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CLE or Rod and Staff Math (5th grade)


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DD is going in to 5th grade. She struggle with math. We started with Miquon but the discovery method does not work with her. She needs clear and explicit instruction. We switched to Rod and Staff in 2nd grade. Then back to Miquon, then back to Rod and Staff in 4th grade. We've jumped around a bit trying to figure out what works. We do ok with Rod and Staff, but I'm thinking about trying CLE for 5th grade. I like that the instructions are written directly to the student and are explicit. Rod and Staff kind of does this, but also relies on the teacher book. In reality, I don't use the instructions in the teacher book so we are left with just the instructions in the student book and it's not a thorough as CLE. Also, I think the spiral method might be a good fit. She needs to learn new info in small chunks and needs a lot of review. My hang up is that I feel like we have switched back and forth a few times already. Any thoughts?

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I think you should use any math that has explicit, clear instructions that show the student why the math works and gives the opportunity to see that.

Miquon does take a lot of work from the teacher to be able to guide the lessons.  Rod and Staff needs the teacher to read the teacher's manual and impart that to the student.

The problem seems to be needing a single book that the two of you can work through together, correct?  So that you can work problems with her and do concrete math with her so that she can accomplish a set of written problems as a reinforcement, not a teaching tool?

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1 hour ago, Calizzy said:

DD is going in to 5th grade. She struggle with math. We started with Miquon but the discovery method does not work with her. She needs clear and explicit instruction. We switched to Rod and Staff in 2nd grade. Then back to Miquon, then back to Rod and Staff in 4th grade. We've jumped around a bit trying to figure out what works. We do ok with Rod and Staff, but I'm thinking about trying CLE for 5th grade. I like that the instructions are written directly to the student and are explicit. Rod and Staff kind of does this, but also relies on the teacher book. In reality, I don't use the instructions in the teacher book so we are left with just the instructions in the student book and it's not a thorough as CLE. Also, I think the spiral method might be a good fit. She needs to learn new info in small chunks and needs a lot of review. My hang up is that I feel like we have switched back and forth a few times already. Any thoughts?

Rod and Staff's math depends on the teacher manual only for the first three years. After that, all lessons are written to the students. There are scripted lessons for those who want to do them, but all they do is just present what's actually in the student text. IOW, from 4th grade on, you can hand the textbook to your dc  and say, "Here. Go do this."

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From what I've seen, Rod and Staff seems to be a stronger math program...especially for someone who struggles with math than CLE. Kate Snow who is writing the Math with Confidence series for well trained mind recommends Rod and Staff for a basic traditional math especially for kids who struggle. It sounds like she has tutored several students with it.  I would stick with it.

Add in videos if you need help with a topic. I think kahn academy would have some. I know Maria Miller from math mammoth has lots of free videos and a worksheet creator if you need more practice in a given area. 

Memoria press uses Rod and Staff for their math k-6. They have lesson plans and their forum is a wealth of information. They may even offer online math classes, but I'm not sure.

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Rod and Staff has clearer and more mathematically correct explanations. CLE takes many lessons (even splitting between workbooks) to fully explain one concept. I really don't think (after 4th in R&S) that there is much difference in how they are able to be independent. 

Rod and Staff does have a lot of review built in. But you could also type up or use a whiteboard and put the review the TM has for each lesson. 

We found CLE to be too much variety in a day's work. And it moved too slowly. 

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We switched to CLE from Singapore in 5th grade. We like the LightUnit approach, that the new-material lesson is short and to the point, written to the student, uses real-world scenarios, and has a lot of review. The only thing about it is that completing every problem every day can be a time suck. I guess it depends on how fast your child works, though. Overall, we haven't looked back. (We also used Miquon as a supplement for a time way back when. And, Beast Academy. Trying to do those with all of Singapore's supplements was way too much. CLE is so simple in comparison.)

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Follow up question- I had her take the CLE placement test and she really struggled. She didn't even come close to passing the 400 test. She just doodled and wrote "I don't get it" on the edges. Which is a common thing she does during math time. She couldn't even remember how to borrow in subtraction. Now, we have been on break for 2 months so there is definitely retention loss. But this much alarmed me. After this advice, I was planning in going forward with 5th grade rod and staff math, but now I'm wondering if we should repeat 4th grade math. And maybe do it in cle so she's not literally doing the same book again?

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Rod and Staff, hands down. CLE does not give enough practice on the new part of their lessons, IMO because the concept gets brought back around in the spiral later on. This led to frustration and tears here because it didn't click with my DS the first time around. I know CLE teaches more stuff earlier than Rod and Staff, but this is so that the basics (arithmetic and math facts) are learned WELL before the other stuff comes into play. Once the basics are mastered, everything else is easier to learn.

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1 hour ago, Calizzy said:

Follow up question- I had her take the CLE placement test and she really struggled. She didn't even come close to passing the 400 test. She just doodled and wrote "I don't get it" on the edges. Which is a common thing she does during math time. She couldn't even remember how to borrow in subtraction. Now, we have been on break for 2 months so there is definitely retention loss. But this much alarmed me. After this advice, I was planning in going forward with 5th grade rod and staff math, but now I'm wondering if we should repeat 4th grade math. And maybe do it in cle so she's not literally doing the same book again?

Oh, I would not go to another publisher. Again. Pick up that Rod and Staff book and start at the beginning. Make sure she does everything just as it's written. On paper, not orally (unless the directions say to do it orally). When there are review exercises with a row of problems, she doesn't have to copy all of those; she folds her paper on a line, holds it under the row, and writes just the answers. Also, if she's struggling so much, you might need to be more involved in the instruction, even though everything the children need to know is in the textbooks. At the least, have her bring you her paper after each section so you can go over it with her.

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