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Math for 1st Grade?


3peasinapod
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I am having trouble choosing a math for my 6yo next year for 1st grade. She is having problems with learning any math this year in K, and I need to start out with something gentle. We're taking a math break now, as she wasn't learning a thing and was just stressed out. I have noticed when we just do the same things for months on end, she gets stressed out, so I'm not sure if a mastery type math will help her at all. She is having trouble recognizing numbers, although she has made tiny, tiny, tiny progress this year. She does read and understands symbols there. I suspect a learning disability, but everyone tells me to not worry about that yet.

 

Anyhow, I've thought of CLE or MUS. I just don't know what to do with her. Any thoughts on this?

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I purchased Mcruffy color math for my ds after trying to teach math on my own failed. He was frustrated and in tears daily. I figured I didn't have to use a formal curriculum for kinder but I was wrong. He didn't recognize numbers and couldn't count to ten when we started Mcruffy.I picked this curriculum because it looked fun and it met my states standards.It is a spiral method and teacher intensive.Worksheets are colorful and there is alots of hands on activties.There is no testing or drills. Concepts are not meant to be mastered daily but by the end of the course they will be. It is stress free. The lessons are short and easy to teach and understand. I have used k and I am currently using 1st grade. I would call this a very gentle math program.Mcruffy isn't as advanced as other math curricum from k-3 but by the fourth grade it catches up to the more advanced math curriculum.My ds now loves math and is thriving with it. I saw an immediate change once we started using it. Lessons are so simple and short that a mathy kid could get through this curriculum twice as fast. One complaint some user of Mcruffy have is that it skips around alot and it does. I guess they don't get how it works.It is meant to be stress free. Concepts are mastered overtime not in a week or two.It worked well for us. Samples are available at Mcruffy.com.

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She sounds like a good candidate for Rod and Staff mathematics 1. It is very gentle and starts with number recognition and knowing what that number actually means. They don't really do kindergarten at all, so the 1 book starts out with typical K math before jumping into first grade math. The first 2-3 grades in their series may seem behind others because of that, but it catches up to normal in the 3rd-4th area. You can see samples at www.milestonebooks.com (a distributor).

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I found the Miquon series to be very gentle. Starting out with c-rod play, then transitioning into the book made things very clear and simple for my K'er. I love the games on Education Unboxed. My daughter loved loved loved the game guess what's in the box? She began to add quite fluently after that.

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My DD is having the same issues with math - not "getting" numbers or counting in K. I'm impatiently awaiting my delivery of C-rods so that we can start Miquon. I'm also looking at using MEP Reception this summer as an even more gentle precursor to Miquon. She has the same reactions as your DD - she stresses when things are repeated over and over so I'm hoping a gentle approach will work better.

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I would look at MCP Math K. It starts with number recognition and builds up to introducing topics slowly and gently, in such a way that each concept doesn't seem like a big new concept. It's very simple & straight-forward for the parent to use. Illustrations are cute, IMO, but not flashy. Even if I moved to another curriculum later, I've used MCP Math for K with all my kids (3 times so far, and my 4th is just starting it) because it's such an easy beginning as they learn to recognize numbers, count, add, & subtract.

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Well, just to throw one more suggestion into the ring. I think it sounds like RightStart A would be a good fit for her. It's very slow and is mostly (99%) activities. I think it has a nice mix of activities every day. It starts right at the very beginning and assumes no prior knowledge on the part of the child. There are lots of manipulatives, very few worksheets. It can be presented as "activity to do with mom" instead of "math". Just something to consider! I hope you find the perfect program for her!

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I would say that the Reception year on MEP would be very gentle and good for this student. Also Education Unboxed games and c-rod play. http://www.nurturedbylove.ca/resources/cuisenairebook.pdf Also this little free booklet for c-rod play.

 

You could also look into using Miquon. The Orange book in that series starts out very gently. And if you want to use Singapore Essential K it could help. It's just two inexpensive workbooks. I found that the A book was very gentle and it also has extra activity suggestions on the bottom of each page to help reinforce concepts.

 

Don't worry. My oldest ds took a long time to "get" math concepts and he's doing grade level work now. There are times I have to back up for some concepts (fractions!) but he's making steady progress. With math that's what you want to see...steady progress more than "grade level." Especially in those early grades, try not to think of 1st grade math or 3rd grade math. Just think about those early years as one thing and just keep moving forward.

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This year I bought a C-rod set for my kids on Amazon. My K'er likes them best, and it seems more like a fun game than math. The set I bought has a stack of instruction cards that go along with it which allows me to use it as a supplement to my regular math curriculum (rather than having to buy an additional math curriculum just to get the instruction in C-rods). Just another option to think about!!! "

Mathematics Made Meaningful, Wood, Grades PreK-3, by ETA hand2mind

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In the meantime, I'm reading math picture books to her.

 

See, I wouldn't even do that. I'd just let it go for awhile. :-)

 

You might find this article interesting.

 

Also, I don't think your question immediate question would be spiral vs mastery, but traditional math (ABeka, BJUP, MCP, etc.) vs process math (Miquon, MUS, anything that uses primarily C-rods or base 10 blocks or other manipulatives).

 

And take a look at New Franklin Arithmetic. Here's the answer key. It's an old book and at first glance it seems archaic. But it kind of grows on you as you read through it. :-)

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I am doing first grade and loving CLE Math 1. It is so easy to teach, has rigor but with a gentle approach. New topics are introduced gently and since it's spiral, there is plenty of review. I've tried a few other things but have come back to CLE and plan to stay with it. Even though, it's gentle it is considered a bit advanced. My boys have had no complaints on doing math and are learning and retaining what they are doing.

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