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I don't know if this goes her or on the AL board, honestly. I'm so confused and frustrated, and did not think I would have math struggles with my kids, given that I have a PhD in math and routinely teach graduate level courses for in-service teachers.... lol.

Dd8 used to like math and do well at it, it seemed. Sure, there were a few hiccups, like the fact that I often had to translate problems for her (so 12 / 3 would get blank stares, but she could do it if I said we had 12 cookies to divide between 3 kids), her inability to remember ANY math facts, and a complete inability to follow the long division or subtracting with borrowing procedures, despite understanding the concepts relatively well (it seemed). But I chalked it up to the fact that she was young and immature, despite being bright. She finished Singapore 2B around age 5.5, but we held off starting anything else for a while because I wanted to give her time to mature and memorize some math facts. We played math, cooked, read life of fred, skip counted, played with C-rods and base 10 blocks, etc. She watched her brother doing BA and asked for that around age 6.5-7ish, so I got her 2A to start on, and she loved it for about a week, and then she hated it.

Now she's 8 and on grade level in Singapore and a year behind in BA (I know it's hard, so I'm ok with that), and I feel like we've completely stalled out and I get frustrated or blank stares in response to almost any teaching I do. After 2.5 years of practicing, she still struggles with math facts (though through Xtramath she has most of the addition ones down at this point, but she still lacks the others), subtraction with borrowing, and long division. She can't convert anything, ever -- no matter how many times we discuss the fact that 1 yd = 3 ft, and no matter how many examples I do with her, she can't figure out how many ft are in 4 yd 2ft (for example), unless I specifically walk her through "multiply 4 yd by 3 ft/yd, since there are 3 ft in each yd, so it's really 4 groups of 3... Now add the extra 2 ft at the end." Today I asked her (near the end of the lesson, so it's not like we weren't warmed up) what 200 yd would be in ft and her answers varied from 1000 (Daddy said 1000 ft in a yd yesterday! No... he said 1000 m in a km, I corrected...) to 350 to 8. 😞  We walked through it together, incrementally, and I reminded her that we're just multiplying by 3 several times before she was able to get it. But I hated my own teaching at that point, because I completely recognize that I'm only teaching procedurally at that point, and she still has no understanding of the actual concept of conversions that being taught. 

I used to think she had good number sense, since she was ok with turning things into story problems (the 12 cookies split between 3 kids example). She's grown up with lots of manipulatives, no pressure (she only was advanced previously because she *wanted* to do math every day), and tons of number sense games (dragonbox has been a favorite here since they were toddlers).

She is diagnosed as autistic and profoundly dyslexic (we had two separate evaluations done, with the last one just 2-3 months ago, because I was concerned that the initial evaluation was inaccurate and maybe she wasn't actually dyslexic), and I know that can lead to some of the issues with math facts and procedural learning. What's less clear to me is where I go from here, and if I need to have her evaluated further (which would be a real stretch at this point, because we just moved to a super rural area), or what I would even do if she did have dyscalculia. We love Singapore, BA, and AoPS in our home. I have NO idea what to do with a kid who seems smart enough to understand the concepts she's learning (high IQ and super high processing speed) but doesn't actually understand them. And there's just so much in life that's hard for her right now (reading, having moved, etc.). I've heard of folks switching to different curriculum to help. I just don't really understand what's going on with her or what to do help. Do I just need to adjust my expectations and give her more time to mature? (my gut says no and it will only stagnate...) Work harder? (not sure we can, our math lessons are so frustrating with me explaining the exact same thing 9 different ways and her still not getting it... or repeating the same explanation over and over again and her still not getting it.... )  

She can't tell me why it doesn't make sense. I limp her through a problem, ask if she understands, and she chirps, "Nope!" and then can't do the next problem... I've read about dyscalculia, but it's still just not clear to me how to make any sense of what I'm reading or how to evaluate her number sense (especially because I find so few people IRL actually have a clue about 2E kids). I feel like we're repeating the same crash and burn scenario as we did in reading with math now, and I have no idea how to get off this ride: accelerated & bright & enjoys it -> slowing progress -> starting to lag -> falling behind-> not understanding most of what is taught.

Can anyone offer any insight or suggestions? I really have no idea what to do, and I wanted to stab myself in the eye with a pencil this morning as we were trying to get through a page of math together. 

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Well... I too have wanted to stab myself in the eye with a pencil numerous times this week!

I don't know about accelerated side of things, but from a learning disabilities side, I would say to back up to what she feels REALLY comfortable doing. No matter how far behind "grade level" that is, go back there and do some review. You will both feel better to do something she has mastered. 

Then you have to make a plan. I find all curriculums/workbooks frustrating, because the teaching sequence never makes sense to me, or just doesn't fit with my students' needs. The progression is inflexible, because they review previously taught concepts, so you're locked in to learning ALL of it, even if some topics seem like overkill for your student. You can go to the common core website and look up the standards for her grade. Make a list, and then make a plan.

You can do grade-level standards with easier numbers, so her number sense can shine and her math facts won't slow her down as much. For example, with my 5th graders, we're going 1 times 3 digit multiplication, but I have a lot of 5s, 2s, and 1s in there. So rather than doing 486 x 9, we're doing 521 x 3. They learn the concept and procedure, but don't get dragged down by looking up every single fact. We are constantly reviewing, so I just up the difficulty slowly when I think they're ready. (Sometimes they're not, and I find out soon enough, and have to back off for a while.)

The converting of yards to feet sounds really taxing from a working memory standpoint. Does your DD have any working memory difficulties?

If you must do yards to feet, could you make a really long line of masking tape along a carpet, for example, then figure out the yards and feet, physically? Your DD could draw colored marks for each yard, and then segment each yard into feet.

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42 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

12 cookies to divide between 3 kids

She can visualize.

42 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

her answers varied from 1000 (Daddy said 1000 ft in a yd yesterday! No... he said 1000 m in a km, I corrected...) to 350 to 8.

no/limited sense of quantity

43 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

because she *wanted* to do math every day

math gifted

43 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

as we did in reading with math now

So yes, you're going to do the same thing. Assume the disability and the gift at the same time and teach to both, even though they're contradictory.

So with my ds that means doing things with a higher grade level that he can visualize, while doing simpler, more foundational steps using Ronit Bird. Do you do any geometry with her? Probability? And are you working concepts multiple ways? My ds has gotten good mileage on measuring and real world sense using the Spotlight math series from (name slips my mind, probably Carson Dellosa). We're liking Tang Math right now for fact work, because he's kinda whitty. And I use a Daily Word Problems workbook to get grade leveled, drip drip word problem solving.

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8 minutes ago, Mainer said:

The converting of yards to feet sounds really taxing from a working memory standpoint. Does your DD have any working memory difficulties?

Yeah that and being at the end of the lesson she was probably tired.

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That kind of problem gets really hard when you don’t just “know” 4x3=12.  It makes it be even more steps than it seems to be, at face value.

I think in general — you like advanced/rigorous math problems.  They aren’t ones for drilling.  

Maybe look at spending more time drilling the little pieces so that it will ease the burden on working memory.

I think this is the same for subtracting — it becomes much harder when subtraction facts aren’t memorized.

I think in theory — kids can learn everything at once, and come at things at all directions, so they can be working on subtracting with borrowing and working on subtraction facts at the same time...... but this can be too much to do all at once.  

And her placement probably is off if you aren’t making any headway.

But you can still do conceptual things with her too, but maybe not at her working level.  

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Also it doesn’t sound like she’s really trying.  This can be because it’s way too hard.  You might go even lower than needed so she can build up her confidence.  And then go slow because she will retain a memory of it being too hard for — probably a year.  

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I don't mean to sound short..... I have a son whose turning 11 in November and is half-way through Saxon Intermediate 3.  Some things are finally really clicking for him!  That is the good news.  

The bad news is -- he spent ages and ages on earlier levels.

I also don't know how much this is an issue with autism, but besides working memory, another common problem can be the language of mathematics.  More and less, greater than and less than, can be confusing -- all those words can be confusing.  It can really add work to go over things like that.  

If you want to try placement tests and a curriculum, ones that get mentioned here are Math-U-See, CLE, and Saxon.  Off the top of my head.  You might need to pause and/or bring more in if you get stuck anywhere in a curriculum.  

Or, you can build your own curriculum with different topics and using manipulatives, looking at books by Ronit Bird etc.

You can google or look on Pinterest, for ideas, for any math topic.  

Just knowing how things go -- I'm assuming you drug her through more than trying for more "let's ask a leading question" because -- that doesn't go well.  

But at a certain point, if you start saying things like "so how many feet are in a yard?" and she has a deer-in-the-headlights look at that point -- it's not going to get any better to continue through the problem.  

You might need to start with just one conversion..... like ONLY do inches and feet until she can do inches and feet.  Or -- maybe you are only doing feet and yards.  

But you might be too far to start at this kind of problem.  

Or maybe you can if you lead her through doing it with a ruler and yard stick.  If she doesn't understand what to do to figure it out with a ruler and yard stick, she probably needs to go back to basics with measuring and looking at a ruler and a yard stick, instead of already trying to use that information to do a more advanced problem, that does assume she already has a grasp of the more basic information.

And again -- it can be assumed, you can do all that at the same time, and for many kids it will work out that way, but if she's showing that's too much at once, then go back to the lower level and get it better, before adding to it.  

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1 hour ago, Mainer said:

The converting of yards to feet sounds really taxing from a working memory standpoint. Does your DD have any working memory difficulties?

If you must do yards to feet, could you make a really long line of masking tape along a carpet, for example, then figure out the yards and feet, physically? Your DD could draw colored marks for each yard, and then segment each yard into feet.

 

So I'm clearly not in the know, here, because her working memory scores were a good 3 standard deviations from most of her other scores when we tested -- but I don't see why conversions tax working memory? (I realize I'm showcasing my ignorance here.)

We've been letting her do her ft/yd conversions with a really long tape measure, but I feel like the *idea* isn't really sinking in, despite her figuring out the answers. And I'm torn in that place of feeling like she's lazy/not trying/ etc. (all those dumb things I know I shouldn't think of a kid who's struggling, because I *know* that kids do well when they can.) and  honestly wondering if I'm just expecting too much maybe because I've been conditioned like that with my son. He's math gifted and autistic, too, but only mildly dyslexic, and for him things progressed more like: Here's how you multiply by 2's... a few examples... ten minutes of doubling later, he says, "I've got it! I can multiply! Ask me anything!" and I said, "Anything with 2?" and he responded, "No, anything!" So I asked him 13x7, and he thought for 30 seconds and then answered correctly. Conversions were the same: It only took him about 2 minutes to go from hearing that 12 in = 1 ft to being able to convert 88 in to ft and in combined and back.  I'm trying hard to not compare them, but he's the only other kid who's already been through this, so I think I do it without meaning to (my other two are younger PreK / Kinder still). 

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I think you know you know better.

What would you say to somebody else who complained about a student still being at the concrete level instead of at the representational level or the abstract level?  

 

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Yes, plan on going over it 1,000 times.  

Also plan on explicitly linking the concrete level to the representational level 1,000 times, and hoping for some glimmer of the connection.

And then if there's a connection once, don't think it means "she's got it now," expect to re-do that same concrete-to-representational connection another 10-20 times.  Or maybe mix it up with some other ways to demonstrate that 😉 

It really is a fun math level!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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For working memory -- I assume you mean it's a lower score.

Okay, what this means is it's hard to carry out a sequence of steps, because they get forgotten.  

This means a multi-step problem is very hard.

Separately -- when steps within a multi-step problem are not automatic/fluent, then that ADDS MORE STEPS.

The conversion you are asking her to do is the kind of thing that is going to be a good challenge for kids who are learning or mastering their *multiplication facts* to some extent, because either you are multiplying 3x4 (and recognizing a need to multiply lol) or you are already getting bogged down with adding 3+3+3+3 as FOUR SEPARATE STEPS.  

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So to some extent for working memory -- you have to nail down the individual steps, instead of assuming "well we can work on these things all at the same time."  Because -- the working memory is not there to work on it all at the same time.  

It is like having a smaller basket.  

But the way to make it better is to get things automatic, and then that reduces working memory load.  

That is all just how I think of it!  

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2 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

I don't see why conversions tax working memory?

Working memory is mental RAM, the scratch pad for deeper learning and for heavy processing. So if you have low working memory AND low processing speed, everything bogs down. Raise either one and things work a little better. Alas, processing speed is rather fixed (improving slightly with meds and metronome work), so it's more common to raise working memory.

There are ways to compensate for poor working memory, like using a whiteboard as external RAM.

4 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

I feel like the *idea* isn't really sinking in

Oh it probably isn't. Remember in autism we need things to generalize. So if she memorizes it in one place, one way, then she has it there. You need her to DISCOVER it in LOTS of places, so it's like oh that's true EVERYWHERE. 

Those Spotlight worksheets had conversions for unusual/unique measuring systems. So they'd measure with hands, with pencils, with all sorts of things, then convert and do things. 

If you can take the math concept and take it from measuring to money to time to thermometers to kitchen to blah blah, that can help too, kwim? That's generalizing, where the concept connects to lots of things and becomes true everywhere.

8 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

And I'm torn in that place of feeling like she's lazy/not trying/ etc.

I'm with you that I would be EXCEPTIONALLY cautious about ascribing motive here. What does she have to gain by not giving an answer? Offer her a popsicle or a recharge. Ask her if she's tired and needs to be refreshed before she's ready to work again?

It is FUN for someone of that obviously high IQ to do math with you, so long as you keep it fun. And since she was having fun, there's no reason to stop having fun and stop participating unless it got too hard or she physically has a problem.

Maybe what you'd rather do is work on self-advocating. Put out a list of options (I'm tired, I'm bored, it's too hard, I'm hungry, I want a break) and let her point to an option. The self-advocating is way more important than the math.

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7 minutes ago, Lecka said:

t really is a fun math level

Not necessarily. The materials are a little less romantic and wow and the stakes start to feel higher. I get where she's saying when she's like ok, this should just be working. I'm finding it a very crunchy stage, where it's easy to have instructional misses, steps that are too big. 

But I agree she SHOULD focus on having fun, yes. Fun improves learning, gets the chemistry going, and will fit with her giftedness. I'd encourage her to set aside the BA and SM, as they don't seem to be helping her make the next step. If they do, that's fine, but there's a lot more out there. Or maybe figure out what she did that got addition clicking, reclaim that for multiplication, and then go forward. Like figure out what WAS working and get back there. She may have shifted methodology and not realized it.

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What happens also ------ is if something is too hard, the child just doesn't benefit.

There's a few reasons.  Let's say she's bogged down adding 3+3+3+3.  She gets to 3, hhmmm, haa, hmmm, gets to 9, hmmmm, okay it's 12.  At this point she has forgotten what she was doing and why as far as ----- making a connection to "here's what we do to convert between feet and yards."  That is just gone.  It's totally gone.  

Second, things have to be a little easy for there to be that process of "here are the steps I'm doing and how they connect."  If you are just doing the steps, and that is taking up all the energy and attention, that other process just is not happening.  It's just not happening.  

Third, it's demoralizing and can develop a really passive "mom will tell me what to do next" mentality.  Ask me how I know this.  

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I am also seeing with my son, a connection between his ability to use language like "first, then, next" and his ability to talk through a sequence of steps.  So I think there is that, too. He was delayed in being able to use that language, and that is supposed to be K/1st language, but that is language that can be delayed with autism.  

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I do think she probably still is good at math.  It can show up later!  Some things show up more at an early stage as problems, but it doesn't mean that, once those picky things are learned, the "good at math" part won't come out more and more with age.

Or she can still show that side of her with conceptual math or activities.  

But if she is going to have to do some basic things slowly -- I think it is what it is.  It is not a referendum on her math ability, though!  

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I think since you are aware of ascribing a negative motive, then -- you are aware.  So you probably aren't doing it that badly!  Because you are aware of those feelings and know you don't want to be that way.

That can come up when you are not working on a good level.  

It can also come up if you need to add in more motivation.  Think how you would want a paid tutor to act, or a teacher you have seen who was very patient and encouraging.  It is okay to do those things, even if it is a change in mentality.  

Because part of it is -- admitting she may need to go down in level.  That is not easy to do.  But hopefully it is better if you see her be able to do better and then hopefully it will go more easily, too.  

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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

What happens also ------ is if something is too hard, the child just doesn't benefit.

There's a few reasons.  Let's say she's bogged down adding 3+3+3+3.  She gets to 3, hhmmm, haa, hmmm, gets to 9, hmmmm, okay it's 12.  At this point she has forgotten what she was doing and why as far as ----- making a connection to "here's what we do to convert between feet and yards."  That is just gone.  It's totally gone.  

Second, things have to be a little easy for there to be that process of "here are the steps I'm doing and how they connect."  If you are just doing the steps, and that is taking up all the energy and attention, that other process just is not happening.  It's just not happening.  

Third, it's demoralizing and can develop a really passive "mom will tell me what to do next" mentality.  Ask me how I know this.  

 

Yikes. This is her in a nutshell. Skip counting is still adding - not automatic at all. And DH thinks she's definitely trying to get me to just lead her to the answer so she doesn't have to do it all herself. 

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4 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

Skip counting

Have you looked at ronit bird? She teaches multiplication as scaling. Teaching skip counting is making it a language exercise.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

But I agree she SHOULD focus on having fun, yes. Fun improves learning, gets the chemistry going, and will fit with her giftedness. I'd encourage her to set aside the BA and SM, as they don't seem to be helping her make the next step. If they do, that's fine, but there's a lot more out there. Or maybe figure out what she did that got addition clicking, reclaim that for multiplication, and then go forward. Like figure out what WAS working and get back there. She may have shifted methodology and not realized it.

Ok... So the addition facts got learned by sheer, dogged determination, I think, because she doesn't like XtraMath, but did it daily for almost a year straight. 

Other than CLE, Math-U-See, and Saxon, any others you'd recommend I start looking into? It's hard for me to wrap my brain around, but I recognize that MY learning style (teach it once, I'd rather scrub toilets than drill-n-kill, etc.) may just not work for her. It's difficult to not view other types of programs as slow/boring/tedious/etc.

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I think also in general -- if you are trying one concrete thing, and it's not clicking yet, you can think about providing more concrete experiences.  

Because maybe she needs to measure more things with a ruler and measure the same things with a yardstick, and compare her answers.  That would be another experience.  

Or maybe doing that and then going from there, to showing they are the same length with the really long tape measure.  

She might need to actually handle a yardstick more than she is able to do with a tape measure.  The yardstick won't change size, where the tape measure does.  A yardstick might be easier for her to manage.  It might be easier for her to line up a ruler along a yardstick.  

Etc. etc. etc.  

The long tape measure could be a later step or a good connection, but if she's not connecting with it yet, maybe there are more ways to provide a really hands-on experience.  

I think if you are seeing ------- hey, I'm using this manipulative, she seems to just be going through the motions ------- then you can look for alternative or additional manipulatives.  

Another thing you can do ----- start with measuring an item in yards and feet.  Figure out the lengths.  You have totally done it concretely.  *Then go from there to your end problem.*  You don't have to start from your end problem and work backwards.  

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Have you looked at ronit bird? She teaches multiplication as scaling. Teaching skip counting is making it a language exercise.

I haven't. I don't know that I've ever even heard of it before this thread. I *thought* I was set in my curriculum choices by now, since my kids are 10, 8, 6, and 4. lol. Thank goodness for the individualization of homeschooling! lol. Though DH is of the mind to just suck it up and push her through, since it works for actual schools... (I make the case that it *doesn't* actually...)

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1 minute ago, 4KookieKids said:

addition facts got learned

Here's the thing. At this point, she may have just memorized them as language. I don't know. I'm just saying she's bright enough to memorize massive amounts of data without understanding.

Just for a whim, you might run her through Ronit Bird's Dots ebook and see what happens. It's under $10 and she should fly through it without glitches. Then get her multiplication ebook. If both those are easy, she has printed books, tons of other stuff, free games.

Connecting with them right where they are is actually very interesting. I don't find it tedious. Now do I kind of get IMPATIENT? Yeah, lol. But the way good materials make my ds THINK is actually interesting to see. I tell myself to EMBRACE THE PACE. It's my whole mantra.

Yeah, I'd be pretty concerned about memorizing vs. visualizing, memorizing vs. being able to subitize and manipulate quantities in her mind. Subitization is where it's at.

My ds was able to do more advanced things very easily. Have you done negative numbers with her yet? Written equations? Explored parenthetical notation? Ronit Bird has a game in her free Games ebook where you could do all that just writing equations for the plays. It's very, very fun. So my ds is going to be crunchy on 10X30, but he's really good at negative numbers and parenthetical notation. It's kinda crazy. Easy stuff might be hard and the hard easy.

Right now, I've got these kind of push button math machines from Lakeshore Learning that I'm letting him explore concepts with. I have him use them for his word problem pages, trying to see if he can figure out the patterns.

 

 

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Reflex Math was not a total solution here, at all, but it does have "adaptive learning" where it will start kids with a fewer number of problems at a time and give more review.  This helped my younger son A LOT.  SO MUCH.  

But then he still wasn't totally connecting a lot of early math concepts, so it wasn't that he could only do it.  But it helped.  It helped a lot early on in the "I will shoot myself" phase for me.  Lol.  

It's much preferred by my kids compared to Extra Math.  

It's worth a shot anyway -- to see if a different "memorize math facts" system would be a partial piece of the puzzle.  

I really think one-on-one with flashcards is best, and that is what I am doing now with both my younger kids.  I know what they are doing and I know how much new I add for them at a time, how much I practice with an individual number before shuffling into the big pile, etc.  That is the same principle as used by Reflex Math.  I can link to an explanation for it.

But this is all like -- only the "math facts" part.  It won't be the whole solution.  It will just be the math facts part.  But it will probably help a lot anyway!  

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I am a big believer in the idea that for math, you learn one side of a thing, then you learn another side of a thing, then you learn them together.  

So I don't think it matters if you learn a certain side first and a certain side second.  Whatever is accessible.  And then whatever side is learned, it will help with the other side.  

So this means -- even if she has just memorized some addition facts and it's a little -- not so meaningful ------ sure, that's not ideal, but it can still really support her in her other math learning and in making the connections that you really want her to make.  

This my summary of a "procedural, fluency, conceptual -- and how they fit together" website I read.  Which did basically say -- they are all good, they develop with each other, and they support each other.  

Edit:  I'm not saying "oh you should focus heavily on math facts."  It's not that so much as -- you probably are going to have to see a role that math facts are playing and consider that role.  

Edited by Lecka
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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Here's the thing. At this point, she may have just memorized them as language. I don't know. I'm just saying she's bright enough to memorize massive amounts of data without understanding.

 

Ha ha. It's true. Last year, she "read" the first 10 pages of Tuesdays at the Castle to me (small print, lots of words per page!) very convincingly -- until I realized she's actually just memorized the entire first 10 pages, word for word. I called her on it (in a joking way), and she just sheepishly admitted to having memorized it. I told her it was nothing to be embarrassed about, and it's totally a good thing! She also picks up accents very quickly (we just moved to eastern KY and she's got quite a drawl already). lol. 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leitner_system

Okay -- this is a method for memorizing and reviewing.  My understanding is that this is a good system for math facts.  It's the direction I go in.

But it's not like I am all or nothing and don't think that a lot of practice is needed as well.  It's just -- I definitely don't think that we can just blithely hope that he math facts will memorize themselves.  

It can be a real slog but also -- it can take just a couple minutes here and there.  

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14 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

DH is of the mind to just suck it up and push her through

Man-solving, hahaha. I mean seriously, um, yeah that sounds like a man solution. But you know better.

You know deep down that visualization, understanding, and mental manipulation of quantities are essential to her success going forward. You know that kids are individual and that just because SM/BA worked for your others doesn't mean it will work for her. And you're intuitive enough to know that slogging through a boring computation program (CLE, whatever) might not be the timely thing for her to work on the deeper issues of how she visualizes math. And you probably have an IQ score in front of you to know to SPIT on anyone who says she isn't bright. 

Here's the thing. I consider myself very Mama Bear protective of my ds in disability areas. I choose to believe that he is both GIFTED and DISABLED in the area at the same time (which can happen, because the dyscalculia is on one side of the brain and the conceptual manipulation is on the other, way far apart, not connected) and that if I nurture BOTH properly then whatever can happen is what will happen. And my ds consistently shows spurts of brightness that make me think I'm on the right path. He's creative in problem solving, showing his brightness, while struggling with number sense (his disability). It's ok to be both.

Furthermore, I've heard some stories back channel that would BLOW YOUR MIND. This thesis of math gifted with a math disability ABSOLUTELY is the case in kids. Say mine is just math bright. So math bright plus math disability, absolutely. 

Even a memorized seeming proficiency will be a liability to my ds, because it will not give him the skills he needs to understand a contract, know if a deal is good, etc. He has to have skills that work and he has to figure out for himself when to use his tools and when his sense is strong. I consider it a safety issue, kwim? To live even semi-independently, for instance in an "assisted decision making" set up, they still need some sense. It's a valuable thing to work on. I do not have to turn my ds into a walking calculator to keep him safe, but I DO have to work on number sense and realize how to check to see if it's reasonable. He doesn't need to be a human calculator, because he'll have tech for that. He does need to understand concepts well enough to use the tech to get the answer. And I want him to come out enjoying math and knowing the areas of math he's strong at.

Edited by PeterPan
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1 minute ago, 4KookieKids said:

Ha ha. It's true. Last year, she "read" the first 10 pages of Tuesdays at the Castle to me (small print, lots of words per page!) very convincingly -- until I realized she's actually just memorized the entire first 10 pages, word for word. I called her on it (in a joking way), and she just sheepishly admitted to having memorized it. I told her it was nothing to be embarrassed about, and it's totally a good thing! She also picks up accents very quickly (we just moved to eastern KY and she's got quite a drawl already). lol. 

 

To me, you want that to be a good tool for her, but it isn't going to take away going through other processes.  But hopefully it can be a strength to help her.  

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19 minutes ago, 4KookieKids said:

And DH thinks she's definitely trying to get me to just lead her to the answer so she doesn't have to do it all herself. 

 

Well I think this too to some extent, but I don't think that the solution is to push harder.  I think back up to where she can do it a lot more easily.  

I think too ------ because this is something I have thought ------- it's really easy to expect a concrete manipulative to be used in a certain way that is *actually a more abstract way of using a manipulative* where it's used to see or show something -------- but it's not really meant to really be handled.  

She may need to really handle things, and have manipulatives she really handles more than manipulative that she looks at or sees used for a demonstration that is to mentally lead her to seeing a connection.

And I think it's not that she won't do it that way too, but it may be a different use than what you are focusing on right now.  

Because what age have you taught?  

If you have been focused more on older than 3rd grade, it may not be the right side of manipulatives.

So I have felt like this -- like "but I DO use manipulatives" but I haven't been having them in a hands-on enough way, where the child is really doing something physical/active with the manipulative, versus doing something representative but with a manipulative (but maybe something where I could have also drawn it on a piece of paper, and the manipulative is nicer than that, but it's still not exactly "hands on" in the same way).  

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Have you done fractals with her? Geometry? Anything fun? 

Dice Activities for Mathematical Thinking - Didaxhttps://www.didax.com › dice-activities-for-mathematical-thinking  Here's something fun. I have it right here, and any child who can add can do a LOT of what is in this book. I'm flipping through it to see if I'm lying, but seriously I'm not, lol. 

http://www.ronitbird.com/ebooks/  This has her ebooks. I don't see the Games ebook (free), but go look for it. Play the positive/negative turnovers game and write equations, have fun with it for 3-4 weeks. Then she's ready to do everything in that book I linked. 

Didax makes a lot of other cool books too. They have a fractions tile book I started with ds last year that was TONS of fun.

There is so much positive math that speaks to her strengths. Figure out what that is and do that. There is zero reason why a kid of that ability shouldn't be doing summations and more complex things. (I speak as a fool.) 

Have you done graphing with her? The Spotlight series has workbooks with graphing. Graphing can be a HUGE problem with these kids, so start now and weave it in often, kwim? My ds will read a graph in the most totally funky inverse ways, lol.

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I also think to some extent -- your husband probably trusts/expects you to have her placed at the right level, and may not be thinking of that as an issue.  

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This is the series that I was calling Spotlight. Apparently it's "Using the Standards" oops. 

https://www.carsondellosa.com/074241812x-eb--using-the-standards-number-operations-workbook-grade-2-ebook-074241812x-eb/  this is numbers, but look for their books on measurement, geometry, etc. Great stuff, grade leveled, a very gentle progression, not hard to implement but still a little hands on and with discovery.

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https://www.carsondellosa.com/074242894x-eb--using-the-standards-measurement-resource-book-grade-4-ebook-074242894x-eb

https://www.carsondellosa.com/0742429954-eb--using-the-standards-data-analysis-probability-workbook-grade-5-ebook-0742429954-eb

These are available for all the grade levels. Carson Dellosa's site is a pain. Sometimes the whole title isn't listed on the page, so you might have to search a while to find all the components. Worth it they will be. :biggrin:

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There's something refreshing about being able to say well she can't multiply but she can do calculus. :biggrin:

Like seriously, you may need to bust out of the progression of things. Some of the skills will probably come eventually, and some of the concepts may come quite readily if you jump to them. 

So can she visualize calculus? Don't doubt her. Play with some more advanced things, try stuff. I mean, you've got all this in your head. Now that I teach ds, it's hard for me to imagine how I SLOGGED through 6+ years of traditional computation curriculum, when it's so easy to get off the beaten path and do other things.

And, fwiw, he actually learns pretty easily once he visualizes it and gets it. He's not like my dd. She was a total pain in the butt and couldn't memorize for anything. Facts took FOREVER. And him, way more disabilities, and facts are easy peasy. Once he actually knows what they mean and sees them in his mind, lol.

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18 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Okay -- this is a method for memorizing and reviewing.  My understanding is that this is a good system for math facts.  It's the direction I go in.

But it's not like I am all or nothing and don't think that a lot of practice is needed as well.  It's just -- I definitely don't think that we can just blithely hope that he math facts will memorize themselves.  

It can be a real slog but also -- it can take just a couple minutes here and there.  

 

I'm just going to add, I still need to do all those good things that people against memorizing do.  Doing things like this doesn't take that away.  But it makes it easier for him to have clicks with the good things.  

That's what I have seen and what I'm seeing.  

Like -- he still needs to know about "to add nine, add ten and then subtract one."  But that didn't start to click for him at all until he did have some of those memorized.  It was too much.  But then he still needs to develop that number sense and "composing and decomposing numbers."  It just does work together for him.

Because the truth is ------ it can go either way.  You could have a good understanding of "to add nine, add ten and then subtract one," but *still not have the math facts known fluently.*

You can also have them memorized but not have a good understanding of all those good "to add nine, add ten and then subtract one," composing and decomposing numbers, mental math, etc, all those good things.

But what we really ultimately want is for both of those things to be going pretty well, because that will make being able to do other math *so much more possible* because -- when this working memory stuff is built up, it will be there as a benefit.  

Edited by Lecka
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I think overall you will just have to try different things out or look at different things and see what is a good fit for her ------- but *definitely* she is not placed at a good level right now when you are leading her through like you are right now.  

Even if she *could* do it but it was more like -- she just still wants you to do the thinking for her ----------- then I would still think that starting easier would be a good idea.  It can build up her confidence and her sense that she CAN figure things out.  

You are also, in a way, training her to respond this way because you are leading her through whole problems.  It's something to consider.  

Since she is used to this -- you might have to go really game-like or really easy or really get used to waiting her out while saying some little encouraging things, if this has gotten to be a kind of habit for her.  But you have done things to contribute to this, so you will have to change, too.  Both of you will have to change.  But hopefully changes you make will lead to changes she makes.  

It can be very, very hard to get out of a dynamic where you are used to feeding her every step and she is used to being fed every step.  

I don't think it's easy to change and if it's hard for you to change then I think -- it is hard for everybody, there might be times you feed her an answer and then go "oh, darn, I should have waited or tried giving another hint or starting back from the beginning" etc.  I have had that happen a lot.  

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21 minutes ago, Lecka said:

You are also, in a way, training her to respond this way because you are leading her through whole problems.

I think this is really important. My dh does it too. He has a degree in engineering, knows a lot, and he just wants to see it happen. 

The end result is way less important than the process, and the active thinking and engagement is more important than what got done. You want to stop and get REAL ENGAGEMENT.

Do you feel close to her? Is it hard to get in her head? Do you know when you're really getting her to think? 

Autism is about walls, barriers, separation, and we're saying you have to pause, slow down, be in her head, see the wheels churning. That's where actually stimulating her with something that actually interests her (and is complex enough to interest her) can help. But maybe work on that pairing, just that connection. I just think it's easy to feel those barriers.

Whatever, that could be nothing. But really, don't talk at her. You've got to connect until you know she's thinking. That's why it's so interesting and not boring, because at that moment you'll be completely, honestly connected, engaged, exactly where she is. It's a very fun shared moment.

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I'm going to say my opinion on this..... thank God she has memorized her addition facts.  Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

But it doesn't mean she has got all the good connections and addition knowledge you would want her to have.  She may need to go back and do some other earlier addition things now, to help make the connections.  Because now that she has them memorized -- maybe that will really help some other things click.

But you can't assume that because she has them memorized, that you can move forward from there.  Unfortunately all those things people who think memorizing math facts are bad, are true.  She probably still does need to work on those things.  

But hopefully she will get more out of it now.  

Because I think it is a really good working memory support to have them memorized and then go from there, to being able to do some of those mental math-y composition/decomposition things etc etc etc.  All those good Singapore math things, but maybe from back in 1st or 2nd grade.  Because there's a really good chance, enough time has passed, that she hasn't really retained all that really well because she wasn't building as good of connections.  Now she can build better connections.  And review can also really help to cement things and be a good thing to do.  

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

You want to stop and get REAL ENGAGEMENT.

 

I want this but I also want him to be able to actually do his own work.

I have seen a lot of bad situations where kids are not able to do their own work, but it's hard to see, because someone is always helping them with their homework.  

I have had this situation and it was one of my worst parenting moments.   

But yes engagement 🙂 That is where the thinking happens 🙂 

It's too bad we can't just point at kids and say "think," isn't it 😉

Edit:  But I think "we do" is great.  I love "we do."  It's just ------ sometimes "we do" can be at a too high of level, instead of being more appropriate and doing lots of good "we do" but also getting to some nice "I do."  

Edited by Lecka

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2 hours ago, 4KookieKids said:

 I don't see why conversions tax working memory? (I realize I'm showcasing my ignorance here.)

Lol! So, WM can be taxed by anything that is multi-step. I find them taxing. My kids do not. They probably have worse WM than me. It's VERY individual but at the same time, there is a universal, "more than one step" can cause a WM problem thing going on.

1 hour ago, 4KookieKids said:

Other than CLE, Math-U-See, and Saxon, any others you'd recommend I start looking into? 

I love Miquon; it's cheap; rods are awesome. Education Unboxed vidoes to go with it. 

So, my older son has autism and is math gifted. It's never felt like he's math gifted consistently, and just when I thought it started to, we hit algebra. Oh my word. Testing shows he understands concepts well beyond algebra, but oh, my word! He has a tutor who just shakes her head. Honestly, we have a million different algebra curriculum options, choose one primary one that is sort of the best fit, and then we look at things from many angles. I do think Geometry will be better, but we've chosen to straight from Algebra I to Algebra II so that he won't forget anything. It's turning out to be a good choice. We'll probably do stats after that--he seems to be really good with probability. 

And he doesn't have dyscalculia that we can figure out. 

13 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Because I think it is a really good working memory support to have them memorized and then go from there, to being able to do some of those mental math-y composition/decomposition things etc etc etc.  All those good Singapore math things, but maybe from back in 1st or 2nd grade.  Because there's a really good chance, enough time has passed, that she hasn't really retained all that really well because she wasn't building as good of connections.  Now she can build better connections.  And review can also really help to cement things and be a good thing to do.  

I think that she could need to generalize what she learned then to new situations. As Lecka mentioned, generalization is a big deal. As Peter Pan mentioned, it still has to be true all the time and everywhere, no matter what context is going on. That's such an autism thing, and it comes out of nowhere. Truly. 

But going back and making those connections is super valuable. We've been doing that with my son's language. We had to go WAY back (he's in tenth grade), but now that the new connections are being laid more carefully with the problem areas in mind, his progress is steady and he's making incrementally bigger leaps each time (that would've probably been smaller and more appropriate steps at your DD's age). It's worth reconnecting those things!

10 minutes ago, Lecka said:

But yes engagement 🙂 That is where the thinking happens 🙂 

It's too bad we can't just point at kids and say "think," isn't it 😉

Even and indicator light for On and Off would be helpful. 😉 

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Op is probably up on this, but there's a whole theory on how you approach the we do/I do thing. 

Vygotsky Scaffolding: What It Is and How to Use Ithttps://blog.prepscholar.com › vygotsky-scaffolding-zone-of-proximal-devel...

To me the key is to realize where you are in that for a given task and be very intentional. 

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I am just going to mention this..... your daughter knows the addition facts now, but she could forget them.  She could forget them all or just a few.  She could forget them and re-learn them easily.  Or, you could panic and think she has forgotten them, and then they could be re-learned with much less drama than expected.

It would be common right now, with some things you describe.  Hopefully not — but it would be common or likely.  

So..... connections, connections, connections.  

Also I think a balance between not panicking if she does go downhill on addition facts, I think it’s a bit of a natural process for that to happen.  Like — there is a step involved in looking and thinking of the addition when you have been doing another operation, that is on the expected side.  

But also — she probably needs more connections and review than other kids.  She is probably behind on connections because she wasn’t in as good of a place to form the connections when she was younger.  

Hopefully things are coming together for her more as she is getting older.  

But there are ways she is a kid who is at-risk for things like forgetting things badly because — she probably has less connections at this point.

And then more connections will make it easier to remember things, easier to do mental math, and easier to move forward in the curriculum.  

But it is really the opposite kind of process as “I showed it once and then it was understood from then on.”  And then because it’s not like that — what is “mastery” is different — more is needed (overlearning) for mastery to stick, when it is more hard-won to build connections.  It just takes more time and practice.  

Also — fatigue can be an issue with working memory.  If you see signs of fatigue, you have got to note her early signs and note how long she can go doing various things (with various effort) and *stop before she gets too tired.*  Not at the point she IS fatigued, but BEFORE she is fatigued.  If this is an issue you might be able to do more with frequent short sessions.  

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Hopefully not, I hope not.

A lot of kids who sound like this do struggle with forgetting things they have previously learned, though, and need more practice or review than is usually expected.

Of course maybe not for her 🙂

It will just depend.  

I also think — I have done a lot of things totally different from my strong personal preferences, and while I don’t like it at first, if I see it going well then I LOVE it.  I mean — it’s not perfect, but having something go well does count for a lot.  I think seeing a child have a positive attitude about math or saying “I’ve got this” or “I don’t need your help” goes a long way in making up for “me” knowing it is behind (or not really what I wanted/planned/expected to be doing).  

Believe me I never thought I would be saying “let me tell you about math fact memorization, it’s the best.”  I am more drawn to picking them up naturally.  I’m also more drawn to doing the minimum amount of practice needed, instead of being someone who is into “overlearning.”  Oh well.  

Edited by Lecka

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4 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Hopefully not, I hope not.

A lot of kids who sound like this do struggle with forgetting things they have previously learned, though, and need more practice or review than is usually expected.

Of course maybe not for her 🙂

It will just depend.  

I also think — I have done a lot of things totally different from my strong personal preferences, and while I don’t like it at first, if I see it going well then I LOVE it.  

 I’m making dinner and don’t have the time to reply to all of the helpful advice you all gave right now, but I will just say that it is definitely her. At one point, she had also Aced Xtramath for subtraction, multiplication, and division, so I put her back on assessment only of all four basic operations, just to see what she had retained (this was a year ago), and she remembered almost nothing… She is currently finishing up level three of Barton for the *second* time, because she could apply each rule in each lesson in isolation, but could not apply them in the mixed form that the post test provided. So I intend to give her much more mixed practice coming back to things that she already learned moving forward. 

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I think you are looking at all the games, all the manipulatives, and all the compose/decompose numbers stuff you see for 1st/2nd grade.  All the “add/subtract 10 from a number,” all the hundreds chart stuff, all the things.  

It is fun stuff, but it is sounding 1st/2nd grade-y to me.  

Not like only do that — but probably a steady drumbeat.  

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I mean — see what you think for sure.  I’m not an expert.

But if you go back and kind-of know she’s not so solid but you thought it would be okay because she has memorized the math facts (at the time) — then I think it could be good to do.  

It is common.  Not like it’s everybody — but it is common.  

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And the thing is, that Xtramath isn't anything else. So she knew them in one place, there. Next place, she might start totally over. 

So to me, I wouldn't go back to that software to do more drill. I'd look for another way to practice them (Tang Math, Ronit Bird games, keeping score in Ticket to Ride London which is just the right amount and $20 at Walmart right now), etc. I found with my ds even changing the manipulatives could be an issue, so money vs. dominoes. When we changed to a 100 chart it was an issue. Every setting it's new, until you get SO MANY exposures and locations that it kinda clicks.

So it's probably not gone so much as filed where the lost things goes, with some tags that don't get it to where it needs to go. It's not so hard to get it the next time, in the next thing. But it's not like more of the one thing will get you there if what you need to do is generalize. 

Edited by PeterPan

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