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nixpix5

Thinking through math and need help...

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I am stuck planning math for one of my soon to be 2nd graders for next year. He is a MUS kid so I plan to stick with that for him. He is finishing up Beta and will start Gamma. I don't love the idea of him only doing multiplication and not having division exposure considering they are fact families and I like my kids to see that connection from the beginning. I have thought of doing Montessori math along with it to introduce division or supplementing with BA or something else but then I had an epiphany...I thought maybe I should do Gamma and Delta simultaneously doing one week of gamma and then one week of delta back and forth through the year. It would mean he completed them in 15 months roughly...so wrapping up toward the end of first semester of his third grade year. Has anyone done this before? Does this sound insane? He's a hard working kid and happily does whatever I give to him. I don't want to confuse or muddle anything though...can someone help me illuminate potential pitfalls to this idea that I may not have given thought to? 

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Maybe start Delta halfway through Gamma? Otherwise the review problems will stump him because he should have had all of it already. 

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18 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Maybe start Delta halfway through Gamma? Otherwise the review problems will stump him because he should have had all of it already. 

Oh of course! I hadn't even considered this. Gah...that would definitely be problematic as the newer edition definitely continually reviews past material constantly. Well...there goes that bright idea ;)  

Halfway through might work though, I will need to sit down and go through both levels to see. Thank you! Such an obvious flaw and didn't even think of it! 

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Just a thought, but if you don’t like scope and sequence of MUS and feel the need to supplement for content have you considered an entirely different math program? 

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I have 3 kids who have done various things.... I also like and prefer the fact family connection from the beginning.  It is my preference.

But I’ve seen with my kids, that has been on the overwhelming side for one.  Not too bad, but just more overwhelming than it needed to be.

For one it worked great, he easily saw the connections.  

For one, he is not there yet, but he needed to do addition and subtraction one at a time, and so I’m sure he will need to do multiplication and division one step at a time, too.

For my son who sees it easily and grasps it easily:  I don’t think you even need to use a curriculum.  You can just talk about it and show him and he will pick it up.

If it doesn’t work out that way, to me personally I think I would discuss and explain informally, but just move through the curriculum as written.

If you see he picks it up easily and grasps it easily, I think discuss as you go, and then be open to cutting or condensing the later level when you come to it.  

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I have known plenty of people to overlap the higher levels of MUS. I think it works just fine. Just pay attention to the review problems that they don't worry about doing problems they have not been exposed to yet.

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8 hours ago, Targhee said:

Just a thought, but if you don’t like scope and sequence of MUS and feel the need to supplement for content have you considered an entirely different math program? 

I have an obsessive love with finding and tweaking math programs so yep, been there done that :) I have one DS who does a Rightstart/BA combo and a DD who does BJU/SM combo. For both of these mathy kids it is just perfect. With my other DS who does MUS, we tried Rightstart, SM, and Saxon. RS was too many different manipulatives....it wasn't sticking. SM he loathed and Saxon, even having him a whole grade level ahead was so easy it bored him senseless. When I chose MUS I didn't have a ton of faith it would be right but he has loved it. He just adores the videos, the predictability of the week as well as the one manipulative that does everything. It is his jam for sure. 

Your question gave me pause...I had to think of the scope and sequence really did bother me or if I was falling victim to the standardized test he will have to take for our umbrella school. I think that is probably what is truly bugging me about forgoing division. 

He also is super bright and often doesn't need all the repetition MUS gives but needs more than say what RS or BJU gives. I am probably just overthinking it like I love to do :)

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Honestly I tried doing multiple chapters of Math Mammoth at once, for the same reason and it didn’t work out well. It was frustrating and in the end I switched programs entirely. 

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We use Singapore and BA but I occasionally will ask the division question orally that is related to the multiplication problem. So if he just completed the problem 90x7 I'll ask "So what does 630/7 equal"? This is just to keep the concept of division fresh in his head while he's still working on his multiplication facts.

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NixPix, one of the aids we used with Gamma was a set of triangle flash cards from TheToymaker.  They're free and I printed them on cardstock to make them last longer.  It was just enough of a visual reinforcement when he was memorizing in Gamma to make Delta go super quick at the beginning. (and if you poke around on the Toymaker site, they have other free toys including Thinkin' Logs (stacking Lincoln Log-type flash cards) and a lot of general fun ones.

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What about adding Kahn academy to your Mus? You could work through the "grade level" and he would be exposed to a more traditional scope and sequence. My kids have been loving Kahn academy.

I understand why you wouldn't want to spend a whole year on multiplication but mus is a great program. They do lots of review in gamma and delta and it might get frustrating to combine the levels.

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3 hours ago, Taren said:

What about adding Kahn academy to your Mus? You could work through the "grade level" and he would be exposed to a more traditional scope and sequence. My kids have been loving Kahn academy.

I understand why you wouldn't want to spend a whole year on multiplication but mus is a great program. They do lots of review in gamma and delta and it might get frustrating to combine the levels.

I agree, MUS is great and we love it immensely.  I think I am just going to stick with MUS gamma and fold in some resources like HomeAgain recommended. 

I like Kahn Academy but my little buddy just turned 7 and has ASD so we stay away from tech entirely for him due to the increased likelihood of tech becoming addictive to ASD kiddos especially when introduced at this age. Right now he loves paper and pencil work but I know how quickly that would dry up if he had other options ;)

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1 hour ago, nixpix5 said:

I agree, MUS is great and we love it immensely.  I think I am just going to stick with MUS gamma and fold in some resources like HomeAgain recommended. 

I like Kahn Academy but my little buddy just turned 7 and has ASD so we stay away from tech entirely for him due to the increased likelihood of tech becoming addictive to ASD kiddos especially when introduced at this age. Right now he loves paper and pencil work but I know how quickly that would dry up if he had other options ;)

That is a big problem we are having with our newly diagnosed 13 yr old on the spectrum. Not realizing he had ASD, he had his own computer. When not doing school, he had a lot of time on it. Now, he definitely has a computer addiction and we constantly are trying to drag him away from it.

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6 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

NixPix, one of the aids we used with Gamma was a set of triangle flash cards from TheToymaker.  They're free and I printed them on cardstock to make them last longer.  It was just enough of a visual reinforcement when he was memorizing in Gamma to make Delta go super quick at the beginning. (and if you poke around on the Toymaker site, they have other free toys including Thinkin' Logs (stacking Lincoln Log-type flash cards) and a lot of general fun ones.

This site looks AMAZING!!

And for the op, I'd suggest doing a game or something that lets them see the relationship without actually forcing it all the way to the paper math. You just want him to see the relationship. Right now, I've got my ds playing dice games with multiplication, but we explore division with it too. You could just do a little something like that so he makes the connection without stealing the thunder for the next level of the MUS. And personally, I wouldn't mess up a good thing while it's working. It sounds like your ds is having a mind meld with Demme and really clicking, so maybe it will be fine, kwim? Change what isn't working, not what is.

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1 hour ago, Janeway said:

That is a big problem we are having with our newly diagnosed 13 yr old on the spectrum. Not realizing he had ASD, he had his own computer. When not doing school, he had a lot of time on it. Now, he definitely has a computer addiction and we constantly are trying to drag him away from it.

It doesn't always happen of course, but having worked with so many ASD kids there was a common thread of computer and tech abuse that ran through that group. It is somewhat of a feed forward system too since social skills are difficult and by removing body language from the equation through tech it becomes highly salient for them to make social connections. Unfortunately they sometimes depend on it and then stop taking steps to do the hard stuff which is working on social skills IRL. Since kids are most socially flexible when young, I am taking this time to keep him tech free and work on those harder skills while I still have some control of those choices. It is working well for him, he has grown socially by leaps and bounds. It is so much harder to convince 13 year olds of this, I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Consistency pays off though so just keep trying. Tech is amazing in so many ways for allowing us all to find peer groups and that isn't bad, but keep encouraging him to take those risks to find face to face peers too :) 

 

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5 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

This site looks AMAZING!!

And for the op, I'd suggest doing a game or something that lets them see the relationship without actually forcing it all the way to the paper math. You just want him to see the relationship. Right now, I've got my ds playing dice games with multiplication, but we explore division with it too. You could just do a little something like that so he makes the connection without stealing the thunder for the next level of the MUS. And personally, I wouldn't mess up a good thing while it's working. It sounds like your ds is having a mind meld with Demme and really clicking, so maybe it will be fine, kwim? Change what isn't working, not what is.

This is a good idea. I can tap into his brother's rightstart games too. We haven't done that in a while. 

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I'll suggest using triangle flashcards for the math facts. By learning the three numbers of a "math  family", you automatically see the connection between multiplication and division. For example: 6, 7, and 42 are the fact family for the 4 related math facts of: 6x7=42; 7x6=42; 42/6=7; 42/7=6. Here is a printable template of triangle flashcards, plus related activities.

I'll also suggest Miquon. It is very easy to use as a supplement, is discovery-based, and does help students make those connections between math concepts. And it's a pretty inexpensive ($61 for the 6 workbooks & Lab Annotations + $18 for a bucket o' plastic rods), for a supplement that you can use over 2-3 years, as some of the topics go up into 4th grade (here's the scope and sequence). Miquon uses the cuisenaire rods which are different colors and size than the MUS rods, but I've not heard of anyone getting them confused. And, you really do need to use cuisenaire rods rather than subbing the MUS rods with Miquon, as the drawings on the Miquon workbook pages are the sizes and colors of the cuisenaire rods. I'd suggest going ahead and getting all 6 workbooks and the Lab Annotations (which has the answers), as you can start using Miquon as a supplement for the rest of your school year, or over the summer as a "bridge" math to keep fresh. I'd suggest skipping the first dozen pages or so in the first workbook (Orange), which seem to be the pages that confuse and trip up people, or make them feel they "don't get" or "can't do" Miquon. :)

 

ETA -- aannndddd, I see someone else made my suggestions while I was still typing and looking up/linking resources... lol

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28 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

I'll suggest using triangle flashcards for the math facts. By learning the three numbers of a "math  family", you automatically see the connection between multiplication and division. For example: 6, 7, and 42 are the fact family for the 4 related math facts of: 6x7=42; 7x6=42; 42/6=7; 42/7=6. Here is a printable template of triangle flashcards, plus related activities.

I'll also suggest Miquon. It is very easy to use as a supplement, is discovery-based, and does help students make those connections between math concepts. And it's a pretty inexpensive ($61 for the 6 workbooks & Lab Annotations + $18 for a bucket o' plastic rods), + supplement that you can use over 2-3 years, as some of the topics go up into 4th grade (here's the scope and sequence). Miquon uses the cuisenaire rods which are different colors and size than the MUS rods, but I've not heard of anyone getting them confused. And, you really do need to use cuisenaire rods rather than subbing the MUS rods with Miquon, as the drawings on the Miquon workbook pages are the sizes and colors of the cuisenaire rods. I'd suggest going ahead and getting all 6 workbooks and the Lab Annotations (which has the answers), as you can start using Miquon as a supplement for the rest of your school year, or over the summer as a "bridge" math to keep fresh. I'd suggest skipping the first dozen pages or so in the first workbook (Orange), which seem to be the pages that confuse and trip up people, or make them feel they "don't get" or "can't do" Miquon. :)

 

ETA -- aannndddd, I see someone else made my suggestions while I was still typing and looking up/linking resources... lol

Funny you should mention Miquon...he got to try out a couple of sheets with cuisinare rods at a friend's house and he took to it seamlessly. It was automatic for him to completely understand the rod relationship with assigned numbers and to wrestle through the pages. I have definitely given more thought to adding in some elements of it here. It also resonates with my Montessori leanings in math...I love discovery based math so much. 

Thanks Lori! As always you are a brimming cup of wisdom ;) 

 

Thank you everyone! I feel like I have a plan now that meets my division neurosis without having to change curriculums. It just really helps to bounce around ideas and hear how others might do it. 

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4 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

Funny you should mention Miquon...he got to try out a couple of sheets with cuisinare rods at a friend's house and he took to it seamlessly. It was automatic for him to completely understand the rod relationship with assigned numbers and to wrestle through the pages. I have definitely given more thought to adding in some elements of it here. It also resonates with my Montessori leanings in math...I love discovery based math so much. 

I dearly love Miquon! :) It was a favorite program (along with Singapore) for math-minded DS#1.

For math-struggler DS#2 (very VSL, mild LDs in math, spelling, writing, with stealth dyslexia), Miquon clicked the best of all the programs we tried from grades 1-5. DS#2 finally clicked (as well as math would every click for him, lol) with MUS once we found it for him in 5th grade. Saxon was too many topics and too much on a page (plus too "spiral" in approach -- DS#2 needed mastery-based), and Singapore Primary moved too quickly for him. However, Singapore worked great as a supplement/review to the spine of MUS in the late elementary/middle school grades -- we used it "down" a grade in topics for him, so roughly:

gr. 5 = MUS "classic" intermediate + Delta

gr. 6 = MUS Epsilon + excerpts: Singapore 4A/B and Keys to Fractions

gr. 7 = MUS Zeta + excerpts: Singapore 5A/B and Keys to Percents and Keys to Decimals

gr. 8 = MUS Pre-Algebra _ excerpts Singapore 6A/B

Beast Academy and Life of Fred came out long after our DSs had passed those grades, but I sure would have considered those as possible supplements. Math Mammoth looks interesting, as well, but also came out long after we were at that level. :)

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52 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

I dearly love Miquon! :) It was a favorite program (along with Singapore) for math-minded DS#1.

For math-struggler DS#2 (very VSL, mild LDs in math, spelling, writing, with stealth dyslexia), Miquon clicked the best of all the programs we tried from grades 1-5. DS#2 finally clicked (as well as math would every click for him, lol) with MUS once we found it for him in 5th grade. Saxon was too many topics and too much on a page (plus too "spiral" in approach -- DS#2 needed mastery-based), and Singapore Primary moved too quickly for him. However, Singapore worked great as a supplement/review to the spine of MUS in the late elementary/middle school grades -- we used it "down" a grade in topics for him, so roughly:

gr. 5 = MUS "classic" intermediate + Delta

gr. 6 = MUS Epsilon + excerpts: Singapore 4A/B and Keys to Fractions

gr. 7 = MUS Zeta + excerpts: Singapore 5A/B and Keys to Percents and Keys to Decimals

gr. 8 = MUS Pre-Algebra _ excerpts Singapore 6A/B

Beast Academy and Life of Fred came out long after our DSs had passed those grades, but I sure would have considered those as possible supplements. Math Mammoth looks interesting, as well, but also came out long after we were at that level. :)

This is really helpful to see your breakdown. Thank you!

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