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Hey I am leaning towards rod and staff for one of my kids.  How do you use the textbook?  I have heard people just write in them?  Is there enough space to write in them in grade 5?

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Grade 3 and up do not have workbooks, so the student is meant to write out the problems and solve them on other paper,

BUT 🙂

there is room in the grade 3 textbook to just write in it.  The same is true for *some* of the problems in the 4th grade textbook. 

Not really room to write in the 5th grade book.  But since there are plenty of practice problems, it is easy to leave out the last row of problems and eliminate some of the writing. 

 

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There is a folded paper "trick" also. Basically fold your notebook paper to a clean line; hold it under a row of problems, and just write the answers on the notebook paper like it was a blank space in the book. Obcviously, it won't work for everything, but coukd be helpful for drill. You can also "carry" below for × and + to use this method better.

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23 hours ago, Lovinglife123 said:

Hey I am leaning towards rod and staff for one of my kids.  How do you use the textbook?  I have heard people just write in them?  Is there enough space to write in them in grade 5?

No, there is not enough room to write in the book because the student is showing their work for more complex multiplication and division problems. 

Edited by Servant4Christ
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50 minutes ago, Servant4Christ said:

No, there is not enough room to write in the book because the student is showing their work for more complex multiplication and division problems. 

Thank you I think I ruled out rod and staff for this child. Why oh why can’t they have work texts like CLE.

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1 hour ago, Lovinglife123 said:

Thank you I think I ruled out rod and staff for this child. Why oh why can’t they have work texts like CLE.

Any mention of CLE induces panic and begging from DS10. We used CLE for every single subject for 3.5yrs before switching to mostly R&S. Workbooks were convenient and it appeared to work well on the surface. However, as smart as DS was on paper and the tests, much of the knowledge just wasn't transferring well to real life. Turns out, he had figured out the patterns/ algorithms and just plugged in the info he knew was correct without truly understanding why in both language arts and math. He would memorize his spelling list and not be able to spell the same words a week or two later. He could fill in a diagram but not really understand why each word went where it did. There was no help for me as the teacher in writing instruction and what I should or shouldn't expect from him in terms of output and content. In math, concepts were phased out before he understood anything and he never knew if he was passing or failing at any point.

In R&S, I am in control and have all the tools to teach. The TM gives me more than enough concise info to teach the days lesson and review previous material as efficiently as possible. I briefly read the day's lesson plan in the TM and decide how much is needed to demonstrate. I teach and do multiple exercises or problems together and then assign which ones I want him to do on his personal size whiteboard to show that he understands. Then I go over oral review of stuff in the TM such as mental math. Afterwards, I assign (based on his strengths and weaknesses) some of the exercises from the review section for him to do independently on notebook paper.

Since making the switch, I've noticed a dramatic change in DS's understanding, self confidence, and penmanship! It was hard in the beginning because it was different than what he was used to and he really needed to build up his stamina in written output and critical thinking/ problem solving. I had no idea I had failed to teach him to properly set up a piece of notebook paper and line everything up correctly which was super intimidating to him. 🤦 

FWIW, in both CLE and R&S my DS learns best if I demonstrate the concepts step by step. Whether it's in a teaching box in the workbooks or text, it just doesn't click for him without the demonstration and then having HIM tell ME what to write for the next couple of examples.

Edited by Servant4Christ
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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Servant4Christ said:

Any mention of CLE induces panic and begging from DS10. We used CLE for every single subject for 3.5yrs before switching to mostly R&S. Workbooks were convenient and it appeared to work well on the surface. However, as smart as DS was on paper and the tests, much of the knowledge just wasn't transferring well to real life. Turns out, he had figured out the patterns/ algorithms and just plugged in the info he knew was correct without truly understanding why in both language arts and math. He would memorize his spelling list and not be able to spell the same words a week or two later. He could fill in a diagram but not really understand why each word went where it did. There was no help for me as the teacher in writing instruction and what I should or shouldn't expect from him in terms of output and content. In math, concepts were phased out before he understood anything and he never knew if he was passing or failing at any point.

In R&S, I am in control and have all the tools to teach. The TM gives me more than enough concise info to teach the days lesson and review previous material as efficiently as possible. I briefly read the day's lesson plan in the TM and decide how much is needed to demonstrate. I teach and do multiple exercises or problems together and then assign which ones I want him to do on his personal size whiteboard to show that he understands. Then I go over oral review of stuff in the TM such as mental math. Afterwards, I assign (based on his strengths and weaknesses) some of the exercises from the review section for him to do independently on notebook paper.

Since making the switch, I've noticed a dramatic change in DS's understanding, self confidence, and penmanship! It was hard in the beginning because it was different than what he was used to and he really needed to build up his stamina in written output and critical thinking/ problem solving. I had no idea I had failed to teach him to properly set up a piece of notebook paper and line everything up correctly which was super intimidating to him. 🤦

I’m loving rod and staff for English... I’ve never used CLE, But I do get what you mean about plugging in answers.  That is the problem I have with his current math that is somewhat online.  He guesses til he gets it right, or retains enough to get by the computer, then forgets it all.  I struggle with switching to rod and staff for math because he’s in fourth, and it looks like he hasn’t covered the same topics.  He is doing a lot of supplemental things right now to get him caught up.  It looks like the easiest transition will be Math Mammoth.  I think he will do amazing with it once I can figure out where to place him.  He has dysgraphia, among other things, and really struggles to write.  I honestly can’t read most of what he writes, for english I have him read it back to me.. so having him copy and do math would probably not work.  Rod and Staff seems perfect for me to teach.  I hope to find some of their other subjects that could work for us, like spelling, and I read somewhere about Spanish.

Edited by Lovinglife123
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1 hour ago, Servant4Christ said:

Any mention of CLE induces panic and begging from DS10. We used CLE for every single subject for 3.5yrs before switching to mostly R&S. Workbooks were convenient and it appeared to work well on the surface. However, as smart as DS was on paper and the tests, much of the knowledge just wasn't transferring well to real life. Turns out, he had figured out the patterns/ algorithms and just plugged in the info he knew was correct without truly understanding why in both language arts and math. He would memorize his spelling list and not be able to spell the same words a week or two later. He could fill in a diagram but not really understand why each word went where it did. There was no help for me as the teacher in writing instruction and what I should or shouldn't expect from him in terms of output and content. In math, concepts were phased out before he understood anything and he never knew if he was passing or failing at any point.

Thanks for this description. I've seen this issue over and over again with procedural programs, but people have assured me that it doesn't happen with CLE. It at least sounds like it happens sometimes, which is good to know about. 

I'll never actually use these programs, since I don't use anything at all, so reviews from users that I can plug into my own understanding of math pedagogy are incredibly useful for me. 

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48 minutes ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I’m loving rod and staff for English... I’ve never used CLE, But I do get what you mean about plugging in answers.  That is the problem I have with his current math that is somewhat online.  He guesses til he gets it right, or retains enough to get by the computer, then forgets it all.  I struggle with switching to rod and staff for math because he’s in fourth, and it looks like he hasn’t covered the same topics.  He is doing a lot of supplemental things right now to get him caught up.  It looks like the easiest transition will be Math Mammoth.  I think he will do amazing with it once I can figure out where to place him.  He has dysgraphia, among other things, and really struggles to write.  I honestly can’t read most of what he writes, for english I have him read it back to me.. so having him copy and do math would probably not work.  I am thinking about their spelling.  Rod and Staff seems perfect for me to teach.

I honestly suspected dysgraphia with DS10 until DH told me he had the same resistance to physical writing until around 6th grade. This is why I only require limited writing and almost exclusively in skills subjects. I honestly didn't think he was capable of where he is now but sure enough, inside of 2 months I could actually read his handwriting! (Teaching him a modified version of D'Nealian helped a ton, too.) He HATES when we have writing assignments so I've learned to reward him by allowing him to type his final drafts. We are mostly tech/computer free so it's a BIG deal to him. As for R&S math, only you know what will work best for your child. I've never looked at MM, but I can compare CLE and R&S: CLE math was about 4 pages per workbook lesson if I'm remembering correctly and R&S is a literal 2 page spread each day with it's focus on straight arithmetic until I think middle school.

Editing to add: Sometimes to break things into digestible amounts, I write 2-4 problems on the whiteboard and have DS solve them showing me his work. Then we erase and move on. It's not as visually overwhelming as a page full of math problems. 😉

Edited by Servant4Christ
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17 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Thanks for this description. I've seen this issue over and over again with procedural programs, but people have assured me that it doesn't happen with CLE. It at least sounds like it happens sometimes, which is good to know about. 

I'll never actually use these programs, since I don't use anything at all, so reviews from users that I can plug into my own understanding of math pedagogy are incredibly useful for me. 

I'll upload the first page of a lesson in both the fourth grade R&S and CLE textbooks on reducing fractions to lowest terms. If you'll notice: In CLE, there are only 4 problems to solve using the new concept. In R&S, there are 6 in addition to the ones in the TM. I need this because I sit down and do 1-2 of them with DS, then have him do the rest on his whiteboard with me watching before we move to the next section repeating the same process. When we get to the review section on the second page, I have him work independently on notebook paper on only the problems which I feel he needs to review or practice.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2021 at 4:18 PM, Servant4Christ said:

I'll upload the first page of a lesson in both the fourth grade R&S and CLE textbooks on reducing fractions to lowest terms. If you'll notice: In CLE, there are only 4 problems to solve using the new concept. In R&S, there are 6 in addition to the ones in the TM. I need this because I sit down and do 1-2 of them with DS, then have him do the rest on his whiteboard with me watching before we move to the next section repeating the same process. When we get to the review section on the second page, I have him work independently on notebook paper on only the problems which I feel he needs to review or practice.

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I just got a math mammoth book in the mail and am underwhelmed by it..... so looking at Rod and Staff.  My only hesitation is what to do about prealgebra?  I would go through 6th, then what?  Rod and staff has the best explanations for me, and the right amount of problems, a wonderful layout. 

Edited by Lovinglife123
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31 minutes ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I just got a math mammoth book in the mail and am underwhelmed by it..... so looking at Rod and Staff.  My only hesitation is what to do about prealgebra?  I would go through 6th, then what?  Rod and staff has the best explanations for me, and the right amount of problems, a wonderful layout. 

My understanding from others here on the boards is take R&S through grade 8, then move to Foersters Algebra for 9th.

This is from the Milestonebooks website:

Screenshot_2021-04-11-15-42-32.thumb.png.9eaa5210cb5f8f15c0ed58daccfbff16.png

Edited by Servant4Christ
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Memoria press uses rod and staff. I think they use it through 6th then use college of the redwoods prealgebra for 7th then go into algebra. Their forum has several posts of people using different routs from Rod and Staff to algebra.

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46 minutes ago, countrymum said:

Memoria press uses rod and staff. I think they use it through 6th then use college of the redwoods prealgebra for 7th then go into algebra. Their forum has several posts of people using different routs from Rod and Staff to algebra.

Thank you! I just went to look this up and in addition to being available as a hardcopy textbook, it's also available to download as a PDF for free! 

https://www.freetechbooks.com/prealgebra-textbook-second-edition-t1249.html

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5 hours ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I just got a math mammoth book in the mail and am underwhelmed by it..... so looking at Rod and Staff.

For my personal data collection... what didn't you like about it? 🙂 

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12 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

For my personal data collection... what didn't you like about it? 🙂 

I think I just don’t like work texts.  I want a teachers manual, a student textbook, and I want them to use notebook paper or a worksheet.  This was true for language arts, and I’m realizing for math too.  Something about the layout, and switching between teaching and working.  Which obviously kids are intended to do independently, but I don’t like that either because they always need help.  I enjoy Writing with ease, story of the world, etc because its separated.  Thanks for asking because that really made me think about it 😂 

Edited by Lovinglife123
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8 minutes ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I think I just don’t like work texts.  I want a teachers manual, a student textbook, and I want them to use notebook paper or a worksheet.  This was true for language arts, and I’m realizing for math too.  Something about the layout, and switching between teaching and working.  Which obviously kids are intended to do independently, but I don’t like that either because they always need help.  I enjoy Writing with ease, story of the world, etc because its separated.  Thanks for asking because that really made me think about it 😂 

Interesting!! I wouldn't have guessed that reason 😄 . It makes sense that the format matters for people! 

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On 4/9/2021 at 2:51 PM, Not_a_Number said:

 

I'll never actually use these programs, since I don't use anything at all, so reviews from users that I can plug into my own understanding of math pedagogy are incredibly useful for me. 

So if you do not use a program, then how do you teach it?

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5 minutes ago, cajunschool said:

Cool! I am good at math, but I am not sure I could do that.

I’m a mathematician and I’ve thought about math pedagogy since grad school, so I think I have a natural advantage here!! I don’t think I could do it for other things.

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18 hours ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I just got a math mammoth book in the mail and am underwhelmed by it..... so looking at Rod and Staff.  My only hesitation is what to do about prealgebra?  I would go through 6th, then what?  Rod and staff has the best explanations for me, and the right amount of problems, a wonderful layout. 

So if you go on through with R&S 7 and 8 you go through "preAlgebra," then move into any Algebra program.  We did that with both of ours.  I know Memoria Press stops at book 6 then moves into a preAlgebra text in 7th grade from another publisher, and I assume that takes you through it more quickly to move onto Algebra, but both of mine benefitted from grades 7 and 8 in R&S first.

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49 minutes ago, 2_girls_mommy said:

So if you go on through with R&S 7 and 8 you go through "preAlgebra," then move into any Algebra program.  We did that with both of ours.  I know Memoria Press stops at book 6 then moves into a preAlgebra text in 7th grade from another publisher, and I assume that takes you through it more quickly to move onto Algebra, but both of mine benefitted from grades 7 and 8 in R&S first.

Seeing your posts have been inspiring.  I want simple and solid.  I ordered a rod and staff math textbook to see it in person.  I’m excited, I’ve looked at so much but keep coming back to Rod and Staff.  I’m sold on their English.

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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I write the lessons for my kids.

This is my husband.. when asking him about curriculum he really doesn’t know, because ideally he would just “teach” it.  Doesn’t help me much!!

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On 4/11/2021 at 2:13 PM, Lovinglife123 said:

I just got a math mammoth book in the mail and am underwhelmed by it..... so looking at Rod and Staff.  My only hesitation is what to do about prealgebra?  I would go through 6th, then what?  Rod and staff has the best explanations for me, and the right amount of problems, a wonderful layout. 

Historically, there was no such thing as "prealgebra." There was arithmetic, and then there was algebra.

Multiple people here have said their children used R&S arithmetic through 7th or 8th grade and then went on to algebra, and they were well prepared. Since I don't think algebra needs to be done before 9th gr./14yo, I would probably to R&S's "Applying Mathematics," which includes things like polynomials, computation with signed number, and exponents (as well as extracting square roots, base twelve and base two numeration, scientific notation, and statistics) and then figure out algebra.

Another reason I like R&S's arithemtic is that it also includes finances, something all children need to know.

And also you could probably call R&S--not Milestone Ministries, but R&S--and talk to the author. (606) 522-4348.

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On 4/12/2021 at 10:00 AM, 2_girls_mommy said:

So if you go on through with R&S 7 and 8 you go through "preAlgebra," then move into any Algebra program.  We did that with both of ours.  I know Memoria Press stops at book 6 then moves into a preAlgebra text in 7th grade from another publisher, and I assume that takes you through it more quickly to move onto Algebra, but both of mine benefitted from grades 7 and 8 in R&S first.

Did you find the upper grade levels easy to use?  I found levels 1-5 (almost complete), for super cheap so I am going to try it for sure.

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13 hours ago, Lovinglife123 said:

Did you find the upper grade levels easy to use?  I found levels 1-5 (almost complete), for super cheap so I am going to try it for sure.

Yes, very easy to use.  Same format all of the way through.

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I’m  about to pick up these books.  I already have grade 3 teachers manual (I got the wrong thing in the mail).  Looking at it, it looks like there’s a lot in the “teachers area”.  Any tips for that?

 

2 hours ago, 2_girls_mommy said:

Yes, very easy to use.  Same format all of the way through.

 

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3 hours ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I’m  about to pick up these books.  I already have grade 3 teachers manual (I got the wrong thing in the mail).  Looking at it, it looks like there’s a lot in the “teachers area”.  Any tips for that?

 

 

I am not sure I have any tips.   Currently, I am in grade 2, so I haven't done grade 3 in about ten years, lol!  But for the most part, I just follow step by step with the teacher's manual.  For grades 1 and 2, I created all of the learning tools which are used as manipulatives for the program and am still using them with my last kiddo, more than ten years later.  Oh, one tip, lots of index cards, and a  whiteboard, and markers, etc.  I create my own flashcards instead of using theirs.  So each lesson, before we start, I create the new facts that we are working on to add to our current stack.  I did not create the math poster for teaching the multiplication facts that they create in book 3, but I plan to this time.  I see how helpful the hands on lessons and the visuals that go with the T.M. are.  

The lessons and teaching are all in the T.M.  for these books. Don't skip the oral lessons and class practice (though if it has a list of 10 things to put on the board for the classroom, I can usually practice quite a few less with my one student to make sure that she knows the lesson.)  Do the oral teaching before the textbook every day.  It is so easy, step by step.  And, I usually do not assign all of the problems.  I usually only assign the evens or the odds from each section if my student is doing fine with the material.  Like I said I haven't looked at the 3rd grade in a long time.  But currently, for my 2nd grader, if her page has 5 lines of math fact practice, I instruct her to do 3 of them, making sure that she is doing lines that include all of the types of problems on there. 

I had one student for whom the speed drills really really stressed her out.  So I did drop them for her.  The other kids go through phases where they don't like them, but it was quite different for that student, tears, real anxiety over them.  

 

 

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13 hours ago, Lovinglife123 said:

I’m  about to pick up these books.  I already have grade 3 teachers manual (I got the wrong thing in the mail).  Looking at it, it looks like there’s a lot in the “teachers area”.  Any tips for that?

All of the instruction is in the teacher manual; IOW, you don't open to the page **in the student text** and teach what's there. You teach first **from the teacher manual**, then you assign the seatwork **in the student text.**. And it's a textbook. No, you don't need to let your dc write in it. 🙂 Any time there are rows of drill, have your dc fold her notebook paper on a line and hold it on the page right under the problems; then she writes just the answers. The words problems are not that complex, and she needs to learn to set up a math problem, on actual paper, so have her do that.

And be sure to read through the TM, because there is lots of helpful information in it.

You might or might not need the flash cards. I recommend buying the first grade flash cards, because there's much more to them than just math facts, but I don't think those are used for third grade.

**I made corrections for clarity's sake. 🙂

Edited by Ellie
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Posted (edited)

@Ellie I never thought to have DS put his paper over the textbook page and just write the answers! 🤦

I photocopied lessons on Fridays as an incentive for good behavior in school the rest of the week.

I learned the hard way to definitely go through the teachers manual portion every day before assigning seatwork because there are many times when the TM has you teach things for several days before it ever shows up in the student text and I had to backtrack to find it.

I loved the workbook for really solidifying money, time, roman numerals, skip counting, ect.

In the future, I will absolutely make triplet cards for fact practice.

Edited by Servant4Christ
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3 hours ago, Servant4Christ said:

@Ellie I never thought to have DS put his paper over the textbook page and just write the answers! 🤦

I photocopied lessons on Fridays as an incentive for good behavior in school the rest of the week.

I learned the hard way to definitely go through the teachers manual portion every day before assigning seatwork because there are many times when the TM has you teach things for several days before it ever shows up in the student text and I had to backtrack to find it.

I loved the workbook for really solidifying money, time, roman numerals, skip counting, ect.

In the future, I will absolutely make triplet cards for fact practice.

Yup, because all.of.the.instruction in the first three books is in the TM.  For those, you *always* have to teach first, then assign seatwork. 🙂

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