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naturegirl

Math taught Brave Writer Style

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Math is probably the subject my son hates the most. For some reason it popped into my head today that math taught in the style of Brave Writer may make it more interesting and accessible. Has anyone ever tried this or have any ideas on how this would look? I like the Brave Writer ideas of having a routine with different types of activities on different days (rather than just workbook every day) and I like the ideas in Brave Writer for month-long projects. I did manage to find a book that has some math-project ideas, but I'm starting from scratch here and would love some insight if anyone has any. 

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Interesting! And also terrifying. Ok. Hmmm.

  • Math lab (with manipulatives)
  • Games
  • Read alouds
  • Drills

Have you looked at SCM Store Math? It looks kind of projecty.

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I think of Brave Writer more as an attitude and less as a routine, so I may or may not be on the right track here. For the last four years, we’ve never done our primary curriculum more than three days per week, and once we shelved it for most of a year. I didn’t usually have much of a set routine, just a stack of resources and an idea of how often I wanted to make sure we got back to the primary curriculum. We didn’t really do long math projects, though ,ath was sometimes folded into other projects. We used a mix of games, living books, math videos, supplemental curriculum-ish things, apps, puzzles... pretty much whatever I could find.

Are you looking for a list of resources? If so, knowing what math level your child is at would be helpful.

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If you're going to do this, unless you have an extensive background in math and math education, I would take some time to learn about both through at least algebra and geometry.  You can't effectively teach math without knowing where you're going.  For elementary math, a good place to start would be Elementary Mathematics for Teachers.  I'd read the text and work the suggested exercises.  

That said, what level are we talking about here?  RightStart actually does what you're talking about to some extent by moving between instruction, workbook, and games.  I would think it would be easier to use a program and overlay something on top to mix things up.

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I've always thought of Math On The Level as being very similar to Brave Writer.  It's expensive up front but if this style of learning really appeals to you and your son, it might be well worth the price. I used it successfully for quite a few years with my older kids. I'm sort of using it with my youngest that I'm homeschooling now but not the way that it was meant to be used. I'm really just using it more as a reference than a program with him.

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Depends on the age. There's a lot of math that can be done in games at the younger levels, but once you start getting into upper elementary, there could be gaps if you are not careful.

I think Right Start has enough balance of games and structure to be what you are looking for.

Simply Charlotte Mason has a Business Math that combines, but I ended up feeling like it wasn't enough. It would be a good summer math though. 

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On 7/20/2018 at 11:23 PM, Slache said:

Interesting! And also terrifying. Ok. Hmmm.

  • Math lab (with manipulatives)
  • Games
  • Read alouds
  • Drills

Have you looked at SCM Store Math? It looks kind of projecty.

SCM Store Math looks great! You are actually the second person today to recommend that and I think I am going to use it this fall. And I definitely want to do math games one day a week. Thanks for the suggestions. 

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14 hours ago, Jackie said:

I think of Brave Writer more as an attitude and less as a routine, so I may or may not be on the right track here. For the last four years, we’ve never done our primary curriculum more than three days per week, and once we shelved it for most of a year. I didn’t usually have much of a set routine, just a stack of resources and an idea of how often I wanted to make sure we got back to the primary curriculum. We didn’t really do long math projects, though ,ath was sometimes folded into other projects. We used a mix of games, living books, math videos, supplemental curriculum-ish things, apps, puzzles... pretty much whatever I could find.

Are you looking for a list of resources? If so, knowing what math level your child is at would be helpful.

Thanks for the input. I think of Brave Writer as both an attitude and a routine. I am looking for math projects as well as fun games and interesting books and movies. Or any math resources really to liven things up but that still reinforce math concepts. My son is 10 and going into fifth grade. I would say he is probably right at grade level, not above or below.

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14 hours ago, EKS said:

If you're going to do this, unless you have an extensive background in math and math education, I would take some time to learn about both through at least algebra and geometry.  You can't effectively teach math without knowing where you're going.  For elementary math, a good place to start would be Elementary Mathematics for Teachers.  I'd read the text and work the suggested exercises.  

That said, what level are we talking about here?  RightStart actually does what you're talking about to some extent by moving between instruction, workbook, and games.  I would think it would be easier to use a program and overlay something on top to mix things up.

You make a good point regarding having a strong background in bath. Maybe I'd better brush up on my skills for the rest of the summer so I am better prepared. My son is 10 and going into fifth grade. 

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14 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

I've always thought of Math On The Level as being very similar to Brave Writer.  It's expensive up front but if this style of learning really appeals to you and your son, it might be well worth the price. I used it successfully for quite a few years with my older kids. I'm sort of using it with my youngest that I'm homeschooling now but not the way that it was meant to be used. I'm really just using it more as a reference than a program with him.

Thanks for the suggestion. I opened the link so I can read through it tomorrow.

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10 hours ago, KathyBC said:

Living Math is sort of like that.

Thanks, I will do some research into Living Math tomorrow when I am more alert. It sounds like it could be promising.

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10 hours ago, Plum Crazy said:

Depends on the age. There's a lot of math that can be done in games at the younger levels, but once you start getting into upper elementary, there could be gaps if you are not careful.

I think Right Start has enough balance of games and structure to be what you are looking for.

Simply Charlotte Mason has a Business Math that combines, but I ended up feeling like it wasn't enough. It would be a good summer math though. 

A couple people have mentioned both Right Start and the Charlotte Mason Business Math, so I am definitely going to read up on those. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, naturegirl said:

He is 10 and going into fifth grade. 


This is on the upper end for Right Start, but I can say that level E is still a lot of fun.  Each day has games and various methods of learning brought in and worksheets are not the focus.  They are the independent work.  However, I think your ds would get a lot more out of it by doing a similar plan to ours - we add in Life of Fred because the topics Fred hits are often the same as Right Start, but from a different angle or level.  We also have

This Is Not A Math Book, which is math through art (basically piggybacking onto Right Start's geometry lessons at each level).  It is consumable, but worth it.
Perfectly Perilous Math, which is not consumable, but encourages outside the box thinking by presenting longer problems to solve that are wrapped up in little stories.

We've also used units from AIMS and they're quite good.  I've linked the 6-9th grade units, but if you click on the 'activity books' tab at the top you'll find the 3-5th.  They also have free mini-units to use.

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I'm reading Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching  right now and it's validating what I thought about working with my ds and helping me connect with more resources. The book has a website with downloads and it has references with more resources to rabbit trail. 

I rabbit trailed a bit from some of what Boaler links in one of her articles and ended up here https://www.heinemann.com/contextsforlearning/  They have leveled kits, individual books, etc. I think I'm going to try some with my ds and see what happens. They have a sale this weekend and free shipping. I'm probably going to start with The T-Shirt Factory: Place Value, Addition, and Subtraction (Contexts for Learning Mathematics, Grades K-3: Investigating Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction)  (which Heinemann has on sale for less) and their Minilessons for Extended Add/Subtr, see how that goes, and then go for the level 2 kit.

Honestly, a lot of what I'm reading in Mathematical Mindsets is a lot like what we've been doing already with Ronit Bird materials. Ds has SLD math, so he's this curious mixture of abilities and disabilities. 

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48 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I'm reading Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching  right now and it's validating what I thought about working with my ds and helping me connect with more resources. The book has a website with downloads and it has references with more resources to rabbit trail. 

I rabbit trailed a bit from some of what Boaler links in one of her articles and ended up here https://www.heinemann.com/contextsforlearning/  They have leveled kits, individual books, etc. I think I'm going to try some with my ds and see what happens. They have a sale this weekend and free shipping. I'm probably going to start with The T-Shirt Factory: Place Value, Addition, and Subtraction (Contexts for Learning Mathematics, Grades K-3: Investigating Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction)  (which Heinemann has on sale for less) and their Minilessons for Extended Add/Subtr, see how that goes, and then go for the level 2 kit.

Honestly, a lot of what I'm reading in Mathematical Mindsets is a lot like what we've been doing already with Ronit Bird materials. Ds has SLD math, so he's this curious mixture of abilities and disabilities. 

I am reading one of the Mathematical Mindset books right now too! I am looking at the Mindset Mathematics: Visualizing and Investigating Big Ideas. They have them for third, fourth and fifth grade. I am hoping to use the projects in the books sort of like Brave Writer has the month-long projects. I will check out the Heinemann website as well. It looks promising. 

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7 hours ago, HomeAgain said:


This is on the upper end for Right Start, but I can say that level E is still a lot of fun.  Each day has games and various methods of learning brought in and worksheets are not the focus.  They are the independent work.  However, I think your ds would get a lot more out of it by doing a similar plan to ours - we add in Life of Fred because the topics Fred hits are often the same as Right Start, but from a different angle or level.  We also have

This Is Not A Math Book, which is math through art (basically piggybacking onto Right Start's geometry lessons at each level).  It is consumable, but worth it.
Perfectly Perilous Math, which is not consumable, but encourages outside the box thinking by presenting longer problems to solve that are wrapped up in little stories.

We've also used units from AIMS and they're quite good.  I've linked the 6-9th grade units, but if you click on the 'activity books' tab at the top you'll find the 3-5th.  They also have free mini-units to use.

We like Perfectly Perilous Math as well, but the other book and the AIMs units are new to me so I will check those out. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I'm reading Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching  right now and it's validating what I thought about working with my ds and helping me connect with more resources. The book has a website with downloads and it has references with more resources to rabbit trail. 

I rabbit trailed a bit from some of what Boaler links in one of her articles and ended up here https://www.heinemann.com/contextsforlearning/  They have leveled kits, individual books, etc. I think I'm going to try some with my ds and see what happens. They have a sale this weekend and free shipping. I'm probably going to start with The T-Shirt Factory: Place Value, Addition, and Subtraction (Contexts for Learning Mathematics, Grades K-3: Investigating Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction)  (which Heinemann has on sale for less) and their Minilessons for Extended Add/Subtr, see how that goes, and then go for the level 2 kit.

Honestly, a lot of what I'm reading in Mathematical Mindsets is a lot like what we've been doing already with Ronit Bird materials. Ds has SLD math, so he's this curious mixture of abilities and disabilities. 

I'm reading the same book! I had to return it a few days ago. But now I'm reading the one for grade 4.

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The Number Devil, Sir Cumference series, and many more at LivingMath.net  You could have one day for math story books then one day for math games like Prime Climb, S'math, and Family Math.  One or two days for 'textbook' math, but you will want something you can adjust and move through at the pace of your child since you won't be doing it every day and most math texts assume you will use it 180 days out of the year every year.  Something like Ray's Practical Arithmetic (that level is 5-6 grade), Math Clues (oop workbooks set but covers everything in elementary), Learn Math Fast, or Mastering Essential Math Skills.  You could also have a day for math projects.  Denise Gaskin's Let's Play Math might be useful for this endeavor.  There is a FB page about math and Bravewriter - Big juicy conversations about math or something like that.

 

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On 7/22/2018 at 1:19 AM, naturegirl said:

Thanks for the input. I think of Brave Writer as both an attitude and a routine. I am looking for math projects as well as fun games and interesting books and movies. Or any math resources really to liven things up but that still reinforce math concepts. My son is 10 and going into fifth grade. I would say he is probably right at grade level, not above or below.

 

I wrote this blog post (http://everchangingchild.blogspot.com/2016/09/all-things-math.html) a while back. My daughter was on more of a 3rd/4th grade level at the time, but the resources I listed in the post cover a full range of elementary options that we used and enjoyed.

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Depending on how comfortable you are, you might look into the concept of guided math.  It is intended for classrooms really, but it has that concept of doing math in different ways.  For instance, you might set Monday as your traditional math lesson day.  Tuesday do some board or card games that reinforce the concept.  Wednesday work on word problems or read books that combine the math concepts with language.   Thursday could be some sort of hands-on component-- like tieing it into real -life activities  or other curriculum ( cooking, art, science, music, shopping, decorating, etc.) Or Thursday and Friday could be project-based--- like design a pet shop to use perimeter, area, and possibly money, multiplication to buy the materials.  

This kind of thing can be a LOT of work though-- maybe you start with just one day being a game day,  and then slowly add things in as you gather some materials.  

I agree with others that RightStart is really trying to do this, although at your son's age, he is almost out of their range of materials.  

 

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3 hours ago, NorthernBeth said:

Depending on how comfortable you are, you might look into the concept of guided math.  It is intended for classrooms really, but it has that concept of doing math in different ways.  For instance, you might set Monday as your traditional math lesson day.  Tuesday do some board or card games that reinforce the concept.  Wednesday work on word problems or read books that combine the math concepts with language.   Thursday could be some sort of hands-on component-- like tieing it into real -life activities  or other curriculum ( cooking, art, science, music, shopping, decorating, etc.) Or Thursday and Friday could be project-based--- like design a pet shop to use perimeter, area, and possibly money, multiplication to buy the materials.  

This kind of thing can be a LOT of work though-- maybe you start with just one day being a game day,  and then slowly add things in as you gather some materials.  

I agree with others that RightStart is really trying to do this, although at your son's age, he is almost out of their range of materials.  

 

What you are describing is what I want to do, which I know, will be a lot of work. Thankfully I am finding several really good books of math projects that I can order online. I have been gathering some games and books of story problems. We will see how it goes and how long I can make it doing all of that planning. I have looked at Right Start. I just their games a while back, so I will probably pull those out again so we can use them.

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I don't "get" Bravewriter, so I don't know how it works, but I get the impression that games, hands-on, and projects are a theme.

Teachers Pay Teachers--a lot of teachers have projects and games in their math stores now. Seems like some of the "Sub plans" that teachers make often have projects or games so that the sub doesn't have to step into the middle of a unit in progress. You might also look for problem-based learning or enrichment as search terms.

Have you looked a the Janice VanCleave books? 

Not sure if this fits the bill for projects:  https://topscience.org/collections/math-measurement

Education Unboxed has some games as well. 
 

 

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I like the idea in the WTM book of having a math literature day and a math project day each week.  I like that this can be done while still sticking to a more traditional program...I'm not ready to let go of a formal math program.  I'm sure it can be done, but I'm not the person to do it.  lol 

I'm hoping to make some sort of math-center where my kids can pick a hands-on math activity each day, after their CLE math lesson is completed.  Our favorites for middle school-ish ages:

  • Family Math (they have a middle school book too)
  • Compass Drawing--teaches kids how to make fun pictures with their compass, a ruler, and some markers
  • Hands-On Equations
  • C-rods and various books to go with them; we have one called Rod-Clue Puzzles that is for older ages
  • Rightstart Math manipulatives--we had fun with the geometry panels last weekend! 

Our math program schedules flash cards and speed drills, which I think are also important.  They often get our their geometry sets for a problem or two, so I feel like that is covered for us. 

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When I think of Brave writer, I think of the Brave writer lifestyle: poetry teatime, freewriting, copywork, movie discussions, nature journaling, read alouds, word games, Shakespeare... Some of these are done weekly (Friday Freewrites, Tuesday Teatime), and others are worked into the rhythm of the month or year.

So for math, you could think of what makes a "math lifestyle" and work those elements into your weekly, monthly, or yearly rhythms. Some math lifestyle ideas that might be engaging for a 10 year old are cooking/baking, construction, cartography, navigation (make your own sextant, or buy a cheap sextant), board games, coding, money management or start a small business, counting systems around the world and/or throughout history, geometric art (tessellation, animation, string art)...

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