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Where to put my dc in RS math?

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I think I've decided on RS math. I saw it this weekend at our local convention and was very impressed. I had my dd9 with me and she really enjoyed working with the manipulatives and the games. The placement suggested on the website would be level B for both of my dc. They do know there addition/subtraction fact to 18 although they don't have them cemented in their brains. They still don't quite understand place value, they know what the one, tens, and hundreds place is but I don't think they grasp the concept of it. If we were to stick with Rod and Staff we would be starting multiplication soon. I would really hate to back track with RS just for them to understand the program. On the other hand if it's going to help them cement those addition and subtraction facts in there head it would be worth it. Looking at the first few lessons of level B I'm thinking we could probably fly right through those. I just feel the need to keep moving forward. How fast could we get through level B?


Do the math card games come with the manipulatives? I think my dc would really enjoy them?

This is a big purchase for us so I really need to make sure I get what I need.


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I would stick with whatever RS told you about where to place them. RS teaches mathematical thinking in a way very different from American curricula, so I think it would best serve your kids if they got the chance to really understand that way. You can work through B as quickly as you want. We skipped a bunch of lessons at the beginning of B because we had done A. You can skip anything your kids already understand.



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I think B sounds about right for your dc. You can definitely go through or skip some of the beginning, just make sure you do enough so they can learn how to use the abacus. The middle of B starts doing mental two digit addition with trading and is just amazing but was very challenging for my son at first. We have been working through RightStart pretty diligently and now 2/3 of the way through C when we are on multiplication my son just understands so well it is going very fast. All that work on addition really paid off. It also helped when we started two digit mental subtraction with borrowing, it went very smoothly.


If you buy the Level B starter kit it comes with the card games, and the B book has instructions for games you will need during that level.

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Did you talk through placement with the rep at the convention? RS makes a Transitions level for students going into level C or higher. It reviews, the RS way, the concepts covered in A and B, building a foundation to enable them to move forward into C, D, or E, as appropriate. Level B focuses on basic addition, 4 digit addition, 2 digit mental addition, and place value. Level C does the same thing, but insert subtraction (subtraction facts, 4 digit subtraction, 2 digit mental subtraction). It also introduces skip counting, which I think we covered briefly in B as well. In any case, if your dc have DONE those things (subtracting with borrowing, addition with carrying), and just need to see it a new way, I'd start with the Transitions book. You have older dc, and they don't necessarily need a ton of lessons to learn this. If they've done it in R&S and they just need to see it a new way, then Transitions is what you want. It will rebuild that foundation.


In other words, do they need to actually LEARN the material, or just get a REFRESHER that helps them see it a new way? Level B is great, terrific, and fabulous, but you don't want to put them through that if Transitions would be more the proper pace. The table of contents for each level, including Transitions, is available online.


Placement is the hardest thing about transitioning into RS, because each dc and situation is so specific. Remember you can call and talk it through with them to be more sure. I would definitely lean toward any advice you received at the convention. Don't under-buy or under-place, or they'll be bored. If you look at the toc for each level, I think your gut will tell you whether they need the extended time of doing a full level or the refresher of Transitions.

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