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Finishing 3rd grade math- what now?


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We are almost finished with Saxon 3, but I dont want to start another full program right now.  I need something that will last about 8-10 weeks.  DD is a great student- so far she's mastered everything presented, all math facts memorized.  She has a short attention span and likes the Saxon worksheet daily (we dont usually do the fact practice).   She isn't interested in long lessons from me- think 5 minute short explanation.   I've got MM, but looking at the pages- I'm pretty sure it wont work.  I used some MM earlier this year and it was awful for her- too many of the same type problems.  Budget is about $20 or less.

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Have you seen Mindset Mathematics by Jo Boaler?  Visual, creative, "low floor, high ceiling" tasks, 8-10 topics per book with three activities per topic.  I think it's around your budget (I'm overseas and don't buy in US dollars), or you could even access some activities for free at the "Week of Inspirational Math" section of youcubed.org.

You could use either the third grade book or the fourth grade one - I've found them to be a genuinely multi-grade resource where you can easily work up to two grades ahead or behind where you normally are and still be in amongst it.

There's not really a lesson to teach - more a "provocation" to get their interest and then they explore from there.  I've found my kids willingly work longer on these than on standard maths because it's fresh and discovery-based, and last year successfully incorporated kids working between a first and fifth grade level in the same third grade book.

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Saxon really focuses on teaching procedures, but isn’t strong in teaching problem solving skills or concepts, so I would use the time to work on those. 

Problem solving skills could be learned with old Math Kangaroo tests. If she prefers a more lesson-based format, then Zaccaro’s Becoming a Problem Solving Genius might be a good introduction. Singapore Math’s Challenging Word Problems book could be a more typical school-y option. Some issues of MathMania from Highlights would also work.

Concepts could be played with using something like Amazing Math Projects.

If you just want review and practice, then using Prodigy Math’s Online game could work.

If you want a fun, creative supplement, then Math and Magic in Wonderland would be a good fit at that level. So would Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School.

Edited by Jackie
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OP,

In my experience Saxon Math 3 is a tough act to follow because it gets kids computing with all 4 operations, working with integers, graphing on the co-ordinate planes, adding/subtracting fractions, simplifying expressions, familiar with many geometric relations, introduced to exponents and  square roots, working with time and has taught them to analyze word problems based on the structure of the story and model it using expressions and/or bar models.

Saxon Math 3 is a potent book, I haven't found the 4th grade book that picks up with exponents, fractions, geometry and more complex 2 step word problems while keeping base-10 arithmetic sharp by including a few problems each day for the kids to calculate.

If you're willing to make your own, I would sit down with a 1-subject notebook and write down 8 - 10 problems per page that extend on the concepts that she's learned in the last 4th or 5th of Saxon 3, because you're going to be hard pressed to find a book that fits neatly. If you're not willing/able to make your own worksheets then

Have you considered the Math Minutes books? Each sheet has around 10 problems and it's meant to be completed within 1-3 minutes. The problems are designed to just exercise and review--not teach. They have books for grades 1-7/8, I think. Many schools have published these books to their school website so if you look around you can preview the entire book to pick the correct level for your DD before you buy.

If you want her to build fluency with the calculation skills during this time; you could go to the book store and look at the following Kumon workbooks:
Decimals and Fractions (G4) -- doing + and - of decimals and like-fractions (this will pick up right where she is with Saxon 3 and make her rock solid if she's not)
Decimals and Fractions (G5) -- doing x and / decimals; + and - mixed numbers (will teach her the next level up from where she is with Saxon 3 and get her solid)
Fractions (G6)  -- adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions (assumes decimal arithmetic is fixed and focuses strictly on fraction arithmetic)
The instruction in Kumon books is scant, so you'll want to explain what's happening and demonstrate why & how problems are solved and that will be your short, 5 minute explanation.
In my opinion, each of these is solidly built, and you can use sticky notes to cover every other problem if the page is too cluttered for her to work from without feeling overwhelmed.

If you want to use this time to compute in context and build-out the problem solving skills more, I like FAN Math Process Skills in Problem Solving more than Kumon Word Problem books.
If she's doing well with Saxon Math 3, then you could start her with Book 3 of FAN Math. Work in both halfs of the book each day you'll finish it in a couple of months tops and then move on to book 4 of FAN Math.

If you don't want to narrow her math to just either A or B, then perhaps look at getting a Spectrum Math book. I would suggest you to physically look at the G3, G4 and G5 book before deciding. It'll keep her from back sliding, give her a wider variety of practice and allow her to gain confidence and speed at many of the calculations that she's been working.

Any of those options should run you at or under $20. You could get 2 of any of these math books for under $20 bucks.

Again, Saxon Math 3 is an oddly shaped gem of a math program. It introduces and teaches a lot that is not in many 4th-6th grade textbooks so you have to be flexible to follow it up for a student who'se thriving and enjoying that last half of the book.

On 2/4/2020 at 11:53 PM, BusyMom5 said:

We are almost finished with Saxon 3, but I dont want to start another full program right now.  I need something that will last about 8-10 weeks.  DD is a great student- so far she's mastered everything presented, all math facts memorized.  She has a short attention span and likes the Saxon worksheet daily (we dont usually do the fact practice).   She isn't interested in long lessons from me- think 5 minute short explanation.   I've got MM, but looking at the pages- I'm pretty sure it wont work.  I used some MM earlier this year and it was awful for her- too many of the same type problems.  Budget is about $20 or less.

If you want a variety of problems you could look for one of those 100 Math Minute books--it's a variety of math problems meant to be completed within a minute. They have graded books from 1st-6th grade.

 

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