in high school and ultimately became a successful physicist and engineer.

Edited by zenjenn
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Stupid ?..but...

In the Teaching Textbooks video I just watched, there is this penguin blinking on the sidebar.

Is he there on the actual lessons also?

That is enough to distract the daylights out of the kid I think.

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She can obviously do auditory to vertical just fine, but not "air math" to horizontal style, and for some reason, copy work from page to paper isn't working right now either. Ugh.

Have you considered / ruled out a visual problem? Either acuity or processing? That could be complictating the copying side of things.

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We are actually going to see a neurologist at Seattle Children in ten days.

She does have a cyst on her brain; and I've wondered way deep down if there is an increase in pressure at the bottom of it. It would explain a lot, but we won't know until we get there and have the MRI's read and diagnosed.

I honestly can't tell one from the other right now, it's a fairly recent ordeal. It's nagging at me.

I'm not seeing visual changes in any other day to day life, but that doesn't really mean anything either you know?

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Stupid ?..but...

In the Teaching Textbooks video I just watched, there is this penguin blinking on the sidebar.

Is he there on the actual lessons also?

That is enough to distract the daylights out of the kid I think.

You can change the penguin. :)

They have other little items. I'm trying to remember them! A robot that beeps, a car that honks, a jack in the box that claps, a dog that barks, etc.

It's a little "cartoon figure" that will praise / clap / cheer when the student answers a question right, but you can also disable the thing if it drives you nuts. ;)

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Obviously she needs to learn to line them up and understand the place value stuff to do it and so forth... but why does she need to for this problem? It's easier to do in your head. Might she just be confused about the point of doing it? Maybe she needs a harder problem in order to see the need.

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