# Singapore Math 1A question

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I'm a little confused about how this is supposed to be taught. I've been doing a lot of research, but i'm not finding EXACTLY the answer i'm looking for. Anyhow i thought i'd ask all you veterans here :)

We're only a couple of lessons in because i'm not sure how to proceed. He (my 5yo) understands that there are many ways to make a number (4+4, 6+2, 7+1 for 8, etc.) and loves playing with the multilink cubes and filling in number bonds with all of the different ways. He's not memorizing them though (except for the zero facts, lol), and the HIG says to spend several days practicing to solidify the facts. I'm wondering if, because of his age, i shouldn't worry about him necessarily memorizing the facts, or whether i should pull out flash cards (i kind of want him to know the facts from practice rather than the flashcard method, though) or maybe just give him several problems everyday? I don't want to move ahead too quickly (he can do 1-3 lessons a day if i let him) just to have to go back and have to specifically work on memorization later.

Also, he is having a ridiculous amount of trouble coming up with stories for the pictures (there are five penguins in the picture, come up with several different "stories" to split them up in different ways). Again, he understands that there are many ways to get one number, and does it with the multilink cubes, but he can't look at a picture and see it that way. Again, should i just keep plugging along and wait for it to stick, or is it a little bit his age there as well? do some kids just have a hard time with that concept and should i just be happy with him understanding with the cubes?

Sorry for the rambling, i'm really afraid of not giving him the solid foundation he should have with math. Also, i know, i know, HE'S FIVE, don't worry, blah blah blah. my problem is that he wants to move forward so badly that i NEED to make sure we aren't skipping things and that he has that foundation, know what i mean? That way he isn't like me, and quite proficient at calculus and whatnot, but i still have to count on my fingers for addition and subtraction, lol

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The HIG is wrong. I have unfailingly encouraged parents using PM Standards Edtion to use the HIGs, but on this point of stopping progress and "memorizing math facts" in my opinion the HIGs advice is wrong (and even damaging).

The brilliance of PM is learning the number bonds along with re-grouping skills. Automatacity comes with re-grouping practice. Gaining strong re-grouping skills should be the goal. A child will need these skills as the digits scale up in coming years.

"Memorizing" truncates cultivating a (the) critical skill, just as a foundation is being laid. I strongly urge you to ignore this advice in the HIG.

Know that you are far from the first parent to question this "advice" on this forum. They may be hard to find, but there have been many parents in the same boat. Here the HIG is out of whack with where most children are developmentally, and how they should get to automaticity.

I also object to the HIGs use of Unifix cubes, when Cuisenaire Rods would have been a vastly better choice. The activities in the HIG are easily translated to C Rods. See "Education Unboxed" for videos with C Rods in action.

Bill

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I agree with Bill. Just keep moving along. I see the number bonds and "number sentences" with pictures as a way of introducing topics. Your son will solidify his math facts with practice. My kids go through spurts where they can do 3 lessons a day, and then they hit a point where they have to slow down to half a lesson a day. When they get to the point where they don't understand what they are doing, it's obvious and its easy to slow down and work on a few problems a day until they understand the process.

My ds7 is in SM 2A. He is doing those number sentence pictures now with simple multiplication and division. And he doesn't really get them. He just doesn't learn that way. But I can ask him, "what's 4 times 5?" and he knows the answer right away.

If you are truly concerned about him not knowing his math facts, work on them orally for a few minutes before each lesson, but don't force him to slow down if he's enjoying his math lessons.

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I would expect memorization to take longer than a few lessons. ;)

My K'er had most of them memorized by time we got to the end of 1A, just from using C-rods anytime he needed help. Keep the manipulatives there, and as he memorizes the facts, he'll stop using them (because it's quicker to just recall it).

During unit 6, when it moves kind of fast through the mental math stuff, I started doing Singapore every other day, and practicing facts the other two days. That helped a lot - slowing down to let the mental math stuff sink in, and getting more practice with the facts.

For the stories, I had to demonstrate them a few times. Then I got stories like, "There were 5 penguins. 3 got eaten by a shark. Now there are 2 left." :rolleyes:

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If I had waited, my dd would still be in 1A and finally progressing. As it is, she's finished 3A and suddenly all her addition/subtraction math facts clicked, while she was knee deep in multiplication/division! I can't explain it...I'm just along for the ride. :D

Oh and I should say that my younger just finished 1A, and he picked up his addition/subtraction math facts very quickly. I'm anticipating a real slog with him through multiplication/division, given that my two are about opposite in every way. ;)

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oh, thank you all so much! I am so happy to hear this, i really REALLY did not want to do days upon days of almost the exact same lesson (my son doesn't mind, but i'm getting pretty bored lolol). He is kind of picking up some of them, and maybe i'll do a little practice with splitting up the cubes with a different number each day to help solidify the concept and the facts. I'm happy to get the go-ahead on moving on, though. thank you again!

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oh, thank you all so much! I am so happy to hear this, i really REALLY did not want to do days upon days of almost the exact same lesson (my son doesn't mind, but i'm getting pretty bored lolol). He is kind of picking up some of them, and maybe i'll do a little practice with splitting up the cubes with a different number each day to help solidify the concept and the facts. I'm happy to get the go-ahead on moving on, though. thank you again!

Is he "counting" the linking cubes when he is splitting the wholes into parts? If so, it is not so good. Much better IMO to translate all those activities into C Rod work.

Anyway don't fret about the HIG on this point. Do work on having him explain his stratagies. As the children "use" the re-groupings (and expecially if they articulate them) the "math facts" stick.

Bill

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Do you use c-rods?

I used to have my daughter build the number bonds with c-rods.

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Thanks for asking this!! I had set aside 1b because it said not to move on until the math facts were memorized. Since she is only 5 I decided just to do other mathy stuff for fun, and try to work on the facts more naturally. Sounds like I need to get c-rods. A friend has told me she would give me hers when she digs them out (her kids are in high school). But they have never materialized, guess I will just buy my own.

But now we can go back to "cuddle math". Dd loves to cuddle up with me and the SM text book and talk about math. (I try to use an abacus app for the facts to decrease counting)

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Is he "counting" the linking cubes when he is splitting the wholes into parts? If so, it is not so good. Much better IMO to translate all those activities into C Rod work.

He is counting them....i'm guessing that's bad?? if so, why? I was only taught the equations and didn't UNDERSTAND addition until later, so this is all new to me. :/ should i be having him "build" 5 out of different colors, rather than give him a stack of five and having him split it multiple ways? I'm going to go back over the HIG and see what the wording is, exactly. I need guidance! lol.

Isn't the purpose of this for him to see that, for example, 5 can be split into 1 and 4, 2 and 3, and 0 and 5? (and, therefore, see that these are all ways to "make" 5?)

Also, i dont have c-rods (YET! waiting on tax return lol). but once i do, how would i have him use those? we only have the 2 cm multilink cubes right now.

If you could give me some instruction on HOW to do this properly, that would be great!

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If you need some introduction to C Rods, check out educationunboxed.com With my current 5yo, when we got to the section on number bonds, we took a break to review bonds to whatever number, focusing on totaling one number a day. My only goal for that section was that his bonds to ten were down pat. He and his older sister played Go to the Dump (ie Go Fish with pairs to ten) quite a bit. After playing games (match, slap jack, go fish, memory) with certain target sums, going through the lessons/worksheet pages was like cutting through butter with a hot knife.

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