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Sophie

Talk to me about Miquon please...

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What's all the fuss about?

 

It looks kind of... boring :leaving:

 

The "look" of the Student Lab books are quite plain. They have an intentionally hand-drawn feel that is reminiscent of the mimeograph era. No "flash" there what-so-ever.

 

The "gold" is in the Teachers books, and how they help parents teach math and the reasoning behind mathematical operations to students and how to create scenarios where students make connections for themselves).

 

Miquon has the amazing capacity to help teach/learn math on a "deep" level, while using means that make the concepts very comprehensible to young children. That is a neat trick.

 

It's quite true that the lab-sheets are nothing fancy.

 

Bill

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In addition to what Bill mentioned, my boys love it because it looks different. I like the flexibility it has too. I am using it with my ds 5 (orange book very slowly) and my ds7 (red/blue/green book quite rapidly) and I love that we can do one page with my ds 5 a day and that is enough but I can do several sheets with my ds 7 including jumping from topic to topic if we want or staying with one topic for longer (going to other books) if he is really interested.

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In addition to what Bill mentioned, my boys love it because it looks different. I like the flexibility it has too. I am using it with my ds 5 (orange book very slowly) and my ds7 (red/blue/green book quite rapidly) and I love that we can do one page with my ds 5 a day and that is enough but I can do several sheets with my ds 7 including jumping from topic to topic if we want or staying with one topic for longer (going to other books) if he is really interested.

 

One thing my son enjoyed was the "lab-sheets" I drew up myself (a practice Miquon author Lore Rasmussen encouraged in parent/teachers) and he even drew some pages himself. More than half of the "Miquon" lab-sheets we've used are things I've drawn up myself.

 

On a personal note, I can remember my father (who taught briefly) making pages of math sheets on fractions that so closely emulated the Miquon materials that I was stunned when I first saw the Miquon books.

 

I had always loved and deeply appreciated his little books and remember how much they helped me "see" fractions. While he was unfamiliar with "Miquon" made these during the same 1960s era and they encapsulated a certain spirit of the times.

 

Bill

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I was a bit confused when I first opened the workooks :confused: , but luckily I had expected as much because I had listened to the hive and was warned ahead of time.

 

I ignored my :001_huh: "what the heck is this" impression and started reading the first grade diary and flipped through the lap annontations. VERY quickly a light bulb went off in my head and I was excited to start it with my dd4.

 

It has been AMAZING. Seriously. Not joking. So amazing in fact I did a couple blog posts on the change it has brought in our household. And me. I no longer despise math but find it oddly attractive now. :tongue_smilie:

 

You can see my Miquon posts here. Sometimes it is nice to see the rods and activities in action. The oldest post talks about my decision to jump ship with Saxon and make the switch to Miquon.

 

I have never looked back! :auto:

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More than half of the "Miquon" lab-sheets we've used are things I've drawn up myself.

 

It has been AMAZING. Seriously. Not joking

 

:iagree:

 

It isn't for everyone. Not everyone can handle the method (as the 'teacher' = facilitator). Awesome with dd#3. Absolutely phenomenal.

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There is nothing boring about Miquon. To me, boring is when you do pages and pages of problems. Miquon is definitely different. It can be very overwhelming when you receive it, but I beg you to go into it with an open mind. Get the c-rods and just give them to your child for a couple of weeks to play around with. Then start with Miquon. I have to admit that I read part of the 1st grade diary and haven't used anything from it. I keep meaning to read it more! The Lab Annotations are great. Be sure to read the intro into each section because the information in there is pure gold. I generally don't look at each page in there when we are doing worksheets unless I am wondering what they are trying to acheive with that particular worksheet (which has happened).

 

My favorite part about Miquon is that the learning is child led. They do the bulk of the work in a self-teaching kind of mode. They play around with it and are able to tackle very difficult aspects of mathematics at a very young age. The understanding that my DS5 has gotten about math is incredible. He completely understands fractions and how they work. He does multiplication in his head (without knowing it is called multiplication). I never know whether he is a math genius or whether I can attribute this to Miquon. I guess I will find out when I start it with DD4 in a few months. I can't remember what the third teacher book is called, but it is really worth getting. It basically explains the philosophy of Miquon. It made a type A personality like me gain the confidence to tear the pages out of the book and let my child decide which pages to do.

 

I definitely recommend purchasing Liping Ma's book as well. I have found that whichever math program you are using, you can teach math in the way you want it to be taught. I am using McRuffy Color Math K and I have tweaked parts of it that were inconsistent with how I want math taught; i.e. I want my children to intuitively understand mathematical concepts and not just use rote memorization to complete math problems.

 

I suggest that you give Miquon a try. If you hate it, you can always resell it on here! :tongue_smilie:

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I was a bit confused when I first opened the workooks :confused: , but luckily I had expected as much because I had listened to the hive and was warned ahead of time.

 

Hee Hee. I've mentioned that I almost had a heart-attack when I opened the first lab-sheet book. I thought: "What the heck is this?"

 

And I seriously thought I wasn't smart enough to teach math using something that resembled an alien-IQ test.

 

I ignored my :001_huh: "what the heck is this" impression and started reading the first grade diary and flipped through the lap annontations. VERY quickly a light bulb went off in my head and I was excited to start it with my dd4.

 

Same.

 

Once I got over "the shock of the new" and read the Diary everything made perfect sense. What looked "weird" suddenly made sense. I soon began to laugh at myself and my initial freak-out. Miquon became such a natural way to teach for me--and really helped me find my own style.

 

It has been AMAZING. Seriously. Not joking. So amazing in fact I did a couple blog posts on the change it has brought in our household. And me. I no longer despise math but find it oddly attractive now. :tongue_smilie:

 

Ditto.

 

You can see my Miquon posts here. Sometimes it is nice to see the rods and activities in action. The oldest post talks about my decision to jump ship with Saxon and make the switch to Miquon.

 

I have never looked back! :auto:

 

I love the blog posts!

 

It really helps when people can see how it works in action. I hope you keep it up.

 

Bill

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We like Miquon too. The rods are awesome for manipulating numbers in a concrete way. The addition and subtraction understanding that my younger 5yo has is amazing for her age. When I introduced Singapore's number bonds idea to her, she looked at me like, "Yeah...so?" and then said, "Yes, I know Mom. You can do that with the rods like this." She is halfway through the orange book and knows her addition facts to ten because of the rods. She has never seen a flashcard.

 

I will warn you that Miquon feels a lot like bouncing around trying different ways of teaching the same thing until you find a way that works for your child. And that's okay. When you do that, you're able to help your child start manipulating numbers rather than memorizing the facts. Just the other day, Emmett asked Abby what 8 and 5 were. She said, "Well, if the 8 shares one with the 5, it becomes 7 and 6...I know that 6 and 6 is 12, so 7 and 6 is 13. So 8 and 5 is 13 too." And THAT is why Miquon and C Rods are awesome!

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Oh MAN! Now I'm going to have to go out and re-buy Miquon! I clearly gave up too easily and didn't give it enough of a chance. My husband is going to kill me. Lesson learned...twice!

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FWIW, I think the hand-drawn look of the early books is less intimidating to students (and maybe teachers!) and makes math seem like something that people do because it's interesting.

 

My favorite Miquon scenario is: DS fuming over the page, erasing, clearly agitated. I walk over to assist. He yells "DON'T HELP ME!!! DON'T TALK TO ME!!!" I beat a retreat and he finishes the page.

 

Yep, that discovery-type method really works for some kids. :D

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FWIW, I think the hand-drawn look of the early books is less intimidating to students (and maybe teachers!) and makes math seem like something that people do because it's interesting.

 

My favorite Miquon scenario is: DS fuming over the page, erasing, clearly agitated. I walk over to assist. He yells "DON'T HELP ME!!! DON'T TALK TO ME!!!" I beat a retreat and he finishes the page.

 

Yep, that discovery-type method really works for some kids. :D

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Bill

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Bill, so you use/d Miquon? I've heard of people who use it together with Singapore, but that seems daunting. ...although maybe that's because I have three kids, and I'm disorganized.

 

Really, I don't need to look.

 

But I probably will. :glare::lol:

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We're about to finish Mep Year 1. Guess I'll just start with the orange book anyway???

 

Hee Hee. I've mentioned that I almost had a heart-attack when I opened the first lab-sheet book. I thought: "What the heck is this?"

 

And I seriously thought I wasn't smart enough to teach math using something that resembled an alien-IQ test.

 

Those have been my thoughts as well. :001_huh: I keep looking at the samples and think: Where's the math!?

Is it easy to teach? We're using MEP, but it has been a challenge (the teaching part).

 

 

You can see my Miquon posts here. Sometimes it is nice to see the rods and activities in action. The oldest post talks about my decision to jump ship with Saxon and make the switch to Miquon.

 

Thanks, that's really helpful! Love the pictures.

 

So, how many c rods will I need?

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Is it easy to teach?

 

I don't really teach it. "Hey, you want to play with Miquon?" brings glee around here. And then I conversationally talk about the page/s and the general concepts. "Remember when we learned x? Here's another way of looking at the same idea." And let her go. I only provide guidance here and there.

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So, how many c rods will I need?

 

The more the better. I would love to have a huge "ball pit" of them where my girls could dive in and swim around like Scrooge McDuck and his money. :tongue_smilie:

Seriously though, I have a set of 155 that is probably the least amount you would want. I know they sell 70something piece sets but I couldn't imagine playing around with less than 155. In hindsight, considering I have two younger girls actively beginning to show interest in my dd5's rod play, I wish I had two or three 155 buckets. :001_huh:

 

So in answer- definitely at least 155.

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We also use Miquon as a math lab supplement. It is so far one of the top 3 best curriculum purchases for us. :thumbup1: My 8 yro and 6 yro need lots of hands-on schoolwork and Miquon works very well for them.

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The more the better. I would love to have a huge "ball pit" of them where my girls could dive in and swim around like Scrooge McDuck and his money. :tongue_smilie:

Seriously though, I have a set of 155 that is probably the least amount you would want. I know they sell 70something piece sets but I couldn't imagine playing around with less than 155. In hindsight, considering I have two younger girls actively beginning to show interest in my dd5's rod play, I wish I had two or three 155 buckets. :001_huh:

 

So in answer- definitely at least 155.

 

Yeah, that sounds about right. :D Also, if you buy The First Grade Diary, it talks about how the Miquon teachers were letting the student use the rods to make buildings and roads, etc. My 6 yro and 4 yro did that yesterday...built roads and bridges out of 'em.

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I was a bit confused when I first opened the workooks :confused: , but luckily I had expected as much because I had listened to the hive and was warned ahead of time.

 

I ignored my :001_huh: "what the heck is this" impression and started reading the first grade diary and flipped through the lap annontations. VERY quickly a light bulb went off in my head and I was excited to start it with my dd4.

 

It has been AMAZING. Seriously. Not joking. So amazing in fact I did a couple blog posts on the change it has brought in our household. And me. I no longer despise math but find it oddly attractive now. :tongue_smilie:

 

You can see my Miquon posts here. Sometimes it is nice to see the rods and activities in action. The oldest post talks about my decision to jump ship with Saxon and make the switch to Miquon.

 

I have never looked back! :auto:

 

Can you tell me what the cards in your blog pics are? intrigued! :)

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Score! I went back to the homeschool resale shop today and they had not sold my Miquon yet. I was able to get all 4 books, brand new, PLUS my rods that I thought they had already sold (a nice big set), and I didn't have to pay anything because they were already mine! Can't beat that!

 

Now the daunting task of trying to understand how to use Miquon again.

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Score! I went back to the homeschool resale shop today and they had not sold my Miquon yet. I was able to get all 4 books, brand new, PLUS my rods that I thought they had already sold (a nice big set), and I didn't have to pay anything because they were already mine! Can't beat that!

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

 

Now the daunting task of trying to understand how to use Miquon again.

 

Do you have "Notes to Teachers" and the "First Grade Diary"?

 

Start by reading those. You don't need to "study" these, just blast through and get an over-view. You can always go back and pick out ideas later. Once the Miquon thing "clicks" it all makes sense.

 

And the Lab Sheet Annotations will then become an on-going resource for individual lab-pages and for topical information.

 

Bill

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Another skeptic-turned-believer here. :D I actually saw it in a catalog and thought my son would love it; my concern was that I would HATE it and be lost--and that was before I even laid eyes on the books!!

 

But, after being reassured on another forum that it really wasn't that hard, and reading up a bit online, I ordered them. I'd seen samples, so I wasn't shocked when I saw them, but it was so different it was just hard not to doubt. Then I remembered my failure of a math education :lol: and pressed on!

 

The fact that my kids can manipulate numbers blows my mind. The other day I asked him what 5x6 was, and he said, "2x12+6." Huh? Oh, yeah--you're right. So what's 2x12+6? :lol: The other day he wanted to know who much it would cost to get 2 more sets of a toy my mom bought him, and he sat down and DID THE MATH. He actually uses the math he learns in his short little 6-years-long life. Blows me away. He's got about a 1/4 of the Blue book left, and he's still loving it. I'm learning, little sister is learning, and math is COOL. :coolgleamA:

 

So yes, I'm a huge fan. :party:

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Do you have "Notes to Teachers" and the "First Grade Diary"?

 

Start by reading those. You don't need to "study" these, just blast through and get an over-view. You can always go back and pick out ideas later. Once the Miquon thing "clicks" it all makes sense.

 

And the Lab Sheet Annotations will then become an on-going resource for individual lab-pages and for topical information.

 

Bill

 

I do have those books and will start blasting through them this weekend. Thanks so much for the guidance!

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I do have those books and will start blasting through them this weekend. Thanks so much for the guidance!

 

Lore Rasmussen was such an amazing woman. I found out more about how she fled Nazi Germany and crusaded for human rights and civil rights after I read her books. But even in these her humanity shines through. She had a gift for connecting with children. Reading the Diary, to me, felt akin to sharing time with a wise mentor. She discusses problems children were having and her thoughts about how to help them understand.

 

Not everyone may have the same response to these books, but I found them very insightful and inspiring. They helped me get in touch with my inner math-teacher. Before reading her books I had sort of a "goal" in mind, but was very unsure how to reach it. She provided "lightbulb" moments for me. And pretty soon I felt unleashed and inspired to do my own thing.

 

I hope you enjoy them. I hate to build them up too much as they are "modest" books. But there is wisdom in them.

 

Bill

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Can you tell me what the cards in your blog pics are? intrigued! :)

 

I was not certain which cards you meant- but if you mean the ones pictured here then are can be found here. I simply cut and laminated them. My dd3 uses them as a match game right now. There are so many uses for them though! It's an invaluable resource. And just for those who haven't seen it yet, this booklet is a great Pre-Miquon way to introduce rods to younger kids.

 

Last Friday I introduced a "Gobblin' Gator" game for my kids using greater than/less than cards I made up. I will be able to incorporate the above cards for my dd to use. I am hoping to put that blog post up this week. Just haven't had time yet!

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I have been following this thread because a few weeks ago when I posted my concerns about my two dd's and math, it was recommend I buy Miquon. I ordered it all yesterday, I can't wait until it gets here. Thank you all!!

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Miquon is by far the best curriculum I have purchased( for both the wisdom it provides & of course the incredible price.) I love the discovery aspect of the whole program & how my kids make connections that I never did.

 

I have found the First Grade Diary to be absolutely invaluable. My DS & I have played some of the games & discussed many different things she discusses in this little book & I have had my own "Ah hah" moments. For what it's worth we tried using it with Singapore & my DD preferred Miquon hands down. We do use some MM on the side, but Miquon is our spine.

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Okay, I've been following this thread, and I think I'm ready to take the plunge here. I always sort of wished I had bought this for my dd, but I never did. Now, I have a ds in 1st grade, and I think he'd love it and do really well with it.

 

What do I NEED to get? (My budget is tight - er, nonexistent - at this point in the school year, so I am going to need to scrape together the $, and only want to get what's absolutely necessary to get started - thoughts, opinions?

 

Thanks!

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Okay, I've been following this thread, and I think I'm ready to take the plunge here. I always sort of wished I had bought this for my dd, but I never did. Now, I have a ds in 1st grade, and I think he'd love it and do really well with it.

 

What do I NEED to get? (My budget is tight - er, nonexistent - at this point in the school year, so I am going to need to scrape together the $, and only want to get what's absolutely necessary to get started - thoughts, opinions?

 

Thanks!

 

I would say the bare minimum is a set of rods, the workbook (there are 6 colors and I believe you start with orange?), and the lab annotations book which explains what to do with the workbooks.

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Lore Rasmussen was such an amazing woman. I found out more about how she fled Nazi Germany and crusaded for human rights and civil rights after I read her books. But even in these her humanity shines through. She had a gift for connecting with children. Reading the Diary, to me, felt akin to sharing time with a wise mentor. She discusses problems children were having and her thoughts about how to help them understand.

 

Not everyone may have the same response to these books, but I found them very insightful and inspiring. They helped me get in touch with my inner math-teacher. Before reading her books I had sort of a "goal" in mind, but was very unsure how to reach it. She provided "lightbulb" moments for me. And pretty soon I felt unleashed and inspired to do my own thing.

 

I hope you enjoy them. I hate to build them up too much as they are "modest" books. But there is wisdom in them.

 

Bill

 

I have been pouring over these books all weekend and I agree that these books are really helpful and inspiring. I am definitely a convert to Miquon at this point. I'm still working through how to best make it work for us. I have two sons who are six weeks apart in age, very competitive at times, both very bright. One is a please though and very quick with answers and ideas. The other is not a pleaser, and tends to need a moment to think about a problem before answering. The pleaser usually loves to learn but the other runs hot and cold and can be challenging. If I leave things open-ended to doing math as it interests him, he will run off and play.

 

So far, we are playing with the rods a lot, having some good discussions and they have done some worksheets. I am using RS A, SM 1a and Miquon Orange book (I need to order the red one) to generate ideas, taking bits and pieces and putting them together. I'm just not sure how the child-led discovery is going to work out with my reluctant one.....although, I was quite surprised when, over lunch today, completely out of the blue, he said "I know a way to make 4" and proceeded to tell me that "1+1+1+1 equals 4". I was quite surprised. Maybe he is getting more than I think.

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I have been pouring over these books all weekend and I agree that these books are really helpful and inspiring. I am definitely a convert to Miquon at this point. I'm still working through how to best make it work for us. I have two sons who are six weeks apart in age, very competitive at times, both very bright. One is a please though and very quick with answers and ideas. The other is not a pleaser, and tends to need a moment to think about a problem before answering. The pleaser usually loves to learn but the other runs hot and cold and can be challenging. If I leave things open-ended to doing math as it interests him, he will run off and play.

 

So far, we are playing with the rods a lot, having some good discussions and they have done some worksheets. I am using RS A, SM 1a and Miquon Orange book (I need to order the red one) to generate ideas, taking bits and pieces and putting them together. I'm just not sure how the child-led discovery is going to work out with my reluctant one.....although, I was quite surprised when, over lunch today, completely out of the blue, he said "I know a way to make 4" and proceeded to tell me that "1+1+1+1 equals 4". I was quite surprised. Maybe he is getting more than I think.

 

It would not surprise me to hear it is the "reluctant one" who benefits most. There is a certain efficiency (along with concretely visualized learning) that I think sticks, and this can work especially well with the ones who would rather be off doing something else (like playing).

 

I'm looking forward to hearing how you all progress as you hit you stride :001_smile:

 

Bill

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Okay, I've been following this thread, and I think I'm ready to take the plunge here. I always sort of wished I had bought this for my dd, but I never did. Now, I have a ds in 1st grade, and I think he'd love it and do really well with it.

 

What do I NEED to get? (My budget is tight - er, nonexistent - at this point in the school year, so I am going to need to scrape together the $, and only want to get what's absolutely necessary to get started - thoughts, opinions?

 

Thanks!

 

I would urge you to get all the teachers books. Many parents order some Miquon materials but either don't order the First Diary Diary and Notes to Teachers or don't read them, and then they "don't get it" and quit.

 

I'd also get the Orange and Red books. And a set of 155 Cuisenaire Rods.

 

Bill

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I would urge you to get all the teachers books. Many parents order some Miquon materials but either don't order the First Diary Diary and Notes to Teachers or don't read them, and then they "don't get it" and quit.

 

I'd also get the Orange and Red books. And a set of 155 Cuisenaire Rods.

 

Bill

 

:iagree: That is exactly what happened to me the first time around. I have already heard (a couple of times), "This math is fun!".

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I've managed to get quite a bit of our Miquon set used, if that helps the budget at all. I've had luck on eBay and on Amazon (mmm, vintage c-rods).

 

So I've been following this thread for a while now, and reading many of the Miquon posts from the past. I've read the Notes to Teachers and have started the First Grade Diary, but I'm still feeling lost as to how to start my older daughter into the program. She's in MEP Year 3 also, though we've been "on break" to enjoy the new Life of Fred books and the Beast Academy sample. I'm not feeling the MEP-love at the moment, so we're cracking open Miquon. Should I just jump her into one of the upper books? Should I let her choose what she wants to do? From what I've read so far, Miquon seems like lightly-guided math exploration. I'm not used to that, and neither is dd.

 

FWIW I'm sold on the c-rods. Sweetie asked about algebra today, and when solving 5x-6=3x on paper didn't make sense, we pulled out the c-rods and she totally got the hang of it. I'd've had a hard time doing that on the alAbacus (our primary manipulative up until now). Yay!

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