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Base 10 block type app?


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My 14 year old daughter has trouble with math.  She is still having trouble with subtraction with borrowing.  This concept was taught in “the public school years”, so it’s become a gap in her understanding.  I don’t want to buy a whole kit of base 10 blocks because I think once she practices a few times with them, she’ll get it.  Are there apps? Or do I do the dreaded paper pieces?

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1 hour ago, bethben said:

My 14 year old daughter has trouble with math.  She is still having trouble with subtraction with borrowing.  This concept was taught in “the public school years”, so it’s become a gap in her understanding.  I don’t want to buy a whole kit of base 10 blocks because I think once she practices a few times with them, she’ll get it.  Are there apps? Or do I do the dreaded paper pieces?

I use poker chips 😄. My kids enjoy them. 

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However, I would very much doubt that if she practices a few times she'll quickly get it if she's been doing it by rote. That hasn't been my experience with basically any new concept, and concepts where you have to "overwrite" previous ineffective methods are much worse than concepts where there's no understanding so far at all. 

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Posted (edited)

Sigh...common core math so messed her up.  Whoever thought a 10 year old should learn a concept in four different ways and then pick the one that makes sense to them never met a non-intuitive math student.  She mushed all the concepts together in her head and never understood it.  I tried to teach her the correct way to do math, but it was undermined daily.  Our state has under 40% testing at grade level math.  One school she went to tested lower than that.  The teachers and the administration hated common core math.  The parents hated it.  It was a Charter school so they could have easily changed it.  We left before I could figure out why no one was doing anything about it.  

Edited by bethben
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1 hour ago, bethben said:

Sigh...common core math so messed her up.  Whoever thought a 10 year old should learn a concept in four different ways and then pick the one that makes sense to them never met a non-intuitive math student.  She mushed all the concepts together in her head and never understood it.  I tried to teach her the correct way to do math, but it was undermined daily.  Our state has under 40% testing at grade level math.  One school she went to tested lower than that.  The teachers and the administration hated common core math.  The parents hated it.  It was a Charter school so they could have easily changed it.  We left before I could figure out why no one was doing anything about it.  

There isn’t one correct way to do math. I agree that Common Core done badly can really backfire, but there’s nothing wrong with her trying to make sense of things.

It sounds to me like she didn’t have the core understanding to deal with many methods, though. What I’d do is back way up and get her place value understanding solid. It’ll serve her well all her life.

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15 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

However, I would very much doubt that if she practices a few times she'll quickly get it if she's been doing it by rote. That hasn't been my experience with basically any new concept, and concepts where you have to "overwrite" previous ineffective methods are much worse than concepts where there's no understanding so far at all. 

Although when people are older (but not too old!), they tend to get things more quickly.

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

Although when people are older (but not too old!), they tend to get things more quickly.

Agreed. Once a student, no matter their age, has a light bulb moment and it suddenly all makes sense, there is no stopping them. And it can be the strangest or most mundane things that can cause that sudden moment when it all makes sense. There is often a domino effect after they finally get that one piece of the puzzle they were missing and lots of things fall into place as a result. I've seen it happen in many students and had it happen to me.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

Agreed. Once a student, no matter their age, has a light bulb moment and it suddenly all makes sense, there is no stopping them. And it can be the strangest or most mundane things that can cause that sudden moment when it all makes sense. There is often a domino effect after they finally get that one piece of the puzzle they were missing and lots of things fall into place as a result. I've seen it happen in many students and had it happen to me.

 

I’ve seen that happen in kids who had all the needed missing pieces, just in the wrong order. I’ve also seen many kids who never naturally picked up the needed pieces and were lost forever since no one explicitly taught them.

This is to say that I wouldn’t make assumptions about what a kid will be able to do.

Edited by Not_a_Number
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22 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I’ve seen that happen in kids who had all the needed missing pieces, just in the wrong order. I’ve also seen many kids who never naturally picked up the needed pieces and were lost forever since no one explicitly taught them.

This is to say that I wouldn’t make assumptions about what a kid will be able to do.

We don't know enough about the OP's kid, without actually working with her, to say one way or the other what she needs or doesn't need or what she can or can't do. It could take just a few tries or it could take days or it could take months. We can all play armchair teacher and make educated guesses based on what has been posted but if a parent on these boards is asking for specific information and not just general advice, I tend to think they know their child best and what they need to succeed.

This is to say that I wouldn't make assumptions about what a kid will not be able to do. It goes both ways.

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19 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

We don't know enough about the OP's kid, without actually working with her, to say one way or the other what she needs or doesn't need or what she can or can't do. It could take just a few tries or it could take days or it could take months. We can all play armchair teacher and make educated guesses based on what has been posted but if a parent on these boards is asking for specific information and not just general advice, I tend to think they know their child best and what they need to succeed.

This is to say that I wouldn't make assumptions about what a kid will not be able to do. It goes both ways.

If you assume something takes a month and it takes a day, you’ll be overjoyed. If you assume it takes a day and it takes a month, you’ll be really disappointed and you may give up. It’s not symmetric. Generally, I encourage assuming things will take a while.

You’re right that the OP’s kiddo might pick things up quickly 🙂 . I just don’t want the OP to feel like something is wrong if that doesn’t happen.

 

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Highly recommend the Number Pieces app by The Math Learning Center. They have quite a few other apps that are so helpful, too...number line, money, clock, fractions, pattern blocks. I've used them for years in tutoring and they helped immensely during zoom tutoring sessions this past year. 

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