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nixpix5

One more math question...MUS and testing

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As I have mentioned various times before, my 1st grader who is gifted/ADHD/ASD has been using MUS. It is an excellent fit for him. We were supplementing with Saxon 2 but I don't jive with it. DS liked it but he tends to like anything. He is easy going.

 

The umbrella school we attend is associated with the public school system so kids get state tested starting in 3rd. I truly could care less about tests at this age so I am not concerned about him doing well or not doing well, what does concern me is as a child with ASD he has a high need to predict his environment and going into a test with math topics on it he doesn't know will cause issue for him.

 

My question is for those of you who used MUS what early elementary math gaps did you see in testing? Does anyone know what math topics will show up on a 3rd grade test?

 

He has done Alpha and will have completed Beta by the end of this school year. He will be in Gamma his 2nd grade year and Delta his 3rd if that helps.

 

My other two children each have two math programs (his brother does RS and BJU/SM in rotation and his sister does BJU and SM). Since Saxon is a slog for me I have considered just focusing on MUS for him and not supplementing. I should put it out there that we supplement because I have mathy kids who enjoy variation and practicing math from different angles. I don't actually believe BJU and RS, for example, need to be supplemented.

 

With my MUS little buddy we were using SM before Saxon but for him, he just didn't enjoy it. He did it without complaint but he told me it wasn't his favorite so that is off the table for filling in any pre 3rd grade testing math gaps.

 

So to summarize...what gaps might I see during testing and does anyone have any thoughts about math resources for a little guy who loves MUS that could plug up those potential holes to reduce anxiousness on his test.

 

Wow...sorry for that ramble fest. Coherent thoughts are not coming easy this morning :)

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Hmm....measurement was one of the topics that wasn't heavily covered early, but it is in school.

 

FWIW, I use the assessment on Mobymax to see where my kid is at.  I believe you can have it top out at a level to test only what done at that grade.  If you went through the topics as a parent you might be able to find some gaps, or if you let your son take it as a warm up you could work with him on what to expect when he doesn't know the answer.

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Hmm....measurement was one of the topics that wasn't heavily covered early, but it is in school.

 

FWIW, I use the assessment on Mobymax to see where my kid is at. I believe you can have it top out at a level to test only what done at that grade. If you went through the topics as a parent you might be able to find some gaps, or if you let your son take it as a warm up you could work with him on what to expect when he doesn't know the answer.

Great idea! I hadn't even thought about just giving him a placement test for a different curriculum. What a fantastic idea.

 

It is hard to know what is "3rd grade" because all of the homeschool curriculums seem to be doing their own emphasis but all meet up around pre-algebra for the most part. The people I have known who have done MUS have holes if they dropped the program mid Greek levels but have an awesome math grasp when they go through all of the levels. I know it just seems to take its own path.

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My 4th grader has been using MUS for a while. He passed the California state testing last year. He was in just beginning Delta at the time. However, we tutored him using materials provided for free through our charter school that were specifically designed to prepare students for the test, so that might have had more to do with it.

 

For a child with ASD, tutoring prior to the test could also give him a chance to understand what to do if he gets to a question he does not understand. There will likely be math and English questions that will pose this issue. The testing is double confusing for kiddos who are not "taught to the test" because common core kind of has a "lingo" to it. Just today, our teacher was tutoring my son for the test, and he did not know what the word "inference" meant. Once explained, he realized that is a skill he does understand, and often performs in his language arts program, it is just not called specifically by that word, if that makes sense. So, I don't know if supplementing MUS will be as effective in this particular situation as would just tutoring him in how to take the test, using materials specific to the purpose. It kind of feels lame to have to do so, but on the other hand, we just look at "test taking" as a life skill that is needed eventually in one kind of situation or another. 

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My 4th grader has been using MUS for a while. He passed the California state testing last year. He was in just beginning Delta at the time. However, we tutored him using materials provided for free through our charter school that were specifically designed to prepare students for the test, so that might have had more to do with it.

 

For a child with ASD, tutoring prior to the test could also give him a chance to understand what to do if he gets to a question he does not understand. There will likely be math and English questions that will pose this issue. The testing is double confusing for kiddos who are not "taught to the test" because common core kind of has a "lingo" to it. Just today, our teacher was tutoring my son for the test, and he did not know what the word "inference" meant. Once explained, he realized that is a skill he does understand, and often performs in his language arts program, it is just not called specifically by that word, if that makes sense. So, I don't know if supplementing MUS will be as effective in this particular situation as would just tutoring him in how to take the test, using materials specific to the purpose. It kind of feels lame to have to do so, but on the other hand, we just look at "test taking" as a life skill that is needed eventually in one kind of situation or another.

Thank you. This is really good to think about and this would be helpful I'm sure.

 

I hadn't really thought about language arts as he is way above average so I am probably making an assumption he will do fine. Overall prep though is probably a better approach. Just for the practice and getting comfortable with not knowing an answer and being ok with that.

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My best friend used MUS with her oldest and regretted it when it came time for mandatory testing. She had too many gaps.

 

This isn't really helpful, nor is it an accurate view of the program or testing. 

 

Testing shows mastery. A student who hasn't been exposed wouldn't have mastery, but a series of tests would consider to show an upward score as the student covers the topics in a different order.  So a low score in 3rd would only indicate non-exposure, and a jump on the next test  would show that the material has all been covered.  Even states that use these scores as benchmarks for homeschools are simply looking for progress from a student.

 

Also, hearsay of a complaint without knowing exactly what the problem was is rumorlike. 

 

 

That said, it did prompt me to break out my old MUS manuals and look at the Elementary Mastery page in the teachers' guides and compare it to the list of skills taught on IXL for grade three.  Nixpix, if you do the same when your son gets closer to testing time you can see which skills he definitely will have/will be covering before the test and what to expect in each category.

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She took the 4th grade assessment. She struggled with time management (which is not related to MUS), and content which she had not yet been exposed to. Also, she had little experience with math language outside of MUS and so she struggled with grasping what was being asked of her.

 

She also struggled with problem solving, which we all know is a significant weakness of MUS.

 

She was switched to Math Mammoth and has made huge strides in math.

 

MUS isn't for everyone. And in NY, a must test state (where your scores absolutely CAN be used against you), MUS can be a liability.

 

I used it at the beginning with my daughter, and it set a good foundation. But she really took off conceptually when I switched her to Singapore.

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