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mamashark

need advice on math

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My dd7 (nearly 8 )is severely dyslexic and not tested for math disabilities, but I've always assumed that her math was impacted by her dyslexia (I'm starting to wonder if she's got a specific learning disability in math too). We are using Ronit Bird and she's currently able to add and subtract within 10 with confidence, and can bridge to 10 but not through 10 to larger numbers without lots of prompts.  She understands how to do exploding dots to add bigger numbers, but has not been able to move past that with any confidence and since bridging through 10 is still prompt bound.  She has a heck of a time grasping how to manipulate numbers and cannot hold more than one thing in her head at a time. We've worked some with On Cloud 9 and that has helped a little, but not enough to get past this hump.

She hates the games (and manipulatives that I pull out to use) from Ronit bird. She just wants to "do math" like her sister and brother, who go through workbook pages with me and don't struggle, and her brother, who is younger, doesn't always need or use the manipulatives to complete problems, so I wonder if that's driving part of the dislike of manipulatives (he's using MEP level 1 right now)...I tried a few pages of that with her too and they got too difficult pretty quickly. They want her to manipulate the numbers around in the problems (much like math mammoth) and she can't figure out how 5+?=8 is the same as 8-5=? 

Anyway, I tried starting her over with Math Mammoth level 1 again and I am making no progress. I've hit a wall with adding numbers that bridge past 10, and don't know where to turn now, since she throws big fits anytime I try to do another math "game" with her from Ronit Bird. I need a new approach and don't know where to turn.

I am concerned that something like Right Start would be too teacher intensive (I already do an intensive 1-1 with her for reading) and I'd be concerned that she would throw a fit with the number of manipulatives. I'm wondering if math u see would be beneficial given the lack of grade level labels and the videos could be independent...  Math Mammoth was a dismal failure...she doesn't need more practice with the same difficult-for-her problems; she needs a different approach. Singapore would probably be too difficult, and Beast academy (what I'm putting my son in next year) is probably far too advanced for her. I don't know where to turn next!

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And yet the more I research, the more I wonder if Right start wouldn't be better, takes the potential of videos out of the equation and people seem to really like it for those younger grades where we are...even if it is more teacher intensive.

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Maybe something like Meister Cody would be good? It uses virtual manipulatives and is supposed to help for dyscalculia.

Edited by MistyMountain
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Can she add and subtract past 10 if she uses her fingers? Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking you could abandon the 3 + ___ = 8 kind of thing for now, and come back later.

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7 minutes ago, Mainer said:

Can she add and subtract past 10 if she uses her fingers? Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking you could abandon the 3 + ___ = 8 kind of thing for now, and come back later.

She can add and subtract past 10 using a number line. 

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My older son had horrible problems with learning to say the numbers 11-19, especially 11-13. They were hard and confusing for him to remember.  It hung him up a LOT.  

I didn’t know about saying “ten one, ten two,” for 11, 12, etc, but I think it would have helped him.  

Just in case this would help!  He had issues with going over 10, too.  

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I could be short changing her abilities by focusing too much on her weaknesses... I just gave her the Beast Academy level 2 placement test and I was impressed at her ability to reason out how to solve the word problems, and by using a number line that she drew herself got only 1 question incorrect (and they allow up to 4 incorrect to place into the book). I only read the questions for her.

She was quite motivated since I allowed her to do that instead of her afternoon chore, but maybe I stay the course for this year, keep working with Ronit bird and the other suggestions here and allow her to go into Beast 2 next year with her brother...is that too big of an issue to have her working with him? 

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I do not know about math issues other than some that can go with dyslexia.  My son had trouble with rote math facts, learning numbers into teens, and long division.  These are ones that can go with dyslexia for sure.  

He started 1st grade not able to count to 20 because he would make a mistake in his counting in the teens.  

Other than those things, he’s a very solid math student.  He is in regular math in 8th grade and just got an award at their award ceremony.  They had an award for 10 kids from regular math and 3 from advanced math.  

So anyway — I think it sounds like she can keep moving forward if you also keep working on weaker areas.  

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Some links about math and dyslexia:

http://www.dyslexia.yale.edu/resources/educators/instruction/math-introduction/

http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/professionals/dyslexia-school/mathematics

I am going to add with math facts..... I see posts on here about kids picking up math facts quickly and I don’t think that is a realistic expectation.  I think working on math facts is very important, though.  But maybe over years.  I think Mastery is tricky also, I think it’s pretty normal for kids to learn and forget math facts a few times and just increase their ability each time they go through.  

Also to be encouraging, multiplication seems like it’s easier to learn because it follows more of a pattern.  

Also I do go by Reflex Math which recommends starting kids on multiplication at a certain point (I think in 3rd grade) even if they haven’t mastered add/subtract, so they won’t be held back when they get into fractions.  

My daughter is very neurotypical and right now in 4th grade I know she is very solid on multiplication facts, decent on division, but she has “forgotten” (she has to think a second) some add/sung facts.  I am going to work with her over the summer on it for sure.

But I would have panicked over this with my oldest and now I think it’s more something I expect, that it’s likely math facts are going to stay in the mix through 6th grade, not something “one and done” in a low grade even though it seems like that is expected.  

But I do think practicing in some way is important, and reviewing, etc.  

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I think also some of the visualizations to go with add/subt facts, my daughter did not get very solid at a young age.  But it clicks with her more and more as she gets older, her number sense gets better.  I do think it’s just a process and not like “oh no this is supposed to be a 1st or 2nd grade skill.”  

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Yup, that's what I figured. The progression is a lot more clear with the ebooks honestly. It might be holding you back. You could look through Dots, see if you've nailed that content (facts within 10, being able to add and subtract them) and then move on to the c-rods ebook. Also I really like the Positive/Negative Turnovers game from her free ebook.

Also, have you had psych evals yet? It sounds like not. If what I described doesn't take care of it, you really need to see about making some psych evals happen. You may need more detailed feedback to figure out what is going on. There are some materials, like Touch Math, that aren't so typical but would fit certain situations. You may need more data to sort that out.

Edited by PeterPan

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This is just an aside, but I remember I am sure my son had a number line taped to his desk and his math folder all through 2nd grade.  

I know some kids do move on from the number line earlier, but I don’t think it’s a problem to still use it.  

I’m not saying not to be concerned, and I definitely think it’s good to work on things, but I do think..... I know my son doesn’t have dyscalculia.  He did have horrible time with math facts and numbers in teens, though.  

It sounds like you see some really strong things with your daughter.  I think it’s just — it doesn’t make the weak areas go away or not need to be addressed, but it’s way too young to feel anything like she might not be good at math.  

There is this assumption that computation should be easier than word problems, and it’s just not necessarily the case.

There’s also this assumption that if you just do a small amount of work on computation should be all that is needed, that is not necessarily the case.  

Its a big theme with dyslexia that “easy” skills can be a lot harder, and then “harder” skills are easier.  

People can be really nonchalant or dismissive of things like practicing.... oh, kids should just pick it up along the way.... it is great for kids where that is their experience, but it doesn’t mean it’s a sign of poor math ability to have to work a lot more with “low level” skills.

But if you are looking into dyscalculia and seeing things, I definitely am not discouraging that.  But sharing my experience.  

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I would never recommend Right Start for a child who has difficulty with working memory.  I LOVE the program, and I used it through level C with my oldest, and I really think it does a great job.  I love the counting system.  But I don't think it excels on teaching the bridging past ten skill, and it really pushes mental math, in a way that is impossible without really at LEAST average working memory.  Honestly, I struggled with holding the numbers in my head and doing the algorithms for adding two multi digit numbers in my head in the first grade program.  I could do the mental math part fine, but I couldn't hold the numbers in my head without real effort.  I really didn't get past A with my younger daughter with working memory issues.  I think Math U See would be a better bet, if she is adamant about not using Ronit Bird.  There was no way on God's green earth she was going to be successful.

Edited by Terabith

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8 hours ago, Terabith said:

I would never recommend Right Start for a child who has difficulty with working memory.  I LOVE the program, and I used it through level C with my oldest, and I really think it does a great job.  I love the counting system.  But I don't think it excels on teaching the bridging past ten skill, and it really pushes mental math, in a way that is impossible without really at LEAST average working memory.  Honestly, I struggled with holding the numbers in my head and doing the algorithms for adding two multi digit numbers in my head in the first grade program.  I could do the mental math part fine, but I couldn't hold the numbers in my head without real effort.  I really didn't get past A with my younger daughter with working memory issues.  I think Math U See would be a better bet, if she is adamant about not using Ronit Bird.  There was no way on God's green earth she was going to be successful.

That's great to know, thanks, I had talked myself out of right start last night again and this helps me know I made the right decision.

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13 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Yup, that's what I figured. The progression is a lot more clear with the ebooks honestly. It might be holding you back. You could look through Dots, see if you've nailed that content (facts within 10, being able to add and subtract them) and then move on to the c-rods ebook. Also I really like the Positive/Negative Turnovers game from her free ebook.

Also, have you had psych evals yet? It sounds like not. If what I described doesn't take care of it, you really need to see about making some psych evals happen. You may need more detailed feedback to figure out what is going on. There are some materials, like Touch Math, that aren't so typical but would fit certain situations. You may need more data to sort that out.

I haven't done psych evals yet because we've been rather focused on our son over the last year, with the exception of her reading issues. 

I'll take a look at the ebooks, double down on the ronit bird stuff and see how we progress over the next few weeks and see if we can get over this hump. 

after looking through the samples available of beast, there's no way I can expect her to go into that without an ability to work with 2-digit numbers, so I may just ditch that idea for next year altogether. But my first priority is to at least move forward where we are now and then I can make a decision about next year. 

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Some of the games in the c-rods book are really simple but good. The material overlaps with the printed books, but I think you might find the lessons develop more naturally and flow and hence click better. Also, my ds really stalled out in c-rods for a while. How old is this dc? Again, you need the correct diagnoses, some IQ testing, the whole picture. I'm just gonna say that for my ds (gifted IQ, ASD2, SLDs in reading, writing math) that hump was MUCH harder than you would expect. It was so hard that what we tended to do was cycle and do other things. Like we'd do a lesson in c-rods and repeat the game for 3-4 weeks to proficiency. Then we'd go do some worksheets that were lots of real life stuff like measuring desks, how many strides across the room if you take big strides or little strides, how big the object is if you measure it with marshmallows, that kind of thing. We did money and time games too. So whatever we did with number sense in RB we then APPLIED to other areas. That's how we cycled. 

I think the lack of click in my ds was because of developmental readiness. You cannot get to click what is not ready to click. It was appropriate to generalize the skill to other settings and it was not wasting time. Around then we also began fractions, because again we were side-stepping what was NOT working to do other math that COULD work. We began playing a simple form of fraction war (turn over two cards, pick which number shows how many parts in the whole and pick which number shows how many of those parts you have, now find that fraction on a RightStart fractions puzzle/chart *which you can make or buy but I highly recommend*) and then compare with Mom's. We did that every day for MONTHS. That was because he was stalled in c-rods, kwim? And he could understand after a while the comparisons and then I started asking questions about what if your 1/2 were made with my quarters, moving the pieces in the puzzle around to change the units, etc. 

So the dark dirty secret? My ds JUST learned 4 digit addition this year. He's technically 4th grade by age and 10. He's the bomb at it now and can do like 6 digits, 8 digits, anything you want, lol. He can do the mental math (anything with two digits), but it's going to be slower. We didn't do any of the typical printed curriculum ramping up. We just kept revisiting to see if it was ready to click, and when the concept of the trades had formed in his mind I brought in some nice Lakeshore Learning hands-on kits. We did 2 problems a day mentally (42+17, etc.) and 2 problems a day that were longer. That was it. When we finished the kit, going slowly like that, he was fine. We also did the subtraction kit. Actually I can't remember if we finished the subtraction kit or not. We took a cruise and my brain is somewhere else, maybe in Grand Cayman snorkeling or something, lol.

So I don't consider it a sign of failure if you're not making breakthroughs. What you'd like is some information to know WHY. You'd like to know if there's a developmental piece or some effect of IQ or maybe something else. Then you'd know ok we're going to chill about timetable (if it's developmental) or maybe bring in some alternative, much higher repetition materials (if the IQ is affected). I just like information. I get that you're busy, but if there's money to push this forward and access to quality evals, they might impact your teaching at this point. 

I agree with the others about RS btw. Totally not adequate for this situation. Ronit Bird is still your best bet. I am hoping that getting the more clear progression of the concepts via the ebooks will make it easier to see what the issue is. I pretty much taught each lesson to mastery and parked if a concept was not clicking. But that's where sometimes it was just wow, this is not coming together and I know it's not me. 

What you might do is pick your person and get on waiting lists for evals. Sometimes they're 6-9 months wait. Is there any question about development here? Any other oddities? If there is not funding for private evals, you also have the ps option. They really just vary by the school as to how well they're done. The schools will be swamped right now, but you have the legal right to make the written request and get it going, sure. If your option is ps evals or nothing, I would definitely proceed with the ps evals. Sometimes they don't even do a full IQ but do shorter tools, so it's not like something that precludes doing private evals later. And you have some legal protections with the timeline that would make the evals happen expeditiously.

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https://www.carsondellosa.com/0742428915-eb--using-the-standards-measurement-workbook-grade-1-ebook-0742428915-eb/  Here's a book in that series I was telling you about. It's the Using the Standards series, and I used all the books (geometry, measurement, etc.) for several grades. We haven't bought more in a while, but only because we've been busy with other things. I REALLY like these. This is grade 1, but just see what you think. My ds is a doer, so anything that involves hands-on investigation is really great for him. I was also trying to sneak in reading. It's a real bugaboo, whether they understand the language of math and whether they can read their math. So I was starting on the easy side because I was requiring him to READ everything on the page. You don't have to, but I'm just saying I was. I also did other kinds of worksheets (daily word problems, etc.), same gig. Some of them will have multiple choice (daily math warm-ups, that kind of thing) and for any with blanks I scribed.

 

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Have you considered Miquon? It sounds like you have several options already around the house if you need to fill in or pinch hit with side lessons, so it would be pretty low risk. Miquon is both flexible and inexpensive. It uses c-rods, so if you are using them for RB, then you have more ways to use them.

Miquon doesn't require a lot of handwriting or working memory. Depending how you use it, and if she "gets" it, she might be able to do some of the activities multiple times for review or as independent review. It's not wordy, though there are supporting teacher materials. There should be some (old) threads around the boards about Miquon and about Miquon paired with Education Unboxed activities (videos for parents, then parents teach the kids, uses c-rods).

You can use it in the order printed, or you can use it topically--there are charts in the back that tell you what is in each book. They have letters for each topic, and then the sheets have a number after the letter to show progressively harder stuff. 

I did a lot of topic-switching with both of my kids when they would hit walls, and it was really beneficial. We would cycle, like Peter Pan said, though we were fortunate to be able to do that cycling within pre-made curriculum.

MUS Primer is topical, and it's made so that you can teach the topics in most any order. I used it for my younger son before we did Miquon. Then, we used regular c-rods with some MUS methods when we decided to not continue MUS. But we really, really loved Primer. I don't know for sure where you are (probably all over the map!)--I don't mean to imply that Primer is where you need to start. She might be past all that, or need only a topic or two. 

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7 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I think the lack of click in my ds was because of developmental readiness. You cannot get to click what is not ready to click.

This, a million times this! Trying to rush things just frustrates everyone. Rather than be annoyed that someone *should* be somewhere, I try to focus on matching the instruction to the student. That's easier said than done, of course, but sometimes I need to give myself a reality check. It helps to put things into perspective.

Mental math is tough. And I would say it's not for everyone. I can do mental math now, as an adult, but I definitely couldn't do it as a child. If your DD is successful with a number line, I would go with that for now. Bridging past 10 mentally is really challenging. I know "math these days" is all about finding solutions to problems by making groups of ten, etc. (like 8+5 is the same as 8+2 = 10, plus 3 more), but that's not the be-all end-all of math. Counting on fingers is shown to be beneficial to children's math development, and numberlines are just fine. 

Do you have base-10 blocks? Can your DD build 2-digit numbers with blocks? If she can build with them, then she can use them to add/subtract. I think it would be worth giving it a try. 🙂 

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“Learning happens when students are engaged and successful.” 

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On February 16, 2019 at 5:30 PM, Mainer said:

Bridging past 10 mentally is really challenging.

RB has some cute games for this. I think we had a Race to 100 game where we'd try to fill in the board rolling dice doctored only to show 1-3. We had games she called filling the bus, like a british double decker bus, but I called it Monkey Math and cut the frame out of cute monkey print foam. We had another we did with 100 grids (cheap on Rainbow Resource) where you'd roll, place a penny, roll again, and jump to add. So that bridging idea came through the games, very quietly.

If you get on RB's FB page, she shows pictures of the manips she uses, and then you can ask her where she got them or what they're called. She uses ante poker cards, a ruler that has a slot for cuisinaire rods, all kinds of cool things.

Edited by PeterPan

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On 2/16/2019 at 5:30 PM, Mainer said:

Do you have base-10 blocks? Can your DD build 2-digit numbers with blocks? If she can build with them, then she can use them to add/subtract. I think it would be worth giving it a try.

I do have base-10 blocks but I haven't pulled them out in a while, I should do that and see how that works for her.

 

14 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Race to 100 game where we'd try to fill in the board rolling dice doctored only to show 1-3. We had games she called filling the bus, like a british double decker bus, but I called it Monkey Math and cut the frame out of cute monkey print foam. We had another we did with 100 grids (cheap on Rainbow Resource) where you'd roll, place a penny, roll again, and jump to add. So that bridging idea came through the games, very quietly.

 

We've done all of these games, and they are taxing for her. I thought they were brilliant, but the last time I tried playing race to 100 she began crying after the second dice roll because she was convinced she wouldn't win the race and hated playing all games and never wanted to play another game in her life; which was ironic when I found her playing kids monopoly with her sister later...

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3 hours ago, mamashark said:

I do have base-10 blocks but I haven't pulled them out in a while, I should do that and see how that works for her.

 

We've done all of these games, and they are taxing for her. I thought they were brilliant, but the last time I tried playing race to 100 she began crying after the second dice roll because she was convinced she wouldn't win the race and hated playing all games and never wanted to play another game in her life; which was ironic when I found her playing kids monopoly with her sister later...

What's the difference in the skills for the two games? It sounds like the game was too hard for her and she wasn't ready. With kid monopoly, are the numbers lower or the supports higher? I think it's basically addition within single digits, yes? 

I would definitely want that IQ and working memory, also processing speed...

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