Do you hear that? It's me banging my head over sweet dd's math. Need 3rd/4th grade input.

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Here's the short backstory.

We've used Saxon since Day 1 of our homeschool. Most of my kids had varying levels of intuitive math sense and despite different learning styles, Saxon worked. My oldest graduated kids have all done really well in university and beyond. it worked.

Not so with my youngest. Bless her heart. She doesn't see the patterns in math. She hasn't really moved from concrete to abstract. She understands well enough if I'm working elbow to elbow with her but go back 6 months later (assessment testing) and it's like I never explained it.  :huh:

She is sweet. She's a compliant student, though she works in shorter spurts than any of my others. She's not ADD but she's seriously right-brained. I asked her what her favorite subject was the other day and she said MATH.  :laugh:  :closedeyes:

Here's where we are:

She just finished Saxon 3. My original plan was to keep working and get through Saxon 54 but Saxon is not working. She needs something that will explain the place value, why we need to carry, why long division works like that, why zeros *hold the place* in three digit multiplication..etc.

Here's where I need input:

Having only used Saxon and not having children with this particular struggle before, what have y'all used that works with this kind of learner?

I've looked at and like Math U See. I love Cuisenaire Rods and have briefly looked at Miquon.

I don't want Teaching Textbooks. I like that Math U See has online teaching.

Any advice or input here?

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When my older son was having trouble with internalizing place value, we did MUS for a year.  He was halfway through Saxon 7/6 but he placed into MUS Beta!  So that's where we started.  He finished Beta-Zeta in about 7 months and was ready for algebra after that.

If you think MUS is a good choice for her, I say go for it.  But, I would look elsewhere for math after she completes Zeta--the MUS secondary program is incredibly weak.

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I agree, if you can swing the cost, get MUS.  It may very well help.

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(((((((HUGS))))))))) The good news is she's SWEET and COMPLIANT!!!! I had one like that was NOT sweet or compliant, lol!

You sound like you need to use manipulatives to actually show her what is going on. At 8 I would expect her to be a concrete thinker and some kids stay at that level longer than most.  I am using Saxon for the first time with my ds (it's pre-algebra) and I notice that it's very formula based (drill oriented) and not intuitive at all. Now this works for him at this stage because he has a foundation of math sense with me from using Singapore and Math Mammoth and lots of manipulatives to show concepts in the early grades.It would not have worked when he was 8.

I am not familiar with Math U See as I use a mixture of Singapore, Math Mammoth, Beast Academy and MEP in the early grades. With my own #1 DD (age 8 in 3rd grade) I found MEP especially helpful in assisting her to learn her number facts and it was a nice addition to the other programs because it approaches topics from various and different angles (it's got some story type elements too which my DD LOVES).

As far as using manipulatives they don't have to be fancyâ€”base ten blocks with place value mats would be great for place value and adding and subtracting concepts but you can make your own with beans and popsicle sticks (probably you could google how to do it). I also use play money from board games to illustrate the concept of borrowing and trading. Borrowing from the tens (ten dollar bills) means you have to change it into ones, etc., in order to subtract.

Definitely at this age I would say to slow down and go more concrete and hands on (manipulatives) before attaching the algorithms (procedures and formulas) to the manipulative actions (which is still important of course) . Lay the solid foundation now even if it seems like it is "slowing" everything down; the number sense you will help her build will be invaluable. I think I read somewhere that a student's number sense was the key indicator regarding how well he or she would do in algebra and other higher math courses.

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Math U See has been very helpful for my super right brain, creative, artistic daughter.  She does NOT get math intuitively, unlike the three boys ahead of her.  But MUS helps her understand - I think seeing it and building it are the keys for her.

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When my older son was having trouble with internalizing place value, we did MUS for a year.  He was halfway through Saxon 7/6 but he placed into MUS Beta!  So that's where we started.  He finished Beta-Zeta in about 7 months and was ready for algebra after that.

If you think MUS is a good choice for her, I say go for it.  But, I would look elsewhere for math after she completes Zeta--the MUS secondary program is incredibly weak.

Thank you for weighing in, EKS. I value your input! She tested into Gamma and we'll definitely work through the summer.

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(((((((HUGS))))))))) The good news is she's SWEET and COMPLIANT!!!! I had one like that was NOT sweet or compliant, lol!

You sound like you need to use manipulatives to actually show her what is going on. At 8 I would expect her to be a concrete thinker and some kids stay at that level longer than most.  I am using Saxon for the first time with my ds (it's pre-algebra) and I notice that it's very formula based (drill oriented) and not intuitive at all. Now this works for him at this stage because he has a foundation of math sense with me from using Singapore and Math Mammoth and lots of manipulatives to show concepts in the early grades.It would not have worked when he was 8.

<snip>

Yes, the compliant/sweet part is huge. If only she could sing choir songs or Taylor Swift while doing her math. :D  And I realized I need to update my siggie....she just turned 10. So a 4th grader who's now 10.

I agree, if you can swing the cost, get MUS.  It may very well help.

Thank you. I have a boatload of manipulatives including 100 blocks/singles/10s but I'm thinking I'll need the colored ones that go with MUS.

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Math U See has been very helpful for my super right brain, creative, artistic daughter.  She does NOT get math intuitively, unlike the three boys ahead of her.  But MUS helps her understand - I think seeing it and building it are the keys for her.

Good to hear your experience. Thank you, Denise.

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Here's the short backstory.

We've used Saxon since Day 1 of our homeschool. Most of my kids had varying levels of intuitive math sense and despite different learning styles, Saxon worked. My oldest graduated kids have all done really well in university and beyond. it worked.

Not so with my youngest. Bless her heart. She doesn't see the patterns in math. She hasn't really moved from concrete to abstract. She understands well enough if I'm working elbow to elbow with her but go back 6 months later (assessment testing) and it's like I never explained it.  :huh:

She is sweet. She's a compliant student, though she works in shorter spurts than any of my others. She's not ADD but she's seriously right-brained. I asked her what her favorite subject was the other day and she said MATH.  :laugh:  :closedeyes:

Here's where we are:

She just finished Saxon 3. My original plan was to keep working and get through Saxon 54 but Saxon is not working. She needs something that will explain the place value, why we need to carry, why long division works like that, why zeros *hold the place* in three digit multiplication..etc.

Here's where I need input:

Having only used Saxon and not having children with this particular struggle before, what have y'all used that works with this kind of learner?

I've looked at and like Math U See. I love Cuisenaire Rods and have briefly looked at Miquon.

I don't want Teaching Textbooks. I like that Math U See has online teaching.

Any advice or input here?

Rod and Staff's  third grade arithmetic. You'll do the scripted oral class time from the teacher manual, then she'll do the seatwork in the textbook. You could even back up to the second grade arithmetic and zoom through it (same thing--oral class time, seatwork, except it's a workbook).

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I second the motion for Rod and Staff.

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I'll throw one more in the mix - BJU Math. It uses manipulatives, and has a scripted teacher's manual. The workbook is colourful and engaging with stories to boot. It's also, importantly, slower progressing through elementary to really cement concepts in the child's mind. For my sweet and compliant kid who just struggled to get more abstract programs, BJU has been the perfect fit.

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I really like Math Mammoth. It's easy to teach and while supposedly taught to the student, my kids so far havent learned math that way (despite being above average math students). It teaches number sense very thoroughly and you could even use it supplementarily to what you're using already. They have individual work texts by subject, if you don't want to switch curric.

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Rather than switch totally get the topical Math Mammoth books that deal with numeracy/place-value and will give her a lot of practice and exposure to just those concepts. Based on the first post, I suggest that you get

0-99 chart

0-129 chart

Math Mammoth: Place Value 1, 2, 3 and 4

Math Mammoth: Addition and Subtraction 2B, 3 and 4

Math Mammoth: Money

Math Mammoth: Decimals 1 and 2

Math Mammoth: Metric Measuring

Base-10 blocks. And lots of them. How many Base-10 blocks do you own? You may want to get more or even print your own at home so that she can model each number by place-value even if it's in the thousands.

Working elbow-to-elbow just start at the beginning and work through the materials for 20-30 minutes a day. After she's finished Place Value 2, and Addition and Subtraction 2B, you can start using a page or 2 from Money and when she's finished Money, start Decimals.

After she completes Base-10 Bootcamp, re-assess and see if there is a need to switch curriculum more permanently.

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MUS has a wonderful explanation on place value.  Also, get a bulletin board set about place value to put up in your classroom for your visual learner.  Amazon has several.

I didn't use MUS past Beta, so no tips, but we're back to it for high school for my visual learner.

For carrying, MUS's explanation works well.  For borrowing, we had to use a story.  My dd loves to borrow, because the story is so ridiculous.  Basically, it's "oh we don't have enough so we need to go next door and borrow."  Then she "goes next door" and in a weird, cartoony way, says "kick" or "punch" and takes one from the next door place.  (You'd have to know my sweet non-violent dd to understand that this is funny and not horrible).

For long division, we do it like the opposite of multiplication.  So what normal people write down for long division, she does in her head.  What people do in their head, she writes down.  Something like this:

140 divided by 2:

2 x ? = 140 so

2 x _ = 1

2 x _ =4

2 x _ = 0

She does each step and the "remainder" gets carried down in front of the number on the next line.

For multiplying multiple digit numbers, I had to use the distribution property to teach my visual spatial learner:

23  x 42 =

(20 + 3) x (40 + 2) =

(20 x 40) + (20 x 2) + (3 x 40) + (3 x 2) =

800 + 40 + 120 + 6 =

840 + 120 + 6 =

960 + 6 =

966

Believe it or not, that's how she had to learn it.  It made sense, whereas the typical way (which I guess technically is a shortcut) made no sense to her.  After a year or so, she was able to learn the more typical way.  But she needed the long way first.

Good luck!

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• 2 weeks later...

I'll throw one more in the mix - BJU Math. It uses manipulatives, and has a scripted teacher's manual. The workbook is colourful and engaging with stories to boot. It's also, importantly, slower progressing through elementary to really cement concepts in the child's mind. For my sweet and compliant kid who just struggled to get more abstract programs, BJU has been the perfect fit.

I agree with this.  BJU is really good for teaching concepts in elementary math!!

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Sometimes the problem is not the curriculum, but that the child is placed higher than her developmental level. Abstract thinking happens when it happens. We can push and push and push it with games, 3 hour lessons, and lots of one-on-one, or we can match the level book to the child's developmental level, and have more time and money to do other things.

I advocate waiting and having more time and money to do other things. Life is too short to center it on math. At least for me.I love math. I think it is beautiful and useful. BUT, it is not my center. For others it is and I guess worth the sacrifice. Some people are just keeping up with the Jonses and not happy doing that, though, which is sad.

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Free stuff I like to replace pricey modern math curriculum, or for students that need a little more time before starting the next level of their textbook series.

Blumenfeld's How to Tutor. By the author of Alpha-Phonics

http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Tutor.htm

Ray's Arithmetic

Newspapers in Education

http://www.nieteacher.org/#elmsmulti

Especially this one for K-5 math

http://www.nieteacher.org/nie2/1Elementary-Middle/Using_NewspaperStandardsK-5.pdf

African Waldorf. Scroll down to free English downloads.

http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Tutor.htm

Edited by Hunter
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And I like Ruth Beechick's the Three R's.

Math on the Level is something you might want to look at, if time, money and storage are plentiful.

Edited by Hunter
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For place value, the Papy Minicomputers were hands down the best thing for my dd. They're nice and cheap too. :D

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Thank you for weighing in, EKS. I value your input! She tested into Gamma and we'll definitely work through the summer.

Fwiw, the MUS secondary level stuff is *not* as bad as people are saying. I know there are people who are like oh my lands, don't do that. Well my dd's math ACT scores made a huge jump to where we expected them to be with MUS.

The only thing that matters is that it works. If it's working for your kid, don't stop using it.

Placing into Gamma seems like a good sign. My ds has SLD math, so that was kind of on my mind, wondering if you needed to eliminate that as a possible issue. If it were SLD math, there are some more detailed options. But if MUS is taking care of it for you, awesome.

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I really like Math Mammoth. It's easy to teach and while supposedly taught to the student, my kids so far havent learned math that way (despite being above average math students). It teaches number sense very thoroughly and you could even use it supplementarily to what you're using already. They have individual work texts by subject, if you don't want to switch curric.

Rather than switch totally get the topical Math Mammoth books that deal with numeracy/place-value and will give her a lot of practice and exposure to just those concepts. Based on the first post, I suggest that you get

0-99 chart

0-129 chart

Math Mammoth: Place Value 1, 2, 3 and 4

Math Mammoth: Addition and Subtraction 2B, 3 and 4

Math Mammoth: Money

Math Mammoth: Decimals 1 and 2

Math Mammoth: Metric Measuring

Base-10 blocks. And lots of them. How many Base-10 blocks do you own? You may want to get more or even print your own at home so that she can model each number by place-value even if it's in the thousands.

Working elbow-to-elbow just start at the beginning and work through the materials for 20-30 minutes a day. After she's finished Place Value 2, and Addition and Subtraction 2B, you can start using a page or 2 from Money and when she's finished Money, start Decimals.

After she completes Base-10 Bootcamp, re-assess and see if there is a need to switch curriculum more permanently.

This looks good. I'll check into MM! Thank you both.

And I like Ruth Beechick's the Three R's.

Math on the Level is something you might want to look at, if time, money and storage are plentiful.

Aw, good 'ol Ruth Beechick. I like her stuff and her approach but I need something already laid out *for me.* I don't want to have to recreate any wheels. Thank you for the other free links as well.

Fwiw, the MUS secondary level stuff is *not* as bad as people are saying. I know there are people who are like oh my lands, don't do that. Well my dd's math ACT scores made a huge jump to where we expected them to be with MUS.

The only thing that matters is that it works. If it's working for your kid, don't stop using it.

Placing into Gamma seems like a good sign. My ds has SLD math, so that was kind of on my mind, wondering if you needed to eliminate that as a possible issue. If it were SLD math, there are some more detailed options. But if MUS is taking care of it for you, awesome.

OhElizabeth, what is SLD math? If that's an LD, I'm not familiar with those initials.

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This looks good. I'll check into MM! Thank you both.

Aw, good 'ol Ruth Beechick. I like her stuff and her approach but I need something already laid out *for me.* I don't want to have to recreate any wheels. Thank you for the other free links as well.

OhElizabeth, what is SLD math? If that's an LD, I'm not familiar with those initials.

Not Elizabeth, but SLD - Math is Specific Learning Disability in Math. Basically, Dyscalculia.

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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I would definately try MUS.  I got the fractions book and used just part of it, and it was like it suddenly clicked- we went back to Saxon without issues b/c she got the parts she was missing.  I have always used the MUS blocks, and think they are mu #1 math manipulative!

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I would not suggest R&S if she is having problems. It is good for drilling facts, but poor on explanations. I have never used MUS- but am interested in what everyone is posting.

We hit the same place value block with some of mine. We spent extra time reviewing concepts and trouble spots before moving on. I agree with the post that she may simply not be ready to move on.

Here are some things that worked for us if you have a little extra time.

I used homemade manipulatives as well as the dollars, dimes and pennies suggested in Saxon.

-I made a place value pocket chart out of a sheet of construction paper folded horizontally and stapled (one pocket for each place up to 1000's or higher). Then little rectangular papers with single digit numbers 0-9 written on the tops of the cards, several of each #. Say a number and have her build the number using the chart and # cards. Do a lot of these till she doesn't have to think where each # should go.

-I also used square pieces of craft foam to make # tiles and sign tiles. these we used to "write" out problems on another sheet of construction paper held vertically( simple marker lines divided it into ones, tens, hundreds,... the same width as your tiles, so only one tile fits. Then put a line across for the = sign about 1/4 of the way down). Put one digit in each slot for the problem with the appropriate sign tile. Then she has to solve the problem using only single digit tiles in slots that only one tile will fit. she will be able to see why she needs to carry. This can be used for addition or mult., it can be altered a little to work with long division.

We also do the "go next door and borrow" using problems made from stacks of unifix blocks. That helped my son know why he added ten separated blocks to the ones column, but only took one stack from the tens pile. Worked with carrying too, can't have 10 blocks in the ones column. :)

Just another approach. Hope you find something that works! :001_smile:

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Not Elizabeth, but SLD - Math is Specific Learning Disability in Math. Basically, Dyscalculia.

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

Thank you. I'm going to do more research into dyscalculia to see whether she might be on a sliding scale of some sort. That may be helpful for *me* so that I can quit banging my head and realize that there's something organic going on.

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BJU

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I have a math struggler. I used R&S 1&2 with her to no avail; none of it made sense. A few weeks into 3 I realized it was never just going to click, so I switched her to MUS and started over with Alpha. Success! Mr. Demme explains math concepts in a way that she understands. She did Alpha-Delta, then I switched her to Horizons (I started her in book 4 because she needed to learn long division from the start a second time, it didn't stick). She is now halfway through Horizons 6 and might actually be ready to start pre-algebra sometime in 8th grade.

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