How long is it okay to use c-rods?

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Admittedly, we came late to the c-rod party, but they are the only manipulative that is helping ds solve addition/subtraction problems.

However, he is dyslexic and it shows up in math by not being able to quickly recognize or memorize mental math facts despite repeated use. So, he still uses c-rods for nearly every problem and works really slowly. We are about to complete MM 1B and move into 2A. Is it a problem for him to continue using c-rods to find the answer or is he supposed to have these memorized by 2nd grade math? Is there a point where I really should take them away?

Are we on a different time table due to the LD?

Edited by FairProspects
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My 1st grader is similar (he has HFA so it takes him longer to understand some concepts). I do not foresee the use of MUS blocks to end in the near future. (we use MUS blocks- he understands that alot better than c-rods- they seem a bit to abstract for him because he can not see the little blocks that make up the 5 block or the 9 block, kwim?) I would say as long as he needs it to build that mental understanding let him use them! One thing I do with my son is when he builds the problem he also reads it from the blocks and then the problem in the book and says the answer--

EX: he will take his MUS blocks and build 4+9 then he will figure out the answer with the blocks. He will then write the answer in the book then I have him read the math sentence 4+9= 13 so that he can build it and see it with the blocks but also make the mental connection with the numbers.

We don't use the MUS math curriculum- we started that with Primer last year but after about 1/3 the way through the book we just couldn't take it anymore. That is one of the things that curriculum had us do though that we did stick with. You can do the same thing with the c-rods and see how that goes but unless he is using it as a crutch in older grades I would not worry to much. (I am talking even 4th or 5th grade) The connections with be made when your son is ready.

Edited by wy_kid_wrangler04
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FWIW, our DS8 (no LDs) still occasionally uses c-rods, though he prefers to figure things out in his mind. I sometimes "force" him to use rods to explain a concept or help him see what is going on in a number sentence. For example, rods are very helpful when learning to add and subtract large numbers when you need to "carry" or "borrow". Rather than just memorizing an algorithm, the student can see what's happening and understand the concept better.

I wouldn't neglect memorizing math facts, but if the rods help a child to understand a concept and see that red and lt. green always makes yellow, I would allow them to continue using the rods (esp. in a LD situation).

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Admittedly, we came late to the c-rod party, but they are the only manipulative that is helping ds solve addition/subtraction problems.

However, he is dyslexic and it shows up in math by not being able to quickly recognize or memorize mental math facts despite repeated use. So, he still uses c-rods for nearly every problem and works really slowly. We are about to complete MM 1B and move into 2A. Is it a problem for him to continue using c-rods to find the answer or is he supposed to have these memorized by 2nd grade math? Is there a point where I really should take them away?

Are we on a different time table due to the LD?

I'd take any thoughts of mine with a grain-of-salt as I have no expertise teaching children with learning disabilities in general (or dyslexia in particular) but I would be hard pressed to want to remove a tool that seems to be working in order to feel like I was operating on someone else's time-table.

Generally children stop using the C Rods of their own volition when they no longer need them. If you feel there ought to be skill development and/or retention beyond what is happening then I would explore ways to help in those areas. Games and math games can be a fun way to help build addition skills without having it seem like a punitive move. No one has to know it is math.

In your shoes I think I'd just keep trying to gently cultivate the emerging skills and not remove the C Rods if they are helping.

Bill

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If it is working for him then let it work.

And my friend's kids used c-rods for fractions and that was when they were older. There might have been some rods pulled out when they learned algebra? I can't remember.

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At 7, I wouldn't even be starting to worry about how long! Once it becomes faster and easier for a child to solve equations without manipulatives, they will. But for now, the manipulative makes an abstract subject concrete, plus gives your son visual and kinesthetic reinforcement--exactly what you need! (And goodness, Math-U-See uses manipulatives through Algebra 1! They're actually pretty helpful at times).

Merry :-)

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I agree with the prev posters about letting him use the rods as long as he chooses to.

For facts memorization, we are starting to play math war every day now: The game that is worth 1000 worksheets.

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