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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,207
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,207 
I was just watching myself do an addition problem, and for the record, when I see 5 +7, I think  7= 5+2, so 10 + 2 equals 12. My 8 + 7 goes: (2x7)plus 1 = 15.
So for all you Moms pulling your hair out over your kid's wacky math, ((shrug)) it seems to be ok. I'm guessing that many of us have never "memorised" our math facts, just gotten really really fast at our own workarounds. If you can get your child to automatisity, I think it's worth doing, but....
((wink)) Trinity
Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com




Joined: Feb 2006
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My few cents, for what it is worth... Whem my son started taking class at The Art of Problem Solving, he suddenly realized that he needs to know square and cube roots of single digit numbers right off the top of his head, just to be able to come fast with an answer. And while he is the last person to memorize math (he needs to understand, otherwise gets really antsy), he is memorizing it ;) Ania




Joined: Oct 2006
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Since starting to really look for math education information, I have come across such a broad range of opinions and methods  it's amazing and overwhelming!
But one piece that has really stuck with me is how some gifted kids can handle the abstract typically way sooner than they have mastered the computation facts. And that many of those who are naturally gifted mathematically, who "think math" I guess you could say, will often realize as they start to do the higher level stuff that having the computations memorized would make things go faster. So then they do like your son, Ania, and memorize it when it is relevant.
Others, like my husband, and perhaps Trinity ;), are skilled at that mental math and don't need to memorize because they are so good at the mental computation. My husband always amazes me by how quickly he can multiply or divide fairly large numbers. But he does it in his head kind of like how Trinity describes it. While I'm still computing the standard algorithm in my head, he's already got the answer! Which seems to be what some of the "reform math" programs are trying to teach. But I would question whether it can be taught. Is that mental math capability a natural talent that can only be developed if the person already thinks that way? Or can you teach a child how to do it, even if they aren't inclined to think way?
I personally was the math computation whiz in grade school, great at those timed tests because I could memorize so easily. But then when I got to high school I didn't have the mental math flexibility to really understand how I was applying it all. Failed miserably in higher level math classes. My husband was the exact opposite. Failed miserably on anything timed  but excels at the abstract stuff! I see DS heading in the same direction! Last night he got all upset because the new version of Math Blaster we just got has a timed game. He was so upset that he started crying about how much he hates timed games! But I'm going to use it to help him understand how effort pays off. He needs to learn that soon  things being too easy all the time end up with such a twisted idea of how things should be all the time. Hopefully he will learn to love a good challenge AND be great at mental math!




Joined: Dec 2005
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Debbie  What a laugh! Trying to teach someone to do math like me  when I sure think my way is "wrong."
But seriously, it sounds like you are one the right track. I think tht learning to enjoy a challenge is more important than almost anything else. The good news is he's younger than most, and so has an excellent chance of "getting right". My son didn't get the chance till age 10. The bad news is that to their minds, a week of "too easy work" is probably all it take to start twisting their baseline. So you will hear the shrill sounds of the mind untwisting as you apply the "supported push." And it is n't pretty. Nescessary, but not pretty. If you can give him a big picture overview once in a while, I believe it will help.
Best Wishes, Trinity
Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com




Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 10 
The person who you spoke to clearly had little knowledge of math programs. I do agree that Saxon math is not very good. It is especially bad for gifted children. Everyday Math is often held out as an example of a bad math program. It has even been in the news it is so bad.
Singapore Math, the US Edition, is exactly the same as Singapore Math the 3rd edition (nonUS edition) except that the US edition has some added chapters to cover US measurements. If you go to the Singapore Math website, it shows you exactly where the differences are. I use Singapore Math and have both editions. Page for page, the books are exactly the same, with the exception of some Americanized names and the added chapters. Nothing has been removed for the US editions from the 3rd edition.
Dr Winningham was clearly pushing Everyday Math because she works for the place that makes it. Think of her as the advertiser. She is working for the company that produces that product. You would be making a huge mistake if you bought in to this.
I am not familiar with Trailblazers.




Joined: Mar 2007
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My daughter completed two years of the Everyday Math program at her school and it was awful! The program is too big picture. Skips concepts or does not require a "mastery" of a concept becuase it is taught again several chapters on or at the next level. For example students are introduced to geometry in second grade and asked to do basic calcualations but no instruction on what those calcualtions mean or why one would want to find the area of a circle until the next year or twos level.
Yes speaking and understanding mathematically is crucial, but so is understanding how to do the procedures. In my opinion an excellent math program should incorporate both the importance of procedure as well as the global understanding of math.




Joined: Oct 2006
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I appreciate all the feedback I've gotten about math curricula. Thought I'd update you all on how we are doing!
We are using Singapore Math as our primary curriculum/guide for moving our son through topics. We supplement with games (tabletop and computer) to encourage basic skill mastery/computations as well as develop problem solving. We are also using those "teachable moments" to capitalize on his own intrinsic desire to learn and connect math to everyday activities. An example would be this past weekend when he was excited about having his friend come to sleep over and wanted to know how long until he would be at our house. We had a 10 minute math lesson on time and he didn't even "know" he was learning!
So far my husband is doing the formal homeschooling in the morning 34 days per week, about 30 to 45 minutes, and I supplement with the teachable moments and weekend stuff. We have a chart with stickers to encourage him to master different levels on Math Blasters, with a reward at different levels of completion (shopping trips for toys are the big motivator right now!). We stopped with ALEKS as we just don't have the time to sit with him and he isn't independent enough right now with the program. We found he likes the tabletop stuff better than the computer tutorials.
We are happy with how things are right now and hoping to continue fostering his interest in math. I'll look forward to more info on this and other threads.




Joined: Dec 2005
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Oh Debbie  He sounds so happy! Well done! Trin
Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com




Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 5 
My 4th grade daughter uses Everyday Math in school and she is accelerated one grade. I agree that it does gloss over math facts and calculations, but I like that it teaches the big picture. It introduces some advanced concepts early. For example, I remember (in K or 1) they taught matrices early. This made it very easy to talk with my daughter about square roots, geometry concepts, etc. The same with algebraic concepts.
I also like the way it spirals (covering a topic then reintroducing it again and again at more difficult levels). It keeps it more interesting so kids aren't stuck with the same types of problems for weeks and weeks.
I did think, however, that the K curriculum was pretty much a joke. It was too easy and not just for the smart kids.




