# Mental Math Supplement for CLE

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My 9yr old daughter will be in fourth grade next year and we have happily been using CLE for two years now and plan to continue using it. However, I recognize that it definitely lacks in the mental math department and would love to add some of this in for her. We've played around with Beast Academy, but honestly it's not her style at all. She likes things straight forward. The few times I attempted to do an MEP lesson with her it just turns into a fight. She doesn't like being "taught" by me.

So, friends, what kind of mental math would you add? She loves to read, so I've looked at Life of Fred. Does LoF include mental math? Would this work for what I'm looking for? What other student-driven supplements would you suggest? Thanks in advance for any help!!

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CLE has mental math techniques built into the curriculum in 4th grade. My son just did one in his lesson today where he had to add 100, divide by 1000, etc. to come up with a final answer. Almost everyday's lesson has a section labeled mental math in 4th grade in the review and it is covered incrementally throughout the year.

If you want more straight foward practice over the summer try this: http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us/prodev/math/mentalmath/dailymm.html

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OK, so after looking through our CLE 400 stuff, I guess I'm talking about a different type of mental math. I'm thinking about puzzles and logic and playing with numbers, learning different ways of using numbers rather than 4 + 4 type stuff. Maybe I should have used the words "mathematical reasoning."

Thank you, Janny, for pointing out the mental math in CLE! I hadn't noticed that before.

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The lack of mathematical reasoning and the incremental spiral in CLE really bit us in the butt. After doing CLE 207-410, we tried Saxon and he had to use Saxon 54 even though it was essentially a repeat of CLE 400s. I went back to CLE the next year, picking up where we'd left off at 501 - thinking that CLE had been OK and Saxon was just a bad fit. At the end of the 500s I got very nervous that he was not mastering the material like he should. As easy as the story problems are in CLE, he struggled with every single one because he really didn't understand when and how to apply the concepts to new situations. That is a BIG red flag. I compared CLE to Math in Focus and realized that he could not do any of it. Singapore-style word problems just blew his mind.

We worked through Step by Step Model Drawing, and then most of 70 Must-Know Word Problems (level 3) to get a start on the model method. And after repeating 4th grade math with Saxon, we are now repeating 5th grade math with MiF. We basically wasted two years on CLE. Not that he didn't learn anything - he can complete the problems in CLE. The algorithms in MiF are all review which is nice. But now he is actually learning how to apply the math to new situations. That is the true sign of mastery.

Not every kid will do so poorly with CLE. But he is not the only one who isn't well served by that program. And I did all the new teaching up on the board, worked through the sample problems with him, had him do the first problems in front me so I could make sure he knew what to do, and I corrected every assignment and we solved the incorrect problems over again. I definitely did my part to teach it well. And my kid scored over 80% on all the tests - so he appeared to be "mastering" the material. But ultimately CLE wasn't guiding him towards mathematical reasoning, and he wasn't making the connections himself. In addition to the lack of real application, I blame the sequence of skills taught in CLE - big concepts are split up into tiny steps and spread throughout the year, which makes it very hard to see the big picture. Other kids can compensate for that but my kid can't.

I recommend the books linked above. There's also a Step by Step Problem Solving workbook that teaches more than just the bar method.

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It seems like many have suggested supplementing with Singapore Challenging Word Problems, although I haven't tried that yet myself.

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You can buy C-rods and do activities to see how numbers work. Perhaps your child is past that, but maybe it would help. I bought this one on Amazon because it has activity cards: http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I also use this workbook during the summers. It teaches simple mental math techniques: http://www.rainbowre...26b64544f81cd79

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I had the same experience as ondreeuh. Could have written the same post! I gave up CLE and switched to Singapore with math mammoth as supplement. Now that is real math!

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I just use CWP along with CLE. Rebecca's had no problems transferring her knowledge. No math program is going to work for every child.

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You can buy C-rods and do activities to see how numbers work.

This is exactly what we do! C-rods have really helped my boys understand their facts, as well as using the number bonding technique from SM. We also add Right Start math games and use real money. It works well for us.

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I'd consider the Math Express Speed Stratagies book by Fan Math, which is available from singaporemath[dot]com, as a suppliment.

It goes over many mental math stratagies in an efficient fashion.

http://www.singaporemath.com/MathExpress_Speed_Maths_Strategies_s/152.htm

Bill

ETA: my recommendation is for "mental math strategies" only. Not for developing word problem skills or creative problem solving. Just mental math stratagies.

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Maybe I should have used the words "mathematical reasoning."

Oh. Then you should probably dump CLE, which from all I've seen and heard, seems almost totally lacking in mathematical reasoning and creative problem solving and pick up one or more of the outstanding math programs and suppliments that promote so-called "conceptual math."

Bill

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Thank you all for your suggestions! I'll be doing more research, but right now I'm thinking of just adding some CWP. I read her some problems from the samples and she was able to figure them out, so maybe we're not as bad off as I thought!

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• 1 month later...

After purchasing Math Mammoth and not liking it as a spine we've re-purposed it as a supplement to CLE. Our dds really enjoy CLE. So I just wanted to provide alternative perspectives as well as problems in certain areas. For that MM seems to be working good so far. Hands on Equations is another supplement we use to introduce algebraic concepts.

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I am unsure of the scope of CLE.

We are using the Verbal Math series (Mondays is Oral Math). In summer I will probably use Ray's orally.

I also have a range of other items I pull interesting bits from (internet sites, yahoo groups, Ed Zaccaro, Living Math etc). I'm also looking at purchasing things like Arithmetrick and similar once the tax comes back for next year.

As far as puzzles I pull bits from things like Math Mammoth, MEP, CSMP, I love Hands-on Math!, Books I own, and just random things I make up.

For word problems I use the above sources, plus I just get the children to help me out with stuff I normally think about in my head ("I Need 1/2 can of water and 1/2 can of milk, can you please get it?" or "I only have this amount of biscuits left for the cats, can you divide it equally for me?" or "Daddy has two steaks, and the rest of us have one, how many are left to give the doggies?") I also go above their heads just for exposure, so I will talk outloud about what I am doing (234.53, 10% is 23.45, shipping is 5 times the purchase order which makes it 40%, 4 times 23.45 is 93.80, so the total for my order would be \$328.33, whoa.....um....does mummy really need that stuff? We could purchase about 150 candy bars for that....(wait for gasp from child) I know, thats a LOT! (lol). So let's just leave that for a day or two and come back to it. *a few days later* oh look, they are having a sale, its 15% off plus post!, so let's birng up our paper from the other day and work out the new total. ***I then take them through the process of figuring that out. It gives them exposure to that topic (I do the same when banking or at the supermarket) before they encounter it formally.

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