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McRuffy after CLE placement? alternate math program?


celticadea
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I'm considering switching to McRuffy's math for my daughter's 2nd grade. Do you know of a placement test? 

 

I've looked through the scope and sequences available and it almost looks like I could use the 3rd grade level, but, since I don't consider my daughter as particularly gifted in the area of math, I have concerns about this plan. 

 

She's almost completed CLE 100 series and while, she's not having difficulty with the new material, I think all the practice is causing her to lock up. Lately I've been giving her every other one and dropping the speed test. We'd only been doing it for time, not limiting to 1 min since the beginning. Until recently this has worked well but all of a sudden, she went from consistently doing the speed test in under 2 min to over 5. Lately I've had to read the problems for her and then she gets the answers just fine just to get through the lesson. (odd since she typically has difficulty with auditory learning). I've had her eyes tested since she was complaining of headaches and now has glasses for close work. 

 

As background, she's dyslexic (technically too young for the diagnosis but the dyslexia institute in my area who tested her said she had all the markers for it). She's always enjoyed math until recently. I'm wondering if dyscalculic (sp?) since she was upset when a problem has 3 addends (single digit) vertically without the line they use to divide the place columns (she does fine with the horizontal 3 addend problems and had been doing them in her head since before they were taught). Once I put the line in, she was fine. 

 

I'd tried Rod & staff and MCP math but both had them figuring out all the ways to add up to a number before actually just teaching the fact. I tried Math in Focus but, again, it had them splitting numbers into all the possible groups. This way of teaching just doesn't work for her. She makes amazing abstract links on her own but I can't teach it to her that way. She was enjoying Shiller math but I couldn't take the typos and eventually the silence from customer service when I had a question. CLE has worked well until now. I don't want math to become a horrible chore. 

 

I'm not sure if it's a working memory thing and we've gotten to the point where there are just too many facts floating in her head. Or just getting close to the end of the year? A problem with the CLE program for her?

 

So....any thoughts on switching to McRuffy? using a different program? just stay with CLE with my modifications?


 

I'd love something that's spiral, schedules in the manipulatives, scripted for me, and secular would be a plus.  


 

 

 

 

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O.k. I don't know much about McRuffy math so sadly I can't help there.

 

I do have a kiddo that is dyslexic (2 actually) and we switched to CLE.  We tried a lot of programs before finding CLE.

 

I have never used level 100 but here is my 2 cents.  Slow down.  Provide scaffolding.  And cut out some of the review.  Work with manipulatives.  Math facts are going to be reviewed all the way through level 500 so she has plenty of time to solidify those.  

 

On the speed drills, I never use the 1 minute time.  Neither of my kids could make that, one because of dysgraphia and the other because of low working memory and dyscalculia issues.  What I do instead is cross off that one minute requirement and just have them do the speed drill every other day.  They mark the time it took with the end goal being that by the end of the level there will hopefully be improvement.  And I only compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges so we only compare time with addition facts to other addition speed drills and subtraction to subtraction and multiplication to multiplication, etc.  

 

Honestly, at that age I wouldn't even do speed drills with a child that is struggling.  Just work on subitization skills instead of the speed drills for now.  Have you seen the Ronit Bird ebooks?  Running her through those a couple of times a week might really help.  Maybe pick up speed drills again when she is a bit older but modify the time requirement so it is not discouraging for your child, as you have already started doing.

 

DS actually does better with CLE if we do some stuff on a dry erase board.  We have a big one that rolls around.  He needs the full body movement, and to brainstorm the connections, not just write the answers, KWIM?

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I asked about a placement test about a year ago. The advice I was given was to just switch over at grade level, so you'd go into McRuffy 2. 

 

Based on what you are describing, I'm not sure switching over by itself will be a magic bullet. You'll most likely run back into the wall you are experiencing eventually. You could absolutely try it. It is a great math program. You might find yourself switching back to CLE, though, either sooner or later (since McRuffy goes to 5th grade for math).  :coolgleamA:

 

Have you asked her what's going on?

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OneStepAtATime,

 

Thanks for the reassurance 😀 but I have a couple questions....

What do you mean by scaffolding?

 

What do you mean by subitization?

 

I did look at those ebooks. Is there one you'd recommend to do first?

 

How long do you plan to stay w CLE? I think it can be used up to 8th grade?Where do you plan to go after CLE? I know it's a long way off for me, but I'm just curious .

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RootAnn,

 

If you used mcruffy : did you find it was ahead or behind other programs? Where did you go after mcruffy?

 

I did ask her what the problem was but she couldn't tell me. 😞 .

 

she's also likely aspergers. sometimes totally unrelated things that have been stuck in her head will derail other normal things. We try to encourage her to tell us before they get overwhelming but sometimes she can't figure it out to tell us. She just says that she has thoughts swirling around in her head but can't tell me what. 😞 We decided together to stop the speed drills totally (timed or untimed) and minimize the practice problems for the lesson. I also gave her a break by just letting her play math type games on the computer to, hopefully, decompress from whatever was stressing her out about the situation.

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OneStepAtATime,

 

Thanks for the reassurance 😀 but I have a couple questions....

What do you mean by scaffolding?

 

What do you mean by subitization?

 

I did look at those ebooks. Is there one you'd recommend to do first?

 

How long do you plan to stay w CLE? I think it can be used up to 8th grade?Where do you plan to go after CLE? I know it's a long way off for me, but I'm just curious .

1.  Scaffolding.  This can mean many things, but basically it means supporting your child in weak areas while also helping to work on those weak areas.  

 

For my daughter, who in 8th grade still struggles with memorization of math facts, it means that she uses the CLE math reference chart for the facts she does not yet know while she continues to move forward in math material.  It means that once a week she creates a multiplication chart that she can also refer to.  It means that we work on math facts separately, as a team, so the weak area is still being worked on but it doesn't hold her back from continuing to move forward in math concepts, which she does well on usually.

 

For my son, who is dysgraphic, it means that some of his math is done on the dry erase so the physical act of writing isn't bogging him down while trying to do math.

 

For your child, since you aren't certain what the issues are, you might excerpt the problems from the CLE workbook and work them through together verbally and on a dry erase.  See if you can find where the issue is.  Maybe cut out the fluency drills completely for the rest of this year and just work through the material in small pieces.  Try to figure out where the disconnect is.  ETA: I see you have already decided to cut out the drills.   :)

 

2.  Subitization skills - basic building blocks of numbers.  We are normally born with these skills but they get more developed over time.  (Like studies show even babies have a concept of "more" so if there is one person in the room and several more people come in, the baby knows there are more people now.)  Sometimes, though, the building blocks are not all there, or do not develop on their own very efficiently.  That is what the Ronit Bird books and ebooks do is solidify those skills.

 

3.  Ronit Bird ebooks - I would start with the Dot patterns book.  It starts very basic but ramps up.

 

4.  I intend to stay with CLE through Algebra I for DD, but I may switch to Jacobs or Foeresters for DS for Algebra 1.  I own both.  We will see.  The Level 700 and 800 for CLE are pre-Algebra but Level 800 just goes into a lot more depth.  DS may do 700 and 800 in one year for 7th grade.  He doesn't have the same struggles with math that DD does.

 

I know from personal experience that it is better to go more slowly in the lower levels, really solidify conceptual as well as computational skills, before tackling Algebra.  At the same time, some kids do better if they are also exposed to more complex concepts.  Sometimes students also do better with something new or a bit different.  DS is like that.  So is my DH.  I have to find a balance between the two.  I think DS will be ready for a change after 7th grade.  DD wants it predictable so she will most likely stay with CLE until we can't anymore.

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If you used mcruffy : did you find it was ahead or behind other programs? Where did you go after mcruffy?

 

I've only used McRuffy K. I looked into using McRuffy for 5th grade math, but didn't decide to go through with the switch.

 

Like any other math, the scope & sequence are a little different -- ahead in some things, right on in most, behind in a few. It is very manipulative-heavy, but has short lessons for kids who don't need a lot of practice every day. It is spiral, but has less practice than most spirals. I think you could go into almost any 6th grade math directly from McRuffy. (You wouldn't probably want to go into MM or Singapore 6.) If the author ever puts out a 6th grade math, you'd be able to go into a Pre-A program directly from it, IMO.

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