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# How do you teach math??? Panicking! - Page 3

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 Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie Well, DD just turned 5, and the only thing we've been working on is counting, while I struggle to find a curriculum that works for us (thus this post). I really appreciate all the links and suggestions - I'm slowly going through all the links. I especially appreciate the montessori videos. They are really helpful. I'm not so scared of the trinomial cube anymore Yesterday in the car DD said, "Mama, what is five plus one?" I suggested she try counting on her fingers. She said, "Six!" I was amazed that she'd figured it out. Then she said, "Mama, what is 10 plus 1?" Since we were in the car, I said I'd show her how to figure that out when we got home. But she said, "I'll count on my fingers" and I thought that wouldn't work because she only has ten fingers, but didn't say anything. Then she announced, 'Its eleven!" She went on to add 10 plus 2, then 10 plus 3, then 10 plus 4, and got them right (I couldn't see how she was doing this, being the driver). Then she says, "mama, what is 10 plus 10?" so I said "let's figure that out with pennies when we get home". I hear her muttering back there then a few minutes later she announces "2 tens are 20. Three tens are thirty. Four tens are forty." I'm not sure where she is at with math. It seems to me she's figuring stuff out without any help, so I wonder how much more she might enjoy doing with help. I'm starting to think maybe the problems we had with Singapore might have been that the material was too easy, not too hard. Maybe I should try to move up in the workbook? But I'm worried about not establishing the basics before moving too far. I'm not even sure what the basics are at this age. Wish I could peer into her brain and see whats going on in there... then I might have a better idea where to start with her.
What? Whoa! That is really cool! How did she get that about the tens? Have you guys talked about it or been doing the Montessori stuff? That is great!
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 Originally Posted by craft_media_hero What? Whoa! That is really cool! How did she get that about the tens? Have you guys talked about it or been doing the Montessori stuff? That is great!
I honestly don't know where it came from. The montessori counting board hasn't come in the mail yet. We do have the Leapfrog Math Circus dvd, though, maybe she got it from there?
Honestly I think you (and she) would LOVE RightStart. The whole "2 tens is twenty" thing just REEKS of RightStart to me lol...

And the 'math way' of counting is not silly at all. And it's not meant to be permanent either. It's how they START, and you use it until they've got a firm grasp of place value, what place value TRULY means. It's based on what most other languages in the world do with counting -- especially in the 'teens' number range -- which is to literally call the numbers '2-ten-4' or whatever. Not all, of course, but it's totally logical.

My daughter is only 3, but she's math-keen and we've started RS level A (veerrrrry slowly of course, but she loves it and grasps it so far). She was counting to ten at a very young age, and has of course been exposed to the english counting words through video games, sesame street youtube videos, older relatives, etc.

When faced with a large group of objects to count, she'll get to 10 perfectly, then she'll say "eleven, twelve, fourteen, fifteen, nineteen, twenty!" She has the 1:1 correspondence down pat, but she's just reciting words -- they have no true meaning to her as a discrete quantity. The concept of "fourteen" isn't there, it's just the next word in a sequence.

But if I remind her to use the math counting, she'll say "ten-one, ten-two, ten-three, ten-four, ten-five, ten-six, ten-seven, ten-eight, ten-nine, ten... uh... two-ten!"

With this approach, she DOES understand the discrete quantity. The word "ten-seven" represents a group of ten objects and seven more objects, whereas "seventeen" is still nebulous to her.

She can identify and create any number to 99 on the abacus by using this terminology. "3-ten 6"? That's 3 complete rows of 10, and six is five-and-one, so all the yellow beads and the first blue bead. Voila.

Doing it with her this way so young has really solidified in my mind how really, really great this approach is. Sure, many 6yo can probably handle "thirteen" and "thirty", and most understand the words in sequence, but to REALLY intuitively grasp what they mean, the "math way" of counting just makes it so much more CLEAR.

Heck, I switched my son into RS math when he was 10, we started with level E. Of course you do the "transitions" lessons first, and YES we started with "ten-one, ten-two" etc. Even though he'd previously finished a grade 6 math curriculum! And it was NOT a waste of time, because I could just SEE the light turning on. Even though we only did it for less than a week, the effect was lasting. There were many times where, faced with a difficulty involving trading or borrowing for instance, I'd remind him that 'thirty means three-ten' and he'd say "oh, that's right, so I can trade one of the tens for ten ones, and there's two-ten left". He also now no longer has any problems with BIG number place value (which was never even covered in that way in RS), which he used to have real struggles with.

Anyway. I was impressed enough with my son, now I look at my daughter, who can look at the Montessori bead bars I made (using the 5-and-something colour scheme from RS) and INSTANTLY say "that's 8", because she sees 5-and-3. It's not just some big number too much to count quickly, she can recognize and understand it right away. It's amazing. I looooove RightStart math.

Oh, and in case you weren't aware, since I haven't seen it mentioned here yet I don't think -- RS *is* Montessori-based. There are some big differences, of course, but Dr Cotter used to be a Montessori teacher. There are a great many obvious influences.
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 Originally Posted by Aeress Right Start looks interesting- The price isn't so bad since I could use it for all 3 kids (eventually) for multiple grade levels. Can anyone expand on what they or their child liked?
My mathy son (he sounds like your daughter OP in that he just figured out things like that on his own too--he thinks in a math way) loves all of it and especially the games. For the most part things are cemented and practiced with games rather than worksheets or other things kids might find tedious. It's discovery based too which is how learning best occurs in my experience as a ps teacher for many years. Both kids enjoy math and feel successful with it which is important to me. And they are successful--I feel they are getting the understanding of numbers that I never had (despite success in school). I really like the way they are learning to think about math. My not mathy (right brain/creative/in his imagination all the time) son is doing great too. I don't think most math programs would hold his interest let alone help him "get it" so easily. I love RightStart. There is essentially no prep time for me and the lessons are broken into short segments that really hold interest. It's planned out for you (very scripted) so if you're the kind of teacher how hates that or wants to explain it in your own way maybe it would be constricting. For me it's extremely helpful. It's only teacher intensive in that you have to be right there with the child doing the lesson. I would think at an early grade level in math that would be true of most any effective math program.
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 Originally Posted by Leav97 We did K with a really big bag of M&M's. We sorted them by color. We counted them. We played with patterns. We divided them into even piles to share with "friends". We added. We subtracted..... We ate them... There isn't much in early elementary math that can't be done with some M&M's. Until handwriting skills catch up just using physical objects and oral answers works really well. After playing with M&M math for months we started on Math mammoth in Feb.
LOVE this idea!

My 4 yo spent the morning playing at the kitchen sink, filling different sized containers with water. We measured how many cups each would hold. We threw in a 2-cup, 3-cup and 4-cup measure and had a skip-counting lesson in addition to a lesson in volume.
Have you heard of Count Me In Too? It's a brilliant Australian programme.

http://www.curriculumsupport.educati....au/countmein/
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