Jump to content

Menu

What is the best conceptual pre-algebra for an average math student?


Recommended Posts

This is for a dc coming from a very formulaic math program (CLE) who therefore doesn't have a clue about understanding math conceptually (and is very bright in all else but not math oriented.)

 

I thought MUS, but it is too "lite". Before school ended in June we watched the dvds (only) for Epsilon and Zeta and it got her to the cusp of understanding (finally!) but the dvds are too short for full understanding-need something more incremental. Doesn't have to be dvds but she is very visual.

 

HELP please!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm right there with you.

I want a textbook curriculum though; not vids. I have a visual learner, very math oriented, but coming from a formulaic method as well, so we have some catching up to do. She hates learning from vids (not an auditory kind of gal).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest violets

The Art of Problem Solving (books with free online videos, also online classes with a teacher) has a Pre-Algebra 1 and 2. They are very much into understanding conceptually so their pre-algebra really tries to get at the deeper understandings of all that math they've done so far. They are really good math.

 

BUT they are also very big into problem solving - this works great with my strong-math son who finds this kind of math so much more interesting. It works terribly with my weak-math daughter who just wants to know the answer and get on with it. Her math is too shaky to cope with the AoPS style yet.

 

They definitely go for concepts, though, so maybe take a look at the sample pages on their website?

 

Am looking at the other replies with interest. I would like something for my daughter!

 

Take care, Rebecca

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BUT they are also very big into problem solving - this works great with my strong-math son who finds this kind of math so much more interesting. It works terribly with my weak-math daughter who just wants to know the answer and get on with it. Her math is too shaky to cope with the AoPS style yet.

 

This is exactly why AoPS wouldn't work here. :(

 

LilyGrace-Great suggestion, thanks-I have and will use HOE w/ her as a supplement this yr but it is pretty specific to solving equations. I would like to use a full pre-algebra curriculum.

 

We are ok with textbk or dvds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is exactly why AoPS wouldn't work here. :(

 

LilyGrace-Great suggestion, thanks-I have and will use HOE w/ her as a supplement this yr but it is pretty specific to solving equations. I would like to use a full pre-algebra curriculum.

 

We are ok with textbk or dvds.

 

Have you looked at the Key to ... series? These are very incremental in their approach, with a lot of pictures and diagrams to demonstrate concepts. It sounds like she is still mastering what the arithmetic represents in some cases. (The link has some sample pages, but they are also available from Rainbow Resource.)

 

Another resource I like are the math books by Danica McKellar. She writes about math in a way that is very approachable for students who are learn through reading and listening but aren't so comfortable with the symbolic representations of numbers and operators.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are using MUS Pre-Algebra right now and I agree that it is somewhat light. Yet the honors questions in the newest edition help in part to add some challenge. A number of folks have successfully used MUS Pre-A followed by MUS Algebra 1 as a pre-Algebra program and primer for more challenging Algebra to follow. Since you also consider it light you could accelerate MUS Pre-A with every other subsection followed by the chapter test. Using this approach it could be finished much quicker.

 

I have decided to springboard off MUS Pre-A into a more challeging Pre-A for this year. I am strongly leaning toward Derek Owens with video lectures. I like the fact that this will teach my son son listening and note taking skills as well. http://www.lucideducation.com/?p=Prealgebra.php

 

The other two I am considering are:

http://www.tabletclass.com/homeschool/overview.aspx

 

http://math.kineticbooks.com/preAlgebra.php

 

These should be more rigorous than MUS and they all have free samples and/or trials. I plan to test them out with my son after he gets through ~ the first half of MUS Pre-A.

 

Although everyone seems to rave about AoPS I just don't think the discovery approach would be a the best fit for him. He tried some of the samples on their website and became very frustrated with it.

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, we're planning on trying Math Mammoth. It is very conceptual (like Singapore), but UNLIKE Singapore, I find it easier to start late in the game (with Singapore, it seems to miss something special if you aren't very familiar with the method taught from the get-go); with Math Mammoth, I feel comfortable just jumping in (we've used her skill sets before). She has a ton of free samples on her site (Maria Miller) and she is super helpful if you e-mail her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, we're planning on trying Math Mammoth. It is very conceptual (like Singapore), but UNLIKE Singapore, I find it easier to start late in the game (with Singapore, it seems to miss something special if you aren't very familiar with the method taught from the get-go); with Math Mammoth, I feel comfortable just jumping in (we've used her skill sets before). She has a ton of free samples on her site (Maria Miller) and she is super helpful if you e-mail her.

 

Aimee, we have tried MM at least in part and liked it as an alternative for primary math. But MM really doesn't go into Pre-Algebra and beyond. Maria has a good resource page on Pre-Algebra here: http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/prealgebra.php

 

The one thing I did notice however which I hadn't seen before are the Pre-Algebra supplimental worksheets: http://www.mathmammoth.com/worksheets/grade_7.php

 

This may be a good suppliment for lighter or less conceptual programs. Maria states:

These prealgebra problem sheets have been "hand-crafted" one by one, and include very variable problems, including problems that emphasize understanding of concepts and word problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aimee, we have tried MM at least in part and liked it as an alternative for primary math. But MM really doesn't go into Pre-Algebra and beyond. Maria has a good resource page on Pre-Algebra here: http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/prealgebra.php

 

The one thing I did notice however which I hadn't seen before are the Pre-Algebra supplimental worksheets: http://www.mathmammoth.com/worksheets/grade_7.php

 

This may be a good suppliment for lighter or less conceptual programs. Maria states:

These prealgebra problem sheets have been "hand-crafted" one by one, and include very variable problems, including problems that emphasize understanding of concepts and word problems.

While I understand Maria doesn't consider MM 6 to be "pre algebra", I would (very respectfully) disagree - just for our personal situation. She covers in MM 6 *almost* everything that is covered in a standard pre algebra program (and pre algebra really isn't anything more than review of arithmetic with a bit of algebra mixed in)... especially if you add in her pre algebra worksheets. Many Math Mammoth users have no problem going directly from Math Mammoth to Algebra I. Just my 2 cents :D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I understand Maria doesn't consider MM 6 to be "pre algebra", I would (very respectfully) disagree - just for our personal situation. She covers in MM 6 *almost* everything that is covered in a standard pre algebra program (and pre algebra really isn't anything more than review of arithmetic with a bit of algebra mixed in)... especially if you add in her pre algebra worksheets. Many Math Mammoth users have no problem going directly from Math Mammoth to Algebra I. Just my 2 cents :D.

 

Aimee, I haven't heard too much about folks going straight into Algebra from MM6. But I could imagine it. Though I would think most use some sort of review along with algebraic conceptual materials as a bridge between primary and secondary Mathematics. All agree that Pre-Algebra is mostly review with the addition of some Algebraic concepts involving variables. For us it acts as a mental bridge or introduction to the more difficult concepts which will soon follow. That is why we use other supplimentals as well such as Hands-on-Equations.

 

With regards to her worksheet she emphasizes that they are only supplimental. She also states that these worksheets cannot replace a textbook as they do not contain the explanations of the concepts. Based on her own comments I'm not sure MM6 would be enough of a reference to accompany these worksheets. I am inclined to think she would recommend one of the textbooks or programs from her Pre-Alegbra webpage. It will be interesting to see over time if Maria adds a complete Pre-Algebra program to her offerings like Singapore has with its Discovering Mathematics.

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I understand Maria doesn't consider MM 6 to be "pre algebra", I would (very respectfully) disagree - just for our personal situation. She covers in MM 6 *almost* everything that is covered in a standard pre algebra program (and pre algebra really isn't anything more than review of arithmetic with a bit of algebra mixed in)... especially if you add in her pre algebra worksheets. Many Math Mammoth users have no problem going directly from Math Mammoth to Algebra I. Just my 2 cents :D.

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is for a dc coming from a very formulaic math program (CLE) who therefore doesn't have a clue about understanding math conceptually (and is very bright in all else but not math oriented.)

 

I thought MUS, but it is too "lite". Before school ended in June we watched the dvds (only) for Epsilon and Zeta and it got her to the cusp of understanding (finally!) but the dvds are too short for full understanding-need something more incremental. Doesn't have to be dvds but she is very visual.

 

HELP please!

 

Hi Happy, can you go back and explain this? So you're saying the MUS explanations were *clicking* but seem light? And you need something incremental/spiral?

 

In general, I wouldn't advise changing if something is working. I haven't used MUS, but I gather some people add the Keys to books onto it. Or just keep going.

 

If what you're really wanting is that change back to something incremental, well you know the options:

 

Saxon

CLE

Horizons

Teaching Textbooks

 

Trying to think if there are more, but those are the ones that pop to mind. You're never going to win the "is it good enough" debate, and frankly I think some of it is a maturity/armpit hair/developmental thing anyway. So of course you can have some kids go from MM6 to algebra 1 and others not, differing results with kids using TT, etc. etc. You're at the ugly stage where I think a lot of people tread water thinking the problem is the PROGRAM when it's really a developmental thing. It's like learning to read. You can try all you want, but it happens when it happens.

 

That algebraic thinking will happen when it happens. That's why people who've taught these ages put in gr 7 materials that utterly repeat and bridge between gr 6 (basic math) and gr 8 (pre-algebra), because during that year the kids become utter idiots and forget 2+3. Not all do, but some do. And some might hit that level but just aren't ready to go on.

 

I say pick something that can get done and live in peace. I really think they're all ok. If you sit with her, ANY of the standard options will be fine. Even if they're not awesome, all the content will get repeated in Algebra 1, where you'll have the chance to use a different curriculum if you want. You're not locked in by anything you chose this year. You can chose poorly and it will still be FINE. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aimee, I haven't heard too much about folks going straight into Algebra from MM6. But I could imagine it. Though I would think most use some sort of review along with algebraic conceptual materials as a bridge between primary and secondary Mathematics. All agree that Pre-Algebra is mostly review with the addition of some Algebraic concepts involving variables. For us it acts as a mental bridge or introduction to the more difficult concepts which will soon follow. That is why we use other supplimentals as well such as Hands-on-Equations.

 

With regards to her worksheet she emphasizes that they are only supplimental. She also states that these worksheets cannot replace a textbook as they do not contain the explanations of the concepts. Based on her own comments I'm not sure MM6 would be enough of a reference to accompany these worksheets. I am inclined to think she would recommend one of the textbooks or programs from her Pre-Alegbra webpage. It will be interesting to see over time if Maria adds a complete Pre-Algebra program to her offerings like Singapore has with its Discovering Mathematics.

I guess my confusion stems from that most beginning algebra texts I've seen (including Jacob's, as an example), include pre algebra review in the first several chapters, before diving into Algebra I.

I plan to use MM6 with something like Hands on Equations as pre-algebra, before entering a gentle but thorough algebra like Jacob's (which has a pre algebra review built in).

By the way - how do you like Hands on Equations? I've seen mixed reviews on using it for older children. I want it though :D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess my confusion stems from that most beginning algebra texts I've seen (including Jacob's, as an example), include pre algebra review in the first several chapters, before diving into Algebra I.

I plan to use MM6 with something like Hands on Equations as pre-algebra, before entering a gentle but thorough algebra like Jacob's (which has a pre algebra review built in).

By the way - how do you like Hands on Equations? I've seen mixed reviews on using it for older children. I want it though :D.

 

I think there are many paths to the same educational goals, in this case transitioning from Primary to Secondary Math. One approach I heard on here which I really liked was three stranded. Basically it consists of reviewing previous core areas, learning current subject matter and introducing advanced topics continuously. In working toward this approach we're using Hands on Equations as a way to introduce advanced concepts and its been great for our kids. ds11 still uses it and likes it. We were just talking about this a few days ago. I was explaining some of my goals and plans I have for him in preparing for Algebra and beyond. He then began to describe all the things he's learning already about equations with variables from HOE. We will most likely continue to use it this year as a supplimental to our primary Pre-Algebra program.

 

Another approach I considered was something you actually described in part. That is start out with an easier, gentler Algebra 1 like MUS, Jacobs, TT, etc... Then move into a more rigorous program like Foerster Algebra 1. I am now planning a hybrid of that. Basically I want my son to complete a more challenging Pre-Algebra course such as a Derek Owens class. Then move directly into Foerster and Math without Borders or something equivalent (still considering a few options). However I plan to spend more time with it and really slow down where needed to solidify difficult concepts. Using this approach we will probably spend 7th & 8th grade going over Algebra 1. Of course I'll continue introducing geometric concepts as we go.

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are many paths to the same educational goal, in this case transitioning from Primary to Secondary Math. One approach I actually heard on here which I really liked was three strands. Basically it consists of reviewing previous core areas, learning current subject matter and introducing advanced topics every week. In working toward this approach we're using Hands on Equations as a way to introduce advanced concepts and its been great for our kids. ds11 still uses it and likes it. We were just talking about this a few days ago. I was explaining to him some of my goals and plans for him in preparing for Algebra and beyond. He then began to describle all the things he's learning already about variables with HOE. We will most likely continue to use it this year as a supplimental to our primary Pre-Algebra program.

 

Another approach I considered was something you actually described in part. That is start out with an easier, gentler Algebra 1 like MUS, Jacobs, TT, etc... Then move into a more rigorous program like Foerster Algebra 1. I am now planning a hybrid of that. Basically I want my son to complete a more challenging Pre-Algebra course such as a Derek Owens class. Then move directly into Foerster and Math without Borders or something equivalent (still considering a few options). However I plan to spend more time with it and really slow down where needed to solidify difficult concepts. Using this approach we will probably spend 7th & 8th grade going over Algebra 1. Of course I'll continue introducing geometric concepts as we go as well.

We actually have the same goal, it seems. This is our daughter's sixth grade year; I would like to spend the year cementing pre algebra skills and introducing algebraic thinking and beginnings... then spend 7th and 8th grade in Algebra I with Jacob's. Lol.

I was flirting between Hands on Equations OR the morten blocks/Crewton Ramone to add with our Math Mammoth studies. If Math Mammoth works for us this time :tongue_smilie:.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Happy, can you go back and explain this? So you're saying the MUS explanations were *clicking* but seem light? And you need something incremental/spiral?

 

In general, I wouldn't advise changing if something is working. I haven't used MUS, but I gather some people add the Keys to books onto it. Or just keep going.

...

That algebraic thinking will happen when it happens. That's why people who've taught these ages put in gr 7 materials that utterly repeat and bridge between gr 6 (basic math) and gr 8 (pre-algebra), because during that year the kids become utter idiots and forget 2+3. Not all do, but some do. And some might hit that level but just aren't ready to go on.

 

I say pick something that can get done and live in peace. I really think they're all ok. If you sit with her, ANY of the standard options will be fine. Even if they're not awesome, all the content will get repeated in Algebra 1, where you'll have the chance to use a different curriculum if you want. You're not locked in by anything you chose this year. You can chose poorly and it will still be FINE. :)

 

Very good points OhElizabeth. Some of us tend to overthink these areas, myself definately included. I think we look at it in light of our own experiences with Algebra for better or worse. The fact is many kids struggle during this stage of development - from concrete to abstract reasoning. And we will have to work with each one individually as they go through it. For some it is more of a struggle than others. Math was my favorite subject in school until computers came along anyway. However I struggled like crazy during Algebra for whatever reason. But once I got it everything else just seemed to make sense and followed pretty easily through Calculus. Looking back I think my junior HS was ill prepared for children that wanted to advance beyond basic math. Once I got ahead of my class the teacher really didn't know what to do with me. I don't think they even had the concept of Pre-Algebra back in the stone age. :D Its because of that hindsight that some of us are looking for ways to make the transition somewhat smoother for our kiddos. But struggle is inevitable at some point.

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone!

 

Over the years I have come to believe in a 3-strand approach like Dereksurfs mentioned. I do this w/ my younger dc, but older dd struggled with that so I went formulaic with her and now I need to remediate.

 

Thanks, OhE, for the pep talk! I guess it's just that dd is finally *wanting* to know the conceptual, so I want to take advantage of that. It is the first time she has sounded actually a bit hopeful about understanding math, so I guess that has me over-anxious about finding the right thing. I know if I choose wrong and it bombs, she will run back into her "I can't do math-I hate math" shell.

 

Anyway, yes, the MUS explanations were clicking, but it is ten minutes of explanation on the dvd (or less) and then you're kind of hung out to dry. So I don't mean I need an incremental program, per se, but something with a bit more handholding along the way, if that makes sense. So something like MUS, but with daily instruction like that (either dvd or written), rather than ten minutes per topic.

 

I do have the Danica McKellar book here-thanks! I love the sidebars that talk about people who went from hating math to understanding it-I think that is giving her some hope. I love Crewton-but can't make heads or tails of where to start, etc.

 

What I would love to do is MM6 plus HOE as pre-algebra (and supplement with Kahn where more explanation is needed), but as stated above thread, I don't think that is enough to count as a full pre-algebra. (She is going into a private school the next yr and needs to be ready for algebra.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy, what are they going to use for Algebra 1 at the school? If you know, that will tell you what you need to use to be ready for it. For instance, if they use Foerster Algebra 1, then you know even the old edition BJU pre-algebra is adequate preparation. If that's the case, then you can use that or anything roughly equivalent and be prepared.

 

What I would do in your position is pick a reasonable spine that you know will prepare her for the text they're going to use for algebra 1 and use the OTHER things as *supplements*. You're correct that Khan is good but not a full curriculum. HOE is good but not a full curriculum. If the algebra 1 is new edition BJU, then no MM6 + HOE is not adequate preparation. It just depends on what that algebra 1 text is going to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone!

...

What I would love to do is MM6 plus HOE as pre-algebra (and supplement with Kahn where more explanation is needed), but as stated above thread, I don't think that is enough to count as a full pre-algebra. (She is going into a private school the next yr and needs to be ready for algebra.)

 

Hmm, if this is the case I think something with a bit more structured lectures would be good preparation for private school.

 

Take a look at the Derek Owens Pre-Algebra course. His lectures are very clear and more in depth than what MUS offers.

 

Also have look at http://www.tabletclass.com/courses/prealgebra.aspx

These are full lessons as well which have been reviewed well by other here.

 

I would have your dd listen to these and see what she thinks about them. I want my son to build the classroom listening, note taking and studying skills that these introduce along with the math.

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It might possibly be Jacobs? Which would be encouraging because I've read before, as well as up thread, that it is gentle and also has review.

 

But that could change so I want to have her as prepared as possible. Which definitely means a solid pre-alg curric.

 

With Jacobs you could use the AskDrCallahan lectures as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are many paths to the same educational goals, in this case transitioning from Primary to Secondary Math. One approach I heard on here which I really liked was three stranded. Basically it consists of reviewing previous core areas, learning current subject matter and introducing advanced topics continuously. In working toward this approach we're using Hands on Equations as a way to introduce advanced concepts and its been great for our kids. ds11 still uses it and likes it. We were just talking about this a few days ago. I was explaining some of my goals and plans I have for him in preparing for Algebra and beyond. He then began to describe all the things he's learning already about equations with variables from HOE. We will most likely continue to use it this year as a supplimental to our primary Pre-Algebra program. go.

 

Derek,

Can you tell me what i need to buy if want to use HOE for Pre-algebra? There is an apps version for a few dollars to use on iPad and I am considering it. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warning:::Minor thread jack..When I look at HOE, I only see ways to teach a student to solve a 1st order, linear equation. Does this program teach anything else? I ask because the HOE program seems expensive for what you get.

 

Lori D. wrote brilliantly about her use of HOE over on this thread, and I can't help but think of it every time someone discusses HOE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Derek,

Can you tell me what i need to buy if want to use HOE for Pre-algebra? There is an apps version for a few dollars to use on iPad and I am considering it. Thanks!

 

We do not have an iPad and I haven't looked at that part of it. So I can't really say what you need with it. For the standard edition we got the DVD which teaches the lessons and the manipulatives for visually solving equations. I think the iPad version takes the place of the manipulatives. But I don't know about the instructions. You could give them a call to verify. If we had iPads and that version was out when we purchased it I would definately consider that route. Hopefully they will work on an Andriod version as well since thats what we use for eReaders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warning:::Minor thread jack..When I look at HOE, I only see ways to teach a student to solve a 1st order, linear equation. Does this program teach anything else? I ask because the HOE program seems expensive for what you get.

 

Lori D. wrote brilliantly about her use of HOE over on this thread, and I can't help but think of it every time someone discusses HOE.

 

I don't think Lori gave it a bad review as in *Warning* don't use this. She just described various options to consider as well. In her case they went through it super fast. We have not. Instead we use it more incrementally along with our core curriculum. Also there are enough families who have found it to be useful that I don't think any single critique would mean don't use it.

 

The main thing to keep in mind is that it is a supplemental. This is not a full Pre-Algebra program. Rather I think it is best for introducing abstract math concepts to kids who are used to concrete opertations in a visual way they can easily comprehend. It goes through single and multi-variable equations along with negative numbers. It won't go through things like the Pythagorean Theorem for example, something covered in MUS Pre-Algebra. And I definately want to go more in depth in Pre-Algebra than with what HOE offers. That is why we are using a full Pre-Algebra curriculum. Others may choose to piece together their own Pre-A program from supplementals and review of their own materials. That's simply another way to go.

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great discussion, thanks! I'm carefully reading each post.

 

NittanyJen-we have been using some LOF. She likes it well enough, but I can't explain it-it just doesn't seem to present it in enough detail or something to actually teach the concept. It seemed to be working ok as a review though-we did Fractions and 1/2 of the Decimals one. Not sure about continuing with it. Not that it's not good, but I need to streamline effectively.

 

Dereksurfs-I would consider Derek Owens as a possibility-the free trial is great to see how it works. I don't know much about TabletClass-I had never heard of it before. I just looked the site over carefully but didn't start the free trial (can you do it more than once? once so I can look at it, and then for her to start it?) My big question about that is: how do you know it has a good conceptual base? ( I am off now to look at the You Tube link, thanks.) And I see you are doing MUS Pre-Alg and mentioned it is light-can you please give me a more detailed summary of your impressions about it? What do you think about what I said up thread-that it is ten minutes to present the topic and then you're hung out to dry? (not very incremental, like with daily lessons)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget Liping Ma's remedial text which she co-authored with Cathy Kessel titled Knowing Mathematics It reviews conceptual approaches to elementary math, covers the bases with your student, and it's cheap through Amazon. I'm using it for review as we open the school year.

 

I also want to put a plug in for Hung Hsi-Wu's prolific writings on math education which you might find very helpful. I'm reading his book right now, but you can get a great sense of his ideas from his web page through UC Berkeley. Check out those pertaining to getting students ready for algebra. I don't see his name mentioned enough on this forum and I'd like to hear what you think after you read some of articles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great discussion, thanks! I'm carefully reading each post.

...

Dereksurfs-I would consider Derek Owens as a possibility-the free trial is great to see how it works. I don't know much about TabletClass-I had never heard of it before. I just looked the site over carefully but didn't start the free trial (can you do it more than once? once so I can look at it, and then for her to start it?) My big question about that is: how do you know it has a good conceptual base? ( I am off now to look at the You Tube link, thanks.) And I see you are doing MUS Pre-Alg and mentioned it is light-can you please give me a more detailed summary of your impressions about it? What do you think about what I said up thread-that it is ten minutes to present the topic and then you're hung out to dry? (not very incremental, like with daily lessons)

 

HappyGrace,

 

When I describe MUS as light I am referring more to the level of difficulty compared to more rigorous programs such as AoPS, KB, BJU, etc... That doesn't mean that it doesn't cover enough material in terms of scope and sequence. Since my son seems to really enjoy math I would like to add in challenge. I want to help him learn to wrestle with more difficult problems. That is why I am considering more challenging programs to use with it.

 

The MUS short lectures have been fine for him so far. I would like more full lectures simply to prepare him for that style of instruction in his future. Derek Owens builds that into his courses along with note taking.

 

TabletClass's owner and author is a very helpful gentleman by the name of John Zimmerman. He will answer any questions you have in a very timely and friendly manner, similar to Derek Owens. We haven't started the free trail yet because I also want to wait until my son is ready to use it. Then if we like it he can use it for a month during our evaluation period. But he does have youtubes of his lectures available to listen to. This gives you a pretty good idea of his instruction style. I like his use of the white board as well as the way he explains the concepts. Take a look at this thread describing the use of it by Beck. She has very good things to say about it. You may want to PM her for more details. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=412675&highlight=tabletclass

Edited by dereksurfs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Don't overlook Life of Fred. It is one of the strongest programs out there, for the students it works for. If the problem is conceptual understanding, that is where Fred really shines.

 

Sorry for the highjack here - need some advice on these books for an older child and you seem to know these books well.

I am on the verge of ordering LOF for my ds 12 who "hates" math but loves science. I read him a couple of paragraphs online and he laughed and thought it was great. The website suggests that some 6th grade students might benefit from reading the last 4 in the elementary series (Goldfish, Honey, Ice Cream, Jelly Beans ) before starting fractions. As much as I would love to buy all of these, I need the money for other things ( like bills ) So which one would you start with?

Edited by 3 Only Children
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is for a dc coming from a very formulaic math program (CLE) who therefore doesn't have a clue about understanding math conceptually (and is very bright in all else but not math oriented.)

 

I thought MUS, but it is too "lite". Before school ended in June we watched the dvds (only) for Epsilon and Zeta and it got her to the cusp of understanding (finally!) but the dvds are too short for full understanding-need something more incremental. Doesn't have to be dvds but she is very visual.

 

HELP please!

 

My favorite for conceptual understanding for elementary is Singapore Math. The word problems are outstanding, and they really test to see if the underlying concepts are understood. They also encourage visual problem solving by encouraging the drawing of bar diagrams which is one of the things I like best.

 

We are also adding in MEP this fall (mostly for a change), but also because it includes topics not covered in Singapore. From what I have seen so far it is very good at covering concepts. I don't have much experience with it yet, but I'll know more in a few months.

 

I can share what I used for my daughter for Pre-Algebra - a combination of:

 

1) Russian Math - This book's strengths were its excellent math explanations, and 'not-so-pretty' word problems. What I mean by that is that the word problems often involved many steps, and the answers were not always integers - often the answer was a rational numbers (fractions). But this is a good thing, because often when you are calculating areas or distances in real life situations, you don't always get nice neat integers for answers. ;)

 

2) Singapore Primary Math Standards CWP 6

This book's strength was again a problem solving aspect, but it really made her draw pictures and analyze and parallel think the problems. There were problems that could have been solved using Algebra, but she would draw bars and compare them to try to reach the solution without Algebra. It really encouraged creative thinking from her. :)

 

3) Saxon Algebra 1/2

What I liked about this book was that it gave a cumulative review of PreAlgebra. Saxon uses what I believe is a referred to as a distributive learning approach, which slowly introduces concepts and eventually gets more complex in steps. It is very effective for some, and for her it provided an helpful review.

 

You may also want to consider the Art of Problem Solving's Pre-Algebra book. It was not out yet when my daughter would have needed it, but I'm planning to use it for my son after the Singapore 5/MEP 5 combination I am having him do this year.

 

Good luck. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you start with CWP6 in your Pre-Algebra year?

Or did you finish other CWP books first?

 

We do Dutch and Flemish wordproblems grade 6 level now, and wondered if we could do CWP 6 afterthat.

 

No it was a gradual thing; she did the other CWP books first. It would be difficult (for most) to start out in CWP 6. For an older student starting CWP, I strongly recommend starting out with CWP3 and working through the books more quickly, rather than jumping in at CWP6. The methods are explained in simpler forms in Level 3 and then get more difficult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to say this thread has been really helpful!! My son is good at math, really good... and he likes it... but he is not interested or motivated enough to dig into AoPS and "wrestle" with the problems. The discovery approach would drive him a little batty... he is a "give me the facts, let me practice and move on" kind of kid. :)

 

We got the free trial for the Kinetic Books prealgebra, and we really like it!! We've also got the LOF books for PA here. I'm going to keep him working through Math Mammoth for now, alongside LOF Fractions/Decimals & Percents. But the next stop is prealgebra, and I seem to finally have an idea of where we can go with it!!

 

If you're familiar with both LOF and KB... what are your thoughts as far as comparing them for prealgebra? Do they approach it completely differently? I think DS would enjoy both, so I'm trying to contrast them a bit... I may end up having him work through both!! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...