# WWYD if your kid is missing basic math stuff?

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She has some math anxiety and is dyslexic so miiiight have some mild math challenges .

Doing Math Mammoth 2B (2nd half of 2nd grade) which is where she ended up on the placement test.  Fine.

I'm learning she can't:
Skip count by 2s

Add two-digit numbers together without a visual aid like the 1-100 number chart

We're about a week into trying math--- I'm sure there are more gaps.

She gets paralyzed and curls up when she gets lost.  Not a resilient power-through kid at all, unfortunately.  So I want to go back and do some remedial stuff, but, I don't think going younger with Math Mammoth is the best approach.  She thinks she is stupid and I want to boost her up.

So would you do something like MathUSee or Rightstart?

Or is there  a Teaching Textbooks that would help?
I am a newbie and could really use advice.

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Math games.  Keep lessons short.  I think any curriculum can work if you modify as needed.

Kitchen Table Math is a good resource for games.  I bought this ball that you toss around and it helps with practicing multiplication facts (they have several different ones for different types of facts).

I see nothing wrong with visual aids for as long as needed.  One of mine used a ruler for the longest time.  Now thinking of this he doesn't use it anymore and doesn't ask for it (he's in 6th now).

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A couple of things I thought of:

1. Go back to counting all the things.  Count cars in the parking lot, pennies in the jar, bottles of beer on the wall, jumps on the trampoline, jumps with the jump rope, hopscotch, bounces on the pogo stick, flowers on the bush, etc. Count forward and backward.

2. For skip counting, my kids have loved this hundred chart: http://www.the-red-kitchen.com/2012/05/1-100-charts-free-printables.html I print it the right size for do-a-dot markers, then have them dot every 2/3/4, whatever they need work on.

3. We have loved the game Zeus on the Loose, and when they were not ready to add the numbers in their head, we played with an abacus.  I always played the card that would make them carry the ten :-D

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I would back it up, but completely verbally and with manipulatives. I always use an abacus, but any ind will do.

I'd either put a pin in MM, or continue very very slowly while still doing games, verbal math, and exploring math with manips. If you just switch to another program, unless you put her in first grade math (which, btw is COMPLETELY VALID as an option! Don't dismiss it out of hand! You could just skip anything she's rock-solid on already, and it will probably go very quickly), you're still going to have these holes...they won't go anywhere just because you changed your deal ykwim?.

Edited by OKBud
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I would agree that remediation with games is really the way to go. They are a way to enjoy math time together, and not call it math, and good motivation to improve skills.

If she's having trouble adding 2 digit numbers, lots of easy games with adding 1 digit numbers before you switch over to 2 digit. I like the suggestion of lots of counting games and activities, too, if she's struggling with skip counting. I try to casually count out everything, and to skip count some things. This also works great with estimation games-- we try to estimate everything and then of course you have to count it. I model creating piles of 2s or 5s or 10s.

I try to make the words "hard" and "easy" forbidden when it comes to math. Yes, there are challenges, but "hard" often simply means "Something I haven't yet learned thoroughly." And I try to compliment the struggle rather than the right answer and talk about how it's that mental challenge that is actually strengthening our brains. I feel like my oldest is also a easily frustrated, not power-through-it type kid, but I'm working hard on seeing that as a trait that I have some control over at this age, and that is part of my duty as her parent and her teacher. (It's actually one of the big reasons I pulled her out of school-- the frequent, early use of "You're so smart!" as a compliment made her feel as if smart people are the ones who instantly understand concepts, rather than the ones who choose to be challenged and  persevere in the face of a difficult problem and maybe even get it wrong the first few times.) Unfortunately I don't think there is any magical math curriculum that will solve this struggle for us. It's a long process.

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When I realized this had happened to us, I switched us to CLE (Christian Light Education) for math. There are 10 workbooks per grade level, though the first book is all review of the previous grade.

It's a spiral program which means that if the child doesn't get the concept the first time around, it will come back over and over again throughout the course dozens and dozens of times.

We had been using MUS which is mastery and it was a bad fit. They teach a subject, give a ton of problems about it...and then don't touch it very much ever again. It had worked for my oldest son, but not at all for my youngest.

Now that he's doing CLE, he's understanding things. Oftentimes, he will NOT understand things the first few times he sees them, but after the 10th or so time of it coming back up (spiraling around), he gets it. I've learned not to get concerned if he isn't getting a concept right away. I tell him that, too. "Don't worry. This will come up again a few times later and you'll get it." It comforts us both.

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I used MUS with a kid who had gotten halfway through Saxon 7/6 before it became apparent that he was missing (or, more likely, had forgotten) some fundamentals.  He failed the placement test for Beta, so we started there.

We went through Beta-Zeta in about 6 months.  MUS is easy to accelerate in that you can go quickly (we did one lesson per day--a lesson is supposed to take a week) through stuff the kid already knows and slow down when you get to new/harder stuff.

I should mention that child I did this with has dyslexia.  The program was a good match for him, and his arithmetic was rock solid after we finished.

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Good options, thanks everyone. I am not too worried, I just want to support her. I do best with structure so I am going to look into curriculums first, plus the Kitchen Table Math book. And games and tools.  Lots of think through.

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Good options, thanks everyone. I am not too worried, I just want to support her. I do best with structure so I am going to look into curriculums first, plus the Kitchen Table Math book. And games and tools.  Lots of think through.

I'd be the same way, wanting a scope and sequence of some kind so I didn't miss any of the other concepts that should be reviewed...

My suggestion is to combine strategies: Get a first grade program so that you can just go back and lay a better foundation, but don't let her see the grade level, and don't just march her through every problem of every lesson.

As often as possible, follow the topics of the curriculum, but teach the concepts through games (and together at the chalkboard) so the lessons seem fun and interactive to her. Doing it this way also makes it easier for you to go at her pace, and gauge how much she can handle each day.

Does that make sense? Here's a scenario:

You've got a first grade book and the topic of the day is skip counting 2's, so you have two options: You can make her do the workbook page, or you could play skip counting games. While you're playing, you realize she's got 2's down so you go for 3's. You stop while she's still having fun (a good rule for teaching math), but note that you still have about 20 minutes left of the time you set aside for math today, so you glance ahead and in the book and see that the next lesson is practice with number bonds. So you grab some cuisinaire rods and play at that topic for awhile, maybe while sharing some tea and cookies.

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Aren't there some math programs where the books don't have grade levels written on them? That way she won't have to see that she is working in a first grade level book. Or you could get a lower level workbook and give her the pages torn out.

If she likes computer games, you might try using some of the free math games or a paid site like Math Whizz.

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You might also ask on the Learning Challenges forum - there are some posters who might have very useful ideas.  Perhaps some time with Ronit Bird would fit the bill.

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I would try CLE as well, they add things at such a tiny bit each time and it sounds like she would do well with that, not to mention all the review. I think I would try the placement test though, I am guessing she would place part way through 1st?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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When my girls were that age we spent a lot of time - and I mean a lot of time - after school using Peggy Kaye's Games With Math book. Some of those games are pretty fun. (Though I suggest getting some ten sided dice to "move up to" once you've exhausted the games that involve 6 sided dice.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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Good options, thanks everyone. I am not too worried, I just want to support her. I do best with structure so I am going to look into curriculums first, plus the Kitchen Table Math book. And games and tools.  Lots of think through.

If you are going to look at curriculum I highly recommend Shiller Math, particularly for kids who have gaps. My DS2 had some pretty big gaps and math has been an arduous journey for him. Last year I switched him to Shiller to do some remediation and I am thrilled with how it has worked out. He has filled in those gaps quickly and relatively painlessly. It never felt babyish or like remediation. Their placement test is available free online and they recommend that you just start it at the beginning so that you can track any gaps and you keep working until they are missing the majority of the questions. You are then able to derive specific lessons to fill those gaps. For each concept their are a variety of lessons which present the concept to appeal to various learning styles and quite a lot of them can be done orally.

Good luck

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RightStart could be a good fit, especially since you prefer a curriculum. It includes manipulatives in pretty much every lesson, and lots of games. The primary manipulative is a two color abacus, but the program typically uses 2-3 different manipulatives to show each concept, so if one doesn't click with her, another might. As a bonus, the levels use letter names instead of grade numbers, so she would not need to be aware of the grade level associated. From your description, she would start with level B, but there is a placement test to be sure.

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RightStart could be a good fit, especially since you prefer a curriculum. It includes manipulatives in pretty much every lesson, and lots of games. The primary manipulative is a two color abacus, but the program typically uses 2-3 different manipulatives to show each concept, so if one doesn't click with her, another might. As a bonus, the levels use letter names instead of grade numbers, so she would not need to be aware of the grade level associated. From your description, she would start with level B, but there is a placement test to be sure.

The RS tutoring program IMHO would be a better "fit" than then full curriculum.

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The RS tutoring program IMHO would be a better "fit" than then full curriculum.

Oooooh I like it!

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I agree with so much of the advice here!

While I love the idea behind MM, it was not a good fit for my non-mathy dd. Besides having very dense pages, MM had some exercises that were difficult to understand.

We had success by beginning with Miquon and then transitioning to Singapore. If I had known about Right Start, I would have considered that seriously.

One thought about manipulatives. For an adult, they are easy to pick up and start using. Ime, for some children, using a new manipulative can be like learning a new language. So we stayed with one type (Cuisenaire rods/miquon) for a while.

Comb through the RR catalogue for games. We learned so much from games. Oh, and don't be afraid to cheat a bit so that your dd wins.

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You might seriously look at the Ronit Bird e-books to supplement whatever you end up using.

(Two dyslexics here and FWIW, CLE with supplemental material from Ronit Bird and other sources has been the best fit. I told the kids CLE was based on levels, not grade levels.  Everyone has to go through the same levels, regardless of age, but sometimes you can test out of a level.  I gave them the placement tests and we went from there.  Easily accelerated in areas they were strong but gave them the tons of repetition they needed for things to stick.  Not boring to them because they aren't doing the same type of math problem for ages.  The problems are rotated in a very targeted pattern of review.  Also, I absolutely had to separate out math fact practice/recall from introduction to concepts.  We used the CLE reference charts. )

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Susan R. Greenwald's books (available on Amazon) have been good for my kids.

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You might want to at look at MEP year 1 or year 2.

http://www.cimt.org.uk/projects/mepres/primary/index.htm

Look at the Lesson plan pages, which are the teaching pages. They are scripted.  The student has the Practice book pages. But there are lots of things you can do orally that have to do with quantity and numbers.

It's got things like 'write the numbers 1-20 in increasing order then write the numbers 1-20 in decreasing order..or a question like 'tell me as much as you can about the number 5 (It's odd, it's between 4 and 6, you can get to five by 2+3 or 3+2 or 1+4 etc) It's got some little coloring games and stuff like that. But because so much is done orally (all in lesson plan pages) you can make it fun.  Now, the thing I like about MEP is that it is often not straight forward...the reason you might be interested in that is that it won't seem like 'remedial math'. It will seem like puzzle math or math games.

MEP takes a little bit of figuring out. You've got the lesson plans and the practice books...but they are all there for free! There are number cards and shape cards and sign cards and shape cards with dots to be printed out and used again and again. There are also number lines to use.  There are 'copy masters' which my kids liked because they are like big practice book exercises and I let them write on them.  I think they are meant to be overhead projector pages for a school.

I just think for a kid who needs some extra work, you can do do worse, and it's free. And she doesn't have to feel like it's 'little kid' math.

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Rod and Staff Publishers second grade arithmetic. Gentle scripted lessons, suggestions for visuals such as a number line and beehives that help children learn basic arithmetic, lots of systematic teaching of concepts.

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Someone linked this video in a different thread (I forgot the thread name, maybe it was on the Gen Ed board). This video greatly encouraged me that I made a good choice to go back one "grade" level and slow down with my current 3rd grader who struggles with math. Her issue is b/n step 1 and step 3 in solving a 3 step problem, she has gotten distracted with LaLa Land. Also, she is very creative minded, and I think concrete concepts are difficult for her as well. We use bunches of manipulatives. LaLa loopsies minis, shopkins, Legos, dominoes, meter stick, abacus, drawings, chalkboard, white board, dice, money, colored tiles, cubes, you name it. She finally had a light bulb go off the other day and said math was her favorite subject for the 1st time ever. We went to a social event that evening and she proudly announced to my friends there that she finally likes schoolwork. Never mind that the next day we hit a roadblock, she fought tears during the lesson, and wondered why she said that the day before. Anyhow, this video doesn't recommend a curriculum that I remember, but it does encourage the teacher that slowing down to fill in gaps is productive. ( ETA: I don't think it is promoting mastery vs. spiral math programs, it is basically about being sure concepts are understood before moving on with more difficult problems using that concept. I am a fan of spiral math, tons of spiral review, and a time out for mastery focus of difficult topics as needed.)

https://youtu.be/rl-9AhJFh-U

Edited by TX native
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My dyscalculic dd wouldn't learn maths without CSMP.

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In a similar situation I used Grubes method for teaching arithmetic. And we started at the beginning, and took our time integrating numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions and such. You can google it. It's available as a pdf on the internet archive. Best thing we ever did. Took us 6 months to get to 10 but totally worth it. She now is doing BA 4 and loving it, and has very strong arithmetic skills (not advanced for her age, but solid). IMHO with math it is all about the foundation, so do whatever you need to do to build that foundation. Kitchen table math is a great resource too.

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If she does well with learning through songs, there are some skip counting songs free on YouTube, Amazon Prime, or you could get the iPad app (or CDs) of Classical Conversations.  (Just a side note, we don't "do" CC, but my DS LOVES music and has really enjoyed a few songs from CC, the skip counting, Presidents, and a couple others)

You might also check out the Prodigy game, and if you want to pay the annual fee, be sure to hunt around for a co-op, it knocks the fee down substantially.

A friend speaks very highly of an online math program (I don't think it's a full curriculum, I think it's a supplemental thing).  I think it starts with an A, maybe someone will know what I'm talking about.  Will try to ask her tomorrow and come edit this post with the name of it.

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Found a current co-op for Prodigy if you're interested in that:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/256935961369124/  (Not my group, I already got in on a group someone here on WTM started, and this one was posted in that group)

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DS8 was in this boat last year. Math games did not help, I spent 2 months trying to focus his head on the game thinking they would be fun but honestly, the games were terrifying to him. See, he was missing the skills to play the games. His Dysgraphia,  OCD, anxiety, and traumatizing PS experience, led to this perfect storm. We used to call it turtling when DS would curl up into a ball and not want to do anymore.

With DS's Dysgraphia, OCD, anxiety, etc I really had my hands full. A lot of students like DS are right-brain. They need color, pictures, stories, etc. So I decided that we needed to stay on grade level math (DS did not want to go back a grade bc he did not want to be stupid) but slow it down to 1/2 speed and supplement the areas where the holes were present. It took us 2 1/2 months to do 1 chapter. Not kidding.

IMO, MM is not for a child with difficulties. I tried it too because I fell in love with the simplistic beauty of the program. However, the pages of MM are jam-packed, there is no breathing room. DS could not understand he only had to do the odd questions, or half a page, all he saw was all those questions and his anxiety took his confidence and ability to reason out the door. So, I faced rewriting a few questions from MM or changing math texts last year. I switched math texts. I used Go Math (purchased from Amazon). Not saying that is what you need to use. Just pick a math program that has problems with adequate writing space and that the pages do not appear jam-packed. Use it at 1/2 pace when the holes appear, it's slow and you may not cover the entire book by the end of the year. Supplement with other math curricula or flashcards or games to fill in the holes.

Example: right-brain thinkers need to take a "picture" of the problem before they can memorize it. So I made flashcards with the complete problem with answer surrounded by a color border. We went through these 20 per day, 5 days a week, changing the stack of 20 each week. To practice if DS knew his facts, I used the addition worksheets that are free on Math-Aids.com. NO timed tests here either, he just had to add. When he got stumped, I would say picture the flashcard in your head for 8 + 8 what answer do you see, 16 and the face lights up and no anxiety.

Use picture cards to learn the months of the year. I printed month cards free from Twinkl that had pictures, I wrote a month number on the card so DS can see a picture and we talk about the season, what's going on in the picture (make up a story) and the number of the month. For the days of the week, TPT had a free Hungry Caterpillar booklet that I printed and used as a story to cement in the days of the week.

This year we are using Saxon Intermediate 3. I love it. It is incremental, each lesson is a new topic but there are extensive spiral review questions each day. We use the whole program, Power Ups, Lesson, Practice. The first week was rough, any change is, but now the routine is set and the anxiety is lessening. I do not know about Saxon 2.

This year so far, I am still reviewing tricky math facts. Sometimes it just takes longer. Because of writing issues, I have to modify or scribe for DS. I leave the meat of the problem to him. It has been a slow process but DS is learning at grade level and the holes are almost closed. His confidence is building and the anxiety is almost non-existent. I can now talk DS through problems or bouts of anxiety. Turtling ended last year about 3/4 of the way through the year, last year.

Edited by jgrabuskie

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