# Question about teaching K-1 math

## Recommended Posts

I should say maybe a dumb question....

We are working our way through addition and subtraction. My question is- how do you know they are getting it? For instance the problem is 2+5=. She either counts or uses manipulatives to find the answer. Is this the right way? I mean, realistically, she could do any add/subtract problem as long as she can count that high...and that doesn't seem like the right way.

##### Share on other sites

Have you looked into Miquon math? I am a math-phobic mom who was guided to Miquon and I am so glad I took the Hive's advice and tried it out. I have a few blog posts here about our experiences with it. You might enjoy the one called for The Love of the Rods.

Using manipulatives is an integral part of Miquon- indeed the main part. Using manipulatives and counting are how children begin to understand numbers and their quantity correspondence. So I wouldn't worry if your young K or 1st grader is still using them and doesn't have everything memorized yet.

##### Share on other sites

I see you're using Singapore Earlybird. Those problems will come up again in Singapore 1A. You will know if she has it memorized when she doesn't use manipulatives anymore. You will know she understands it if she is using the manipulatives correctly.

I agree that Miquon would be helpful. We use both programs. The Cuisenaire rods encourage understanding of number bonds without counting. Counting is good to know at the kindergarten level, but once you move forward it is much better for children to be able to visualize quantities and mentally manipulate numbers in their heads. They do this by using manipulatives with programs that encourage mental math (Miquon and Singapore, for instance). Cuisenaire Rods and Base Ten Flats are the best manipulatives you can buy IMO.

You're right that she could do any add/sub problem as long as she can count that high, but, no, it's not the best way because it could take forever and does not rely on an understanding of place value. It will become more clear to you once you start Singapore 1A. It sounds like she is doing fine for now, though!

##### Share on other sites

I am wondering the same thing. Dd can add but she counts the lines she makes and doesn't have anything memorized. Is right start similar to miquon in that it helps them have a conceptual understanding but without counting using manipulatives? I like something that tells me what to do and say and I will have money from the state to use once she is officially old enough. I know she need some work on memorizing the facts too and I don't know the best way to do that.

##### Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses!

We have actually stopped earlybird and are doing Essentials K now. I will look into Miquon though too.

##### Share on other sites

I am wondering the same thing. Dd can add but she counts the lines she makes and doesn't have anything memorized. Is right start similar to miquon in that it helps them have a conceptual understanding but without counting using manipulatives? I like something that tells me what to do and say and I will have money from the state to use once she is officially old enough. I know she need some work on memorizing the facts too and I don't know the best way to do that.

Part of this is developmental, moving from concrete manipulative to seeing the "abstract" number symbols and understanding a "5" means five beans or whatever. I love Right Start because it gives me the script for what to say and it uses games to help with mastery instead of tons of worksheets or flashcards. I know Miquon is well liked too, but there is a bit of a learning curve...RS is more open and go...but also more expensive. HTH!

##### Share on other sites

Is right start similar to miquon in that it helps them have a conceptual understanding but without counting using manipulatives?

Yes. From what I've heard that is a big focus in RightStart.

I like something that tells me what to do and say and I will have money from the state to use once she is officially old enough.

I'm pretty sure RightStart is scripted. Miquon is not.

I know she need some work on memorizing the facts too and I don't know the best way to do that.

If you use a conceptual program with emphasis on mental math then she only needs to memorize the facts to 10. She can do that through lots of games. The facts to 20 will be taught in Miquon, RightStart, or Singapore through mental manipulation of numbers so they don't need to be memorized. They are actually "figured" out.

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.