# Exploding Dots

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I know I read about exploding dots here on the board, but I wanted to bring it up again and share my success of the day...

2 days ago my 7 year old was working through Ronit Bird activities in the dyscalcula toolkit. We just got to the bridging through 10 section and she was having huge problems understanding how to get a solution to any 10 + (pick a number under 10) problem. I used all sorts of manipulatives and various ways to demonstrate and show and explain and she still was struggling to get the concept.

So I taught her the basics behind the exploding dots video that I had just looked at recently, and it totally clicked for her. She was able to tell me the answer to any 10+(pick a number) problem without any extra processing time. So yesterday we went through the first 2 lessons on exploding dots, to be sure she really understood that concept and today we went on the beginning of lesson 3, the part about using exploding dots for addition, and she was so excited to be able to successfully add 3 digit by 3 digits with "explosions".

I used to teach sped in the public school system and I've NEVER come across another strategy that was SO EFFECTIVE at teaching kids the concept of place value.

I totally did a little happy dance after sending her off to play!

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I've been using those videos in my math co-op class this year with kids from 1st to 5th grades (oy!) It is straightforward enough for kids unfamiliar with the topic to follow, and novel enough to hold the interest of the students who have already done the topic.

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If you like dots, have a look at CSMP.

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James Tanton is the BEST. I used his materials to get my dyscalculiac son through high school.  I emailed Tanton once with questions, and he responded by sending me a ton of info in a Drop Box account.   I purchased a book from his Thinking Math series, and it’s very good.

I used the RB materials to get through the 4 basic math functions.

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@Heathermomster.....tell me all of the things that I need to know about James Tanton and getting a dyscaluculiac son through high school. We've just moved out of the 4 basic math operations and I am completely lost as to how to proceed.

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19 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

@Heathermomster.....tell me all of the things that I need to know about James Tanton and getting a dyscaluculiac son through high school. We've just moved out of the 4 basic math operations and I am completely lost as to how to proceed.

James Tanton teaches the Galley Method for factoring polynomials.  The Galley Method is simply an extension of the area model.  DS used it whenever possible and learned to derive the quadratic equation.  My son cannot handle multiple ways to solve a problem.  He typically stuck to one method and that was it.

When teaching certain math problems, I used symbolic logic, manipulatives, and drew many pictures.  We used dry erase boards and solved problems together, independently, and then compared answers.  He checked his own fraction work using a TI-15 calculator.  Ronit Bird methodology filled our day as well.

Edited by Heathermomster

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