Supplementing PS math - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is in 6th grade this year and has been in PS all along. This year her teacher sends home math homework every night and every night dd struggles. The teacher lets them use a calculator in class(which I do not agree with) and if she does the problems with the calculator everything is fine but when I ask her to do it on paper she has no clue how. Right now they are doing fractions and dividing. My dd cannot do division by hand at all. I emailed the teacher and she said dd should have been introduced to division last year but as long as she can do it on the calculator she is keeping up with the standards of her class and learning it the "old fashioned" way would come later. I really don't agree with this and feel like if she doesn't master these skills math will be much harder in later grades. I want to supplement her math at home but not sure how to go about it. Should I get a curriculum? The school uses something called Everyday Mathematics. Should I go back to multiplication and have her practice that before moving on to division?
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#2 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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Yes, definitely work on multiplication...as it's necessary for division. You could try these free sites first....

http://www.multiplication.com/

http://www.gamequarium.com/multiplication.html


If those don't work, you might want to see if you can find a Kumon workbook.


If you want a true curriculum, some of the well-liked ones include Right Start, Math-U-See, Miquon, and Singapore.

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#3 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Is figuring the only area she struggles with? I'd take her back to multiplication and redo the times tables, then do division.
Miquon and Singapore are good programs- but Miquon is meant for grades up to 3rd grade and Singapore would be confusing to jump into at this point. IMO, of course.
I don't think you'd need a whole curriculum, just to work on these skill sets.

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#4 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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#5 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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#6 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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I wouldn't get her a whole separate curriculum to do, not when she's already doing a full school schedule plus homework. If she needs help with specific skills, then work on those specific skills only.

I'd start with multiplication tables, then have her practice doing multiplication problems (starting with 1 digit, then slowly adding digits to be multiplied as she gains skills and confidence.) Then, when that's mastered, have her do simple division problems, and gradually work up to more complex problems. This process may take several months, depending on how much time you have available and how quickly she picks it up.

But I'd let her continue using the calculator for math homework until she gains those skills- why add to her frustration? And be sure to hold off on "extra math work" on days she's swamped with homework from school.

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#7 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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I disagree with the above advice. As the OP clearly recognized, her daughter is in terrible danger here, possibly putting acceptance into a selective college in danger. Everyday Mathematics is a terrible curriculum, which a quick google search can make clear. Many bright children who are taught with this "method" fail to gain the most elementary number sense, cannot understand the four arithmetic operations, and never make the jump into more abstract math. Failing to take algebra in eighth grade, or simply failing algebra in eighth grade puts the student at serious deficit in her senior year, when college application time occurs, because without algebra in 8th grade it is very difficult to make it into calculus by senior year.

The good news is that early 6th grade leaves two years in which to remediate the student in math. I would get Singapore Mathmatics--it is an excellent program, and it doesn't require too much practice, which slows down the afterschooling student. If it were my student, I would begin with level 1A, and let her go as fast as she could, but there is a placement exam on the Singapore Math website. Do get both the textbook and the workbook, but it does not substantially matter whether you get the regular English edition or the "standards-linked" edition. She should do at least one lesson every day--NOT with the calculator. You could, I suppose, continue to let her complete her assigned homework with the calculator, because she will be getting her real math education with the Singapore program.

Congratulations on finding the problem while you can still fix it.
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#8 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the suggestion I will look into Singapore Math. What about Aleks? I had my dd take the assessment there and it looks like she knows a little about all the different concepts but none of the categories are filled in all the way. Based on the comments about Everyday Math from the site above that is about right. Just teach the kids a little bit of each concept and somehow eventually they will figure out the rest!
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#9 of 15 Old 09-22-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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Thanks for all the suggestion I will look into Singapore Math. What about Aleks? I had my dd take the assessment there and it looks like she knows a little about all the different concepts but none of the categories are filled in all the way. Based on the comments about Everyday Math from the site above that is about right. Just teach the kids a little bit of each concept and somehow eventually they will figure out the rest!
If you do begin with Singapore please start at the beginning as BirdGirl said- and please read some of the Home Instructor's guides or teacher's manuals. So much of Singapore is the method and why you do it that way- and that can be missed with just doing the workbooks.

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#10 of 15 Old 09-23-2009, 02:31 AM
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I just wanted to mention Math Mammoth. They don't have a complete math curriculum for grade six, but they do have skill specific downloadable workbooks that make great supplements. We are actually doing singapore at home with my 4th grader, but she needed more depth with division--this is our first year with singapore and she is doing 4A, most of which is review (which is why I went with it). But, she isn't confident with division. The math mammoth workbook (only $5) is giving us the extra that she needs.

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#11 of 15 Old 09-23-2009, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I looked into the Singapore books and I'm confused. There is a workbook, textbook, instruction manual, word problem book, and a math practice book for each level. Do I need all of this? What's the difference btwn level A and B? I want to get started but want to make sure I buy the right books.

Thanks
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#12 of 15 Old 09-23-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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Ok I looked into the Singapore books and I'm confused. There is a workbook, textbook, instruction manual, word problem book, and a math practice book for each level. Do I need all of this? What's the difference btwn level A and B? I want to get started but want to make sure I buy the right books.

Thanks
Going at an average pace you do two sets of books- the A and B- in one year. So for example, for one semester, you'd buy the textbook, the workbook and the instructor's guide- all in 2A, for example. The other stuff like Intensive Practice is extra practice on a harder level.

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#13 of 15 Old 09-24-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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I would start by buying the Level 1A and 1B textbook--your daughter should fly through them. Then get Level 2A and 2B textbooks--if she does not have her addition and subtraction facts down cold, then get the 2A and 2B workbooks also. Then go on to 3A and 3B, make sure you get the textbooks and workbooks both for those levels. This should cement her multiplication and division understandings, but if it doesn't, get the Intensive Practice for 3B. I would expect that this much will take you through sixth grade and perhaps into the summer. Then continue with 4A and 4B, textbook and workbook, and 5A and B and 6A and B. This will give her a very solid understanding into eighth-grade algebra.

Try to get a copy of whatever math assessment your school uses to determine who goes on to pre-algebra in 7th grade or algebra in 8th. Make sure you have covered those topics by the time she takes that test--or, if it is at the end of this school year, see if she can re-take it in the fall, if she doesn't make the cut. You can continue to tutor her over the summer and into 7th grade, but she needs to be on track for 8th grade algebra, however that happens in your district.
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#14 of 15 Old 09-24-2009, 04:38 AM
 
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I would start by buying the Level 1A and 1B textbook--your daughter should fly through them. Then get Level 2A and 2B textbooks--
Seriously? I'd find out if she DOES haver her addition/subtraction down, because the OP only mentioned issues with division & multiplication, before starting her with grade1 work. When I was in 6th grade, if someone presented me with first grade work I'd have dug my heels in like crazy. And been insulted and felt like they thought I was stupid I used the lvl 1a/b with my son a year or so ago, and it was incredibly basic stuff.

I'd personally start with multiplication and see if she knows the basic facts there, and the mechanics of multiple digit multiplication. Then work my way into division. Check out the MUS website, as they have placement tests that you can have her do to check out where she's at right now. Math Mammoths, as someone mentioned, has books for individual concepts so if you spy the problem you could save a lot of money & buy the books you need.

I suppose it really shouldn't surprise me that I agree with Ruthla on this lol, I always find myself nodding to your posts on this board

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#15 of 15 Old 09-24-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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For Singapore, there are placement tests online and you can have her take those without a calculator.

I can tell you right now that my son (he's 9, was in 2nd public school last year) tested into 2B. They've started multiplication in here, though I don't know if they had it in 2A since I didn't use that one. The 1A seems to have a lot of very basic stuff (how many paper clips long is this pen) with the occasional higher thing thrown in, and my 2nd grader tested into that one.

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