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<p>I'm hoping for some advice. Math is the area I find myself getting most frustrated with my DD (she will be 8 in March). She has always been strong in her math skills, however she does drag her feet when it comes time to actually DOING math. Because of this, I haven't done it as regularly as we should have (instead of doing it daily, we've been doing it once or twice a week). We are currently on Singapore Math 2B Standards Version - at this point, we are working from the textbook only. The current focus has been mental math (subtraction, addition, multiplication, and division).</p>
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<p>The issues I see are as follows:</p>
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<p>a) she gets very "daydreamy or distracted" when we do math. We're pretty loosey-goosey most of the time, so maybe that's my fault, but when it comes to math, I expect her to FOCUS and I'm having a hard time getting her to do that. Sometimes she just doesn't even focus on the equation itself - like we were looking at 45 / 5 = blank. In her head, she worked out 45 x 2 = 90. In my head, I kept thinking HOW did she turn one equation into the other? She often reads X when it's division, while doing an equation, which to me is just lack of focus?</p>
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<p>b) she's having a hard time memorizing her multiplication tables. We really didn't like Times Tales either</p>
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<p>c)  because of b) above, she's also having a hard time with division.</p>
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<p>I get frustrated (I know I shouldn't) because it seems so easy to me, but of course it is, I'm 38, lol. Am I expecting too much? She's done so well with math up until this point, but I realize it's getting harder. How do I make it easier on her? How do I better teach her? I feel like I am failing her and probably making her hate math (I loved math growing up and I was very good at it, but I don't know if I'm a good math teacher). Honestly, I'm just following the books.</p>
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<p>I'm considering that maybe I need the "extra practice" workbooks? And allow her to work alone in them? I just don't know. I am worried that if I don't correct what we're doing, we'll end up down a path with her hating math and me hating working on it with her.</p>
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<p>I'd love some advice.</p>
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<p>As far as curriculum goes, I do think that Singapore works for us, I just don't know if I'm using it in the best way so that she learns the best way?</p>
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<p>Help!!!</p>
 

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<p>I would take a break and just work on times tables memorization. Once that is out of the way, you will find it much easier. I have had to do this with each one of my children. My 9 yr old is on 2B. (we use the US Edition and 2A and 2B cover a normal American 3rd grade scope and sequence and he was in public school last year).</p>
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<p>I would start with just anything times 0, 1, 2, or 10. Quiz that one over and over again, through a variety of methods. Then more on to 5's, 3's, and 9s, then the 4s, leave the 6, 7, and 8 for last. If you think about it, once you have only 6, 7, and 8 left, you only have 6 problems left to do (6X6, 6X7, 6X8, 7X7, 7X8, and 8X8). Those last 3 are the hardest.</p>
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<p>I like times tables the fun way...it is offered by city creek press. I also use online drills, flash cards, and every day life applications. (let's see, we have 6 people and each person needs 3 cookies, how many cookies should we put out?) every single chance I get, I do this.</p>
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<p>I hope this helps!!</p>
 

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<p>Here is another help....</p>
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<p>skip the mental math. I am serious. I have done the series all the way through with my others. Now this time around, I just let DS do the mental math on paper if he wants. We do it together mentally in the book. We do not do the extra chapter reviews in the book on the mental math. We do the practices, but not the review pages. It is, literally, never in the series again. That is the part I hated the most. And I am definitely a math person. I think it is good to learn it and learn how to do it, but not needed in the future.</p>
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<p>I do, however, suppliment with some activities I have on my own. I use money and will say "if you owe me 45 cents and you give me a dollar, how much do I owe you back?" I think it is very good to be able to make 10 and make 100 off the top of your head. Beyond that, don't worry about it. The rest will come naturall with time, but is just not that important.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lisa1970</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16097570"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Here is another help....</p>
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<p>skip the mental math. I am serious. ...  It is, literally, never in the series again. </p>
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It is, actually. My youngest finished 4B recently and there was the mental math with decimals (subtracting 1.98 from 6.27, for example) in there. Also lots of estimating and rounding in 4B and 5A. I honestly think the mental math is one of the greatest strengths in Singapore. It's the sort of math you'll actually use: while shopping, when working out tips, when estimating yardage or volume or distance or time for daily activities. Most of the more complicated arithmetic young kids work so hard at on paper is done with calculators or computers or on iPhone apps out in the real world. But mental math will always have a place in the world.</p>
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<p>Tammy, I do recall the beginning of 2B being quite heavy on mental math at the beginning of the book. Personally I think that if your dd is getting bogged down and losing motivation it would be worth mixing it up a bit. Pull in some of the geometry or bar graph stuff from later in the book. Spend a bit of time doing multiplication games. Have fun with silly word problems. It sounds to me like she's really unengaged by the math work right now which is why she's distracted and day-dreamy. If she's enjoyed Singapore up until this point, she may just need a little diversionary work, fun and games, and then she'll be back with the program with more optimism and engagement. </p>
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<p>45 ÷ 5 can be thought of as ( 45 x 2 ) ÷ 10. Doubling something that's to be divided by 5, and then dropping a zero is a very quick mental math strategy. Whether that's the tactic your dd was using or not I'd have run with that, explaining it as an interesting and perhaps unintentionally brilliant way to approach problems of that sort.</p>
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<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<p>Our older son is also almost 8 and was also working in the level 2 Singapore Math.  I decided we needed to take a break from the program.  It was really moving too quickly for him without memorization in place.  I am having him try a variety of different things.  Right now he's working through the Kumon multiplication workbook.  I also bought the books of level 1 and 2 word problems from Singapore Math, and one from Teacher Created Resources.  I have decided to just do word problems and stay with addition, subtraction, and multiplication until that is all easy for him, however long that takes.</p>
 

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<p>I bought an abacus from Amazon.  Ten rods with ten beads per rod.  It has helped him a lot to be able to use this when he needs help.  It reinforces the skip counting for memorizing multiplication tables and takes away a lot of frustration.  I just can't believe it took me so long to discover this treasure.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>laundrycrisis</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16100754"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Our older son is also almost 8 and was also working in the level 2 Singapore Math.  I decided we needed to take a break from the program.  It was really moving too quickly for him without memorization in place.  I am having him try a variety of different things.  Right now he's working through the Kumon multiplication workbook.  I also bought the books of level 1 and 2 word problems from Singapore Math, and one from Teacher Created Resources.  I have decided to just do word problems and stay with addition, subtraction, and multiplication until that is all easy for him, however long that takes.</p>
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<p><br>
My dd just turned 8 and we are also doing level 2 Singapore.  I noticed that it was moving much quicker than I felt we needed.  We are done with 2A and are specifically taking a small break before 2B.  Instead, we are reviewing, playing games that use math, and giving her "real world" math opportunities (paying for stuff, figuring change, etc).  I am also going over math facts that have been covered to this point and trying to make them more automatic.  As someone else mentioned, Singapore level 2 is really a grade 3 equivalent for many American public schools.  </p>
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<p>Amy</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>Thanks for all the advice. I think that's exactly what we'll do. I appreciate the support and ideas!</p>
 

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<p><br>
That is why I said skip the mental math in the book and then use money and such instead to do it. I think it is overkill in the books, with the endless exercises, especially when you can practice it in a more fun and applicable way with money. We have a change jar my dh always tosses his change in to and that is what we use.</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>moominmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16097855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lisa1970</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16097570"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Here is another help....</p>
<p> </p>
<p>skip the mental math. I am serious. ...  It is, literally, never in the series again. </p>
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<p><br>
It is, actually. My youngest finished 4B recently and there was the mental math with decimals (subtracting 1.98 from 6.27, for example) in there. Also lots of estimating and rounding in 4B and 5A. I honestly think the mental math is one of the greatest strengths in Singapore. It's the sort of math you'll actually use: while shopping, when working out tips, when estimating yardage or volume or distance or time for daily activities. Most of the more complicated arithmetic young kids work so hard at on paper is done with calculators or computers or on iPhone apps out in the real world. But mental math will always have a place in the world.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Tammy, I do recall the beginning of 2B being quite heavy on mental math at the beginning of the book. Personally I think that if your dd is getting bogged down and losing motivation it would be worth mixing it up a bit. Pull in some of the geometry or bar graph stuff from later in the book. Spend a bit of time doing multiplication games. Have fun with silly word problems. It sounds to me like she's really unengaged by the math work right now which is why she's distracted and day-dreamy. If she's enjoyed Singapore up until this point, she may just need a little diversionary work, fun and games, and then she'll be back with the program with more optimism and engagement. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>45 ÷ 5 can be thought of as ( 45 x 2 ) ÷ 10. Doubling something that's to be divided by 5, and then dropping a zero is a very quick mental math strategy. Whether that's the tactic your dd was using or not I'd have run with that, explaining it as an interesting and perhaps unintentionally brilliant way to approach problems of that sort.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Miranda</p>
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<p>We took a break, let the concepts sink in, played games and activities, and then came back to the mental math in 2B, and it was suddenly easy. Sometimes they just need time for the familiarity of the math facts to sink in.</p>
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<p>I allow a multiplication table when doing division. You really need to know your multiplication tables well to easily divide, so we're using the table as a crutch in the meantime, but it's also helping with learning the facts. It's motivational, too, because you can see why its handy to know your times tables.</p>
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<p>Did you teach the mental math with manipulatives and then on paper for a while? I mistakenly tried to skip that step, but when I was talking about making tens and taking away 9 after I'd multiplied by ten it was going in one ear and out the other. Literally one day with manipulatives and paper calculations and it all came clear.</p>
 

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<p>When we needed a break from Singapore, we would focus on Miquon.  They compliment each other nicely.</p>
 

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<p>If you are comfortable doing this, go back and have her repeat 2A or 1B.  It should be a breeze for her, will build her confidence and give her a little time to develop more.  I have a 3rd grader who was burning out on multiplication/ division so we went back to 2A.</p>
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<p>You could either just have her do the practice exercises in the textbook or buy a workbook.</p>
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<p>I agree about doing the mental math on paper, if the child is struggling.</p>
 

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<p>I am now becoming a fan of the calculator.  My DD (8) does mental math, but she does not love it.  (I love it even less.) I was having her do some samples for the EXPLORE test and they were math problems.  You can use a calculator on the test.  Well, that made all the difference in her confidence.  A calculator allows you to work on math concepts without the technical work.  This is exactly what she likes.  Now she wants to take a math class. </p>
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<p>In the real world, given the phones and computers that are always nearby, a calculator will pretty much always be available.</p>
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<p>Now, I DO think it is important to have the background knowledge-- fundamental concepts like place value and important skills like estimating and rounding. These help with mental math tremendously, too, if the need should arise, but now I am starting to wonder why mental math is stressed.  To me, calculators are OK.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mizelenius</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16125399"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>Now, I DO think it is important to have the background knowledge-- fundamental concepts like place value and important skills like estimating and rounding. These help with mental math tremendously, too, if the need should arise, but now I am starting to wonder why mental math is stressed.  To me, calculators are OK.</p>
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I agree with you to a point. More complicated mental math, yes, most of us would be happy to reach for a calculator. Personally I think of long division as more of a curiosity than anything else. And if a child is frustrated by repetitive calculations in a particular math program and craves more conceptual challenge without wanting to fuss with the mechanics and calculator will allow that.</p>
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<p>But I probably do mental math dozens of times a day if I'm out and about and it would be a pain to have to pull out a calculator for each of those little computations. If a highway signs says 92 miles to the next town and I have an hour and 40 minutes to get there and am driving at 60 mph and I'd like to call and warn people if I'm likely to be late, if the large tin of olives is $4.25 for 14 oz. and the small one is $1.75 for 8 oz., if the DVD says it's 114 minutes long and bedtime is in an hour and three quarters, if the recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups of flour and I'm tripling it, if I need 700 gm of pasta and each package is 175 gm. Today I'm making gingerbread houses with the kids and we've already used mental math dozens of times to triple the recipe and scale up the pattern template. I know it's possible to walk around the grocery store punching in price comparison info on a calculator, and it's possible to drive on without phoning to let people know you'll be late, but I personally find it extremely convenient to be able to do quick calculations in my head and get the information I need without reaching for a calculator.</p>
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<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<p>I agree with you, Miranda, in terms of those examples.  However, I find that I am much better now at mental math than I was at 8.  I find this is due to maturity/better grasp of math overall vs. drill and practice . . .but this better grasp is a result of interest, too.  I read recently that when a person is interested in learning, she learns 10Xs faster.   No interest = waste of time.</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>moominmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16125559"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mizelenius</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283911/advice-on-singapore-math-with-my-almost-8-yo-struggling-with-2b#post_16125399"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>Now, I DO think it is important to have the background knowledge-- fundamental concepts like place value and important skills like estimating and rounding. These help with mental math tremendously, too, if the need should arise, but now I am starting to wonder why mental math is stressed.  To me, calculators are OK.</p>
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<p><br>
I agree with you to a point. More complicated mental math, yes, most of us would be happy to reach for a calculator. Personally I think of long division as more of a curiosity than anything else. And if a child is frustrated by repetitive calculations in a particular math program and craves more conceptual challenge without wanting to fuss with the mechanics and calculator will allow that.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But I probably do mental math dozens of times a day if I'm out and about and it would be a pain to have to pull out a calculator for each of those little computations. If a highway signs says 92 miles to the next town and I have an hour and 40 minutes to get there and am driving at 60 mph and I'd like to call and warn people if I'm likely to be late, if the large tin of olives is $4.25 for 14 oz. and the small one is $1.75 for 8 oz., if the DVD says it's 114 minutes long and bedtime is in an hour and three quarters, if the recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups of flour and I'm tripling it, if I need 700 gm of pasta and each package is 175 gm. Today I'm making gingerbread houses with the kids and we've already used mental math dozens of times to triple the recipe and scale up the pattern template. I know it's possible to walk around the grocery store punching in price comparison info on a calculator, and it's possible to drive on without phoning to let people know you'll be late, but I personally find it extremely convenient to be able to do quick calculations in my head and get the information I need without reaching for a calculator.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Miranda</p>
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Discussion Starter #16
<p>I actually think we may go back and do some stuff we've done before, just for practice and getting her confidence up. And in the meantime, I'll provide her with lots of multiplication games and practice on the side, so that she can start slowly getting that down too (including some Times Tales, Timez Attack, and multiplication.com). We'll see how it goes! Thanks for all the help.</p>
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<p>I will say she's been getting better doing mental math all on our own. Just by "life". That's been fun to watch.</p>
 
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