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How do you teach/use MEP?


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We use and love MM for 2nd and 5th grade, but I'd like to supplement with something just so the kids are used to seeing things presented in different ways. Everyone here seems to love MEP, but from their website I can't get a handle on how you would actually use it. Any direction would be much appreciated!

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We use it as a standalone, supplemented only with CWP.


Lessons are prepared the night before. I note on the worksheet when to do a teaching activity and adapt the occasional activity for home use. I follow the lesson plans fairly closely, adding in occasional reinforcement if I feel necessary on Day 5's (review days). Reminders for this are jotted down on the TMs. The TMs label activities as either individual, classroom, or either. If a child needs much help with a "classroom" activity, there's no cause for concern because it's not expected that all children master concepts at the same rate. We bring in big sister for round-robin type questions and games (e.g. skip counting, guessing games).


There are a number of problems in Y1, fewer in Y2, that can be done without having the child calculate the sums (e.g. grids of problems with instructions to colour the boxes with sums greater than 10 a certain colour). If the child can do these without calculating, it means they "get it" and the method should be left to their discretion.


I find the teaching component of the program to be flexible, and I keep the teaching fun. The joy of MEP would be lost if we couldn't. FWIW, I wouldn't recommend it for someone who wasn't confident with math, because the teaching component is critical and the program is not scripted.


I found the videos on this page to be helpful in getting an idea of how the lessons should feel:



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I print the Teacher pages two to a side and the Practice Book one to a side and file them both in a binder. We haven't used the blackline masters at all.


We do the lessons in order; usually one lesson at a time. I clip one sheet of the Practice book to a clipboard and hand it to dd. I refer to the Teacher page from the binder. Sometimes we use the Cusinaire rods but usually we work without manipulatives.


I find the Teacher pages scriped enough to hold my hand. In Y1 I have not had to read ahead to prepare for the lesson.

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I've only been doing MEP for a little under a year (we're on our second 6 mo cycle), so I'm not sure how much value this will be, lots of other people have a lot more time with all of these programs under their belts, but I hth anyway :)


First I print out the student pages and the lesson plan pages for the 1/2 school year period that I'm interested in (like Singapore the year is divided into A and B segments). Then I go through the pages and roughly work out how much time I think that it'll take us for each lesson (mostly just to stop myself from getting bogged down or to find good breakpoints - we do math in two 20 min segments because I couldn't choose between MEP, Singapore & Miquon... thank goodness Kitty actually seems to like math ;)) and make a quick note of any additional materials or prep that I'll need or would like to do (usually there isn't much of any for MEP), I also make a note on the page of how to modify certain lessons for only one child, or if I happen to think of a fun way that we can include my youngest.


I go sequentially, one lesson per day 4x per week (we only school 4x/wk, but I always try to get a 5th day in there of fun math stuff, like LoF and other mathy books, playing shopkeeper w/ price tags and play money, games involving math etc). Infrequently we run into lessons that are very hard for Kit and I'll extend the lesson by 5 or so minutes to keep coming at it from different angles until she sees it or gets frustrated. If she's not enjoying the challenge (some days she just isn't in the mood to think, sometimes I'm not either ;) lol) I make a note of the problem / concept and we just try again a few days later.


I have trouble explaining why I like using MEP so much, but I'll give it a shot. It's a great program because it's both scripted and not. It's hard to put into words, but once you get a feel for it it really becomes yours... each lesson brings you back to what you've learned in previous ones, but in a different way. It's actually fun to teach, sort of like OPGTR and BFSU, you get what you put into it. After a few months with each I get to the point that I glance at my note/lesson page a couple times throughout our lesson and just engage with my girls from there - and it's that engagement and the ability to connect with my children that I value and that I think that this program provides.


In the end, I don't find SM or Miquon as easy to do this with, but I like those programs for other reasons (and other parents prefer them because THEY find them easier to make their own :lol: go figure!! LOL).

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All the student problems are in the Practice Book. The Lesson Plan pages are also needed. Each page of the practice book is a separate day's lesson, and each one has a corresponding lesson plan.


The lesson plans include activities, problems, and exercises that aren't in the Practice Book. Sometimes these are just simple review, but sometimes they are very cleverly setting up future topics, or they have interesting logic problems. I skim the lesson plans in advance and mark the extra activities I want to do with a highlighter.


The lesson plans also have some helpful tips for the exercises in the Practice Book. Sometimes it just says "do section 4," but often there will be advice about how much help or what kinds of hints to give, or there will be a note that some problems are "extension for abler students." (Then you know to expect it to be hard.)


If you're supplementing with MEP, just go through and pick some of the problems that look fun. When we're racing through the review sections at the beginning of a year, my daughter and I each pick one interesting-looking section on each page.

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We are using MEP years 2 and 4, as our main. My kids also do Miquon - mostly review for the older boys, and the main/only lesson for my youngest son.


I have the lesson plans printed and bound, and the student practice pages printed and filed. We do 1 lesson per day, but we often skip the 5th day (it is a review sheet, and we usually get to math 4 times a week).


I go through the lesson plan quickly and note what to do. I try to remember to highlight the main point for the next time around. There are three basic things in the lesson plans: mental math (skip counting, story problems, chain addition/subtraction, etc), which I try to do; problems that mirror those in the practice sheets, which I skip (we usually do the first set of each section together); group stuff (bring 5 students to the front of the class...) which I usually skip. If it seems important, I'll modify it. Watch the times, some of the sections are timed, so not to bog the students down. I note the time in the margin of that section.


After we do the mental math, I'll do one section at a time. As I said, we do part of it together, if needed. For my 4th grader, we do a lot together, as it is long division, and he tends to skip things ..... For my 2nd grader, I'll work through difficult parts, and let him do the easy / review ones.


I love MEP, I don't like the teacher's manual though. It's too bulky and not scannable. I highly recommend Liping Ma's book to help you understand HOW to teach the concepts. A lot more of MEP makes sense since I read her book.

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