countrymum Posted May 22, 2018 Share Posted May 22, 2018 I have started a few math threads recently. Thanks for all the help. I have 2 students currently. A k'er and 2nd grader. We used Abeka last year and while it got the job done I think its killing the kids interest in math. We did rightstart some for the older one in kindy and I stopped because it was "different". Well now I am looking at it again because being introduced to that kind of thinking in college is what made me love math (I didn't like it ?-12th but understood it and could do it). I do want my kids to understand and enjoy math and see its truth and beauty, but I also want them to be fluent mentally AND on paper. I could start to enjoy it in college because I understood it and could do it. Which program would you recommend and why? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Ellie Posted May 22, 2018 Share Posted May 22, 2018 38 minutes ago, countrymum said: I have started a few math threads recently. Thanks for all the help. I have 2 students currently. A k'er and 2nd grader. We used Abeka last year and while it got the job done I think its killing the kids interest in math. We did rightstart some for the older one in kindy and I stopped because it was "different". Well now I am looking at it again because being introduced to that kind of thinking in college is what made me love math (I didn't like it ?-12th but understood it and could do it). I do want my kids to understand and enjoy math and see its truth and beauty, but I also want them to be fluent mentally AND on paper. I could start to enjoy it in college because I understood it and could do it. Which program would you recommend and why? Do you *love* Rightstart? Is it the way your children learn? I can tell that neither my children nor I would have lasted through more than a couple of lessons before tossing it. We don't learn that way, I don't teach that way. I haven't looked at BJUP's math for a long time, but just looking at the catalog...oh, my goodness...it costs a fortune. o_0 And then there's Rod and Staff. I love R&S. Wonderful teacher manuals with simple, scripted daily lessons, simple seatwork for the children which reinforces what you just taught, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. This is what a friend wrote about R&S's math: Quote Rod and Staff is a traditional math program, more similar to the math programs used in the 50s and 60s to many of the programs used today. These were excellent math programs, and most would acknowledge that Americans were better at math when we used these traditional math programs than students are today who are using all of these programs that are emphasizing “conceptual understanding” every step of the way. Traditionally, math was taught with the classical model, where there was more emphasis on drill and memorization in the early years, with an increase in conceptual understanding or analysis occurring each year. R&S does teach conceptual understanding, but it is quite difficult to see until you are perhaps 2 or 3 months into the program because it is done in the early years with little baby steps. The best example I can think of this is the instruction with fractions. My daughter’s understanding of fractions, now in the fourth grade, is absolutely wonderful. Rod and Staff began with the traditional dividing of shapes into halves and thirds and fourths in the second grade, and also advancing to two-thirds or three-fourths, and the idea the three-thirds or four-fourths equals one. In the third grade, they apply this knowledge to math in all types of contexts - what is one half of a foot, what is one-fourth of a pound, what is one-fourth of a dollar? What is three-fourths of a dollar? This is done pretty much, off and on in the daily lesson, all year long, and is seen in MANY word problems. My daughter really understood fractions and applying them to numbers and real problems. Then you move to fourth grade, and they introduce counting by halves, by fourths, and by eighth, using a ruler as a visual aid at first. So they count 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4, 1 1/2, etc. and also 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1. After doing this exercise for several days, they do equivalent fractions, but it is almost not necessary to explain anything, because they have already figured out that 4/8 = 1/2 and that 2/8 = 1/4 because of the counting exercises. They just now learn the algorithm that shows that this same logic can apply to numbers which can’t be visualized, such as 27/36. By the time my daughter reached the lesson where they taught how to add fractions, she already ‘understood’ that you could just add the numerators of like fractions, but that you couldn’t do that with a fractions like 1/8 + 1/4, but that you needed a common denominator. This understanding was about 2 months in the developing and it would have been difficult to see by just flipping through the book. Somewhere around this general timeframe, they are also doing long division and giving remainders as an answer, but combining it with word problems so that it is obvious why the remainder is actually a fraction such as “3 boys share 4 peaches. How many peaches will each boy get? What part of the remaining peach will they get?” After a couple lessons with word problems like this, they have division problems where they are supposed to give their answer with the remainder as a fraction, and they are then introduced to the term “mixed numbers.” So, yes, I would say there is wonderful teaching in R&S that leads to conceptual understanding, it is just done in a different way than many modern math programs, and that it occurs very slowly in the lower grades. Because there is a strong emphasis in the primary grades on drill, particularly fact drill, people often get this misconception of R&S, especially if they look primarily at the student workbooks or text instead of at the TM. The real lesson and the real learning takes place in the daily lesson at the whiteboard. The workbook and/or textbook is mainly just review problems and/or drill. I recommend that you read this article which is linked on The Mathematically Correct Web page by Dr. H. Wu called “Basic Skills Versus Conceptual Understanding: A False Dichotomy in Mathematics Education.” This article will help you understand why it is essential that students get plenty of drill and review as well as lessons that work towards conceptual understanding; and also why conceptual understanding can only get you so far - no one can visualize a problem such as 2/97 divided by 31/17; eventually a student must become fluent with the algorithms, which means to have them memorized to the point of automaticity. This only happens with drill and review. One more thing, since you are currently using Singapore, I can compare it a little to that program. Singapore pushes conceptual understanding more than many math programs. It has some drill and review, and the assumption is that teachers in Singapore are providing much more drill and review, but this program pushes to the limit for conceptual understanding in the early grades. It doesn’t take small steps in this area, it wants total understanding in one lesson of some concept that R&S might spend two or three months developing. Additionally, Singapore wants them begin applying this new understanding immediately to problems and word problems. This is excellent for some children, especially the math-bright among us, but for many, it is too much too soon. My daughter needed the slow and steady approach of Rod and Staff for the primary years. I knew this, but I couldn’t really verbalize it, until I read the excellent review of Singapore math by Susan Wise Bauer of the Well-Trained Mind which you can find on her Web page. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

HomeAgain Posted May 22, 2018 Share Posted May 22, 2018 I would pick a program, any program, that showed how beautiful math is. My son picked Right Start for his second grade year after moving on from MEP. It wasn't my choice - I don't like all the moving parts and I thought it would be a PITA (my preferences were Math U See, Beast Academy, or something c-rod based). But it spoke to him, and I have to say, I've come around. The short pieces of each lesson, the mixture of hands on, games, mental work, and written work, and the application of each operation with various tools is beautiful. It works for him, so we'll use it until he's done. I would suggest using something for K-3 math that has some sort of manipulative encouraged so that the child can visualize the concrete pieces as he gets older. I'd also suggest something that explained the why, not just the how. Beyond that, there are plenty of programs out there to choose from and decide what's right for you. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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