# Barton Tiles....but for Math?

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After a bad day of angsting over DD's math issues I had a crazy idea.

So yesterday I did something that helped a lot with her typical dyslexic number mix-ups. I had her underline the Ones place in green and the Tens in red and then circle the equation sign and tell me what kind of number sentence it was. That reduced her mistakes on adding/subtracting from getting 40% right to getting 90% right.

I was thinking that if I made some colored tiles just like the Barton Program has except with numbers and equation signs it might help with remediating some of the typical computation mix-ups I'm seeing and help DD stop guessing at the numbers and whether it's addition/subtraction on any given problem. I was thinking ones could be in green, tens in red, hundreds in blue, then equation signs in yellow (kinda like vowels....every number sentence needs an equation sign and that should be identified first before trying to solve it.

Is this totally silly? My DH said he could easily cut up some tiles for me (love having a handy husband!) for a couple dollars. Has anyone done anything similar or is anyone interested in trying it too? I mean obviously DD needs number sense work (which we'll now be doing with a new curriculum I found) but my hope is that in the meantime this would reduce her errors and help her understand place value with her double and triple digit adding/subtracting.

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No, it's not silly. My K learned place value this way with cards I made (the colors came from MUS, which has green for ones, blue for tens, and red for hundreds). You don't need tiles--just laminate some cards, print out cards in color on cardstock, or print them black on colored cardstock.

You can make or buy place value cards of various sizes (they show numbers in expanded form), but if you want to use them a lot, you'll want to have more than one set. Or, you can make your own on the computer that have your own colors.

So, I just looked at Rainbow Resource to see if I could find the cards I have, and I saw Shiller math tiles. You might check those out to see how many are in a set. It goes up to thousands place. ("Complete Number Card Set with Wooden Tray") What I have can be found under "place value strips." The ones I have come in decimals too. They are rather large--I think you can get smaller ones at a teacher store. Some math books will have printable ones in the back that are reproducible.

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Actually, imagine.more, your idea isn't silly at all.  Have you looked at Ronit Bird?  Pairing whatever you create with using Ronit Bird books might really open doors for Daisy.

What I wish with all my heart was that Ronit Bird would restructure all of that great material into something with manipulatives included along with the very clearly scripted steps, checklists, DVD instruction for implementation, etc. that the Barton Reading and Spelling system has.  I love Ronit Bird.  But having it laid out really clearly like Barton would make prep for the Ronit Bird stuff so much easier.  I am teaching so many teacher intense programs.  The more scripting I have, the better at this point.

Kbutton, I had not seen those manipulatives.  I am looking into them now.  They look like great resources.

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Those manipulatives would be great. Honestly though, you need to be doing the subitizing activities first. She will not be able to perceive of place value if she cannot perceive that numbers consist of parts first. I make up manipulatives all the time for DS, so go for it. I actually have fridge magnets with numbers and operators in my kitchen. We also have number stamps that we've used.

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Heathermonster, yes I totally agree that she needs the pre-written work kind of instruction first. I just discovered Ronit Bird so we're going to work with that every day while we finish up her Singapore 1B curriculum.

kbutton, thanks for those place value number cards! I actually think those might work even better for certain things because she can see that 451 is 4 hundred and then 50 and then 1.

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Oh and I also wish that Ronit Bird's stuff  was structured to be more open-and-go. Next year I'll have a 6th, 1st, and Pre-K student....plus a toddler running around. And with DD 4-5 grades behind I already feel like I spend 90% of my day on her. My poor 5 year old is just taking himself through his schoolwork with minimal supervision. I check it and it's all still so easy for him that I'm getting away with it but eventually I know that's not going to work and it's not the ideal for him. My 3 year old has been asking to read and I can't teach him because I just don't have the time. (early reading seems to run in our family, it's weird but since everyone as adults are great and avid readers I just run with it whenever the kids want to).

Anyway, all that venting to say that I would love Ronit Bird's materials to be open-and-go like Barton. Because as teacher-intensive as Barton is it requires zero prep and I know that when we start I can just follow the directions and go for 30-45 minutes, basically until I can tell DD is starting to get tired. We repeat lessons often but it's no big deal, I just plan review times into our schedule so we never feel behind but I can see very clearly what progress we're making and get a feel for how long it'll take to complete a level.

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Maybe next year you can incorporate specific times for documentaries, audio books, you tube videos that show how to construct something, etc. so that certain ones are occupied at specific times while you work with others?  Also, maybe an "apprenticeship" for more complicated chores that your DD could work through with you and get independent with before this next year.  Then she could have certain special chores she is assigned while you work with the other kids?

DD gets up early and works with me individually for about an hour and a half before her brother even stirs out of bed.  Then I work with him for about an hour and a half while DD does typing through Type to Learn 4,  on-line and worksheet math through Dynamo Math, copywork for cursive handwriting practice that also doubles as a review of vocabulary or she sometimes copies poetry or song lyrics or movie quotes that she feels really speak to her, plus she does Uzinggo on-line for science along with any art she is working on and she can do all of that fairly independently.  Then we do more stuff together as a threesome or I switch back to working exclusively with DD while DS does typing, copywork, etc. independently.  I realize your situation is different, but I think maybe with some careful planning, your DD might be able to do some things independently while you work with the other children and vice versa.

:grouphug:   ...but boy it sure would be nice if Ronit Bird structured things like Barton. :)

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Thanks OneStepataTime, that helps a lot actually. It's given me some ideas to mull over for structuring our teacher-intensive and independent work so I have time for everyone. I think a computer typing course might be good for DD, teach her something useful that she can do independently. There's also an earobics hearing therapy that I might get for her and that is also computer-based, her audiologist said it's set up like games so she'd think it was fun.

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Thanks OneStepataTime, that helps a lot actually. It's given me some ideas to mull over for structuring our teacher-intensive and independent work so I have time for everyone. I think a computer typing course might be good for DD, teach her something useful that she can do independently. There's also an earobics hearing therapy that I might get for her and that is also computer-based, her audiologist said it's set up like games so she'd think it was fun.

I would suggest if you do a typing course, make certain it is one that you can adjust the words per minute requirement on.  Until they get more solid muscle memory for the location of the keys, I have found it much better for them to focus on accuracy than speed.  I reduced it down to 5 w.p.m. for the longest, and even then sometimes they couldn't type fast enough.  Now I have been able to adjust the speed up some.  I do it incrementally.

I bought Type to Learn 4 through Homeschool Buyer's Co-op so they have to make the adjustments for me, but it is easy to do and much cheaper than going through the parent company.  And there are games.  You are a secret agent trying to save important pieces of information through typing.  And you advance in agent ranking.  Some kids may find it corny.  Others may love it.  DS loves it, DD tolerates it.  You can select the age of the student, but be aware that age selection also determines a lot of the words they are required to type.  Most of the time they are copy typing so they don't have to know how to spell the word.  But not always.  In later lessons the computer speaks a word and they have to type it...but they have to know how to spell it to get it right.  That was difficult for both kids initially, since we were remediating spelling and reading.  Now that we are further into Barton it isn't really an issue.  If you have concerns in this area, though, you might select a bit younger age.  She won't see it and nothing else changes except the complexity of the word choices.

Typing Pal is another option that I have used personally and liked.  It is usually available through the Co-op, too, and it is a lot less "kid" oriented, but still a good program for children.  Just no "secret agent" stuff.  :)

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RightStart has very nice place value cards.  I have several sets. They'll work in combination with any other manipulatives.

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I was also going to suggest the right start place value cards. They are very helpful for ds.

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