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supplementary math; how to think mathematically?

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My early teen ds is doing well with pre-algebra MUS, as in, he's answering all the questions correctly.  But there's been a few times when I've asked him to do a mental math question irl, such as figuring out how to change a recipe, or how to figure out square footage and he's stumped.  I know that not all kids are good at mental math, but he really seems to be getting worse.  


Over the summer I'd like to have him do some math that will help him with thinking mathematically.  Any suggestions?


I'm thinking Hunter will have a few.  :001_cool:

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Some books for him - The Number Devil, and the Theonni Pappas books (Penrose the mathematical cat, etc).


I would look into a recreational math circle.


Also, check out a few mathy blogs like Letsplaymath and Moebiusnoodles for great concept building math.


For inspiration try Numberphile, mathmunch, and Vi Hart.

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The above suggestions are all great. But, if he can answer the canned problems but not show "mathematical thinking" to use your term, I would look for word problems to force him to connect his math skills to real world context. There are lots of ways to do this, including the Zaccaro books above, but i would use the Singapore CWP series to do it. CWP5 and 6 would likely be plenty challenging... but hopefully someone who has used MUS Pre-A can comment. 

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I was in the same boat- I do both MUS and Singapore. Much more mental math. Math U see is great for me as a teacher - sequential, etc and for students to plug in stuff. My DS is only in 3rd grade, but I see much more associations in singapore than with the mastery approach of MUS. Both are great approaches though. 

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